The Pulse

The Pulse is written by Kristin Gourlay, an award winning health care reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Full archive of The Pulse can be found here.

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The Pulse
10:24 am
Thu July 11, 2013

On Maternity Leave!

Dear readers, I'm now on maternity leave, taking care of a new baby boy!

That means this blog, The Pulse, will be on hiatus until my return.

In the meantime, not to worry. You won't miss any major health care news, thanks to my superb colleagues in the Rhode Island Public Radio newsroom, who've got you covered.

The Pulse
6:00 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Recap: Most Significant Health Legislation this Session

Lawmakers wrapped up the work of the 2013 General Assembly at Rhode Island state capitol last week.
Credit RIPR

The 2013 session of the Rhode Island General Assembly has officially,finally, wrapped up. With that, we turn to Rhode Island Public Radio’s health care reporter Kristin Gourlay for a recap of some of the most significant health legislation to pass and not pass  and how it might affect you.

DAVE: So much happening in health care now in Rhode Island and nationally – from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to rising health care prices. Did legislators tackle any of these big issues this session?

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The Pulse
2:40 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Assembly OKs Guns & Mental Health Task Force

Guns seized by Providence police
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Is Rhode Island taking steps to join NICS, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System? Perhaps. The General Assembly has passed legislation authorizing the creation of a 20-member task force to explore the "intersection of behavioral health and firearm safety." Here's what it means.

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The Pulse
12:20 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

No Health Insurance? Get Ready to Enroll.

UPDATE: HHS unveiled a newly redesigned healthcare.gov today, which lets users learn more about enrolling in health insurance plans through online insurance marketplaces beginning October 1st. I tried it out. The web site leads you through a series of questions and presents you with your likely options for coverage and whatever financial assistance might be available to help you pay for that coverage. It also creates a customized "checklist" to help you prepare for enrollment, which includes a list of documents you'll need to gather.

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The Pulse
2:36 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Prescribing Painkillers: What the Health Dept. Recommends

Recently, I reported on Rhode Island's fledgling prescription drug monitoring program (listen to that story here). It's a program that's supposed to spot troubling trends in prescription drug misuse. And as you might know, there's plenty of trouble to spot in Rhode Island, where prescription drug overdose death rates have soared along with rates of addiction to narcotic painkillers.

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The Pulse
4:22 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Is Obesity a Disease?

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

UPDATE: The AMA voted yes on calling obesity a disease, despite a committee's recommendations against it.

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The Pulse
3:05 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Preventing Gun Violence in Spotlight Nationally, But in RI?

Seized guns
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

As far as I can tell from the Rhode Island General Assembly's online legislation tracker, not a single bill dealing with reducing firearm violence has made it out of committee. Most have been recommended "held for further study," a kind of legislative purgatory, although some bills could be revived at the last minute.

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The Pulse
12:32 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Will National Spotlight on Mental Health Help RI?

President Barack Obama kicked off the National Conference on Mental Health yesterday. But can a conference actually accomplish anything? Too soon to tell.

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The Pulse
2:42 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Rhode Island's Health Dashboard

Want a quick read on how we're feeling here in the Ocean State? Check the gauges on rihealthcarematters.org. It's a new web site from the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, with collaboration from local hospitals and the RI Dept. of Health. The site taps a range of federal and local data sources (like the US census) calculate residents' health, as measured by a variety of indicators - 100 in all.

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The Pulse
4:15 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

AS220 Spotlights Health Care in Rhode Island

AS220 space on Empire Street in Providence
Credit AS220

AS220, the downtown arts organization, and the Roots Cafe are hosting three public panel discussions about health care in Rhode Island. And one of them features someone you might know from such illustrious places as... this blog! My predecessor here at RIPR, the delightful Megan Hall, is one of the panelists! Events take place at 5:30 pm on April 24, May 1, and May 8 at AS220 Cafe, 115 Empire Street, in Providence.

Details on the first two events:

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