health care

What We're Talking About When We Talk About Value

Jun 2, 2015

NPR's All Things Considered host Audie Cornish interviewed a prominent cancer doctor Monday about his public criticism of the high cost of cancer drugs.

Learning To Respect A Patient's Wishes At The End Of Life

Apr 21, 2015
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Talking about dying is difficult for most people, including doctors. But can they learn a better way to help patients nearing the end of their lives? Can health care systems learn to respect those wishes? Here’s one experiment to find out.

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Dr. Kate Lally gathers a group of second year residents outside a patient’s room at Kent Hospital in Warwick. Lally explains the patient they’re about to examine is 34-year-old Melissa Smith. She has advanced ovarian cancer. Until now, she’s been in hospice care at home, keeping comfortable.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A group charged with finding nearly $180 million dollars in savings from Rhode Island’s Medicaid program begins the second phase of its work Monday.

Throughout March Governor Gina Raimondo’s Working Group to Reinvent Medicaid held town hall meetings across the state to gather public input. Now they must get down to the hard work of finding ways to save money. They have until the end of the month to deliver recommendations to the Governor.

Debating The Data On Medicaid Spending (Updated)

Mar 31, 2015

Is Rhode Island spending more than other states caring for the elderly? Or not enough?

(See update, below, plus a reminder: the final Reinvent Medicaid public town hall meeting is scheduled for tonight at 6 pm at the East Bay Family Health Center in Newport.)

That's a question that's come up for debate at the recent "Reinventing Medicaid" town hall meetings around the state, and in statements from groups with a stake in the outcome of Gov. Gina Raimondo's plans to trim nearly $180 million dollars in state (and federal) Medicaid spending.

Don Borman

  Gov. Gina Raimondo gave her first State of the State address last night, unveiling her first budget.

Explore the governor's budget online.

How Will Health Care Fare In The Governor's Budget?

Mar 12, 2015

Gov. Gina Raimondo is scheduled to deliver her first State of The State address tonight. The address will give Rhode Islanders their first look at the governor’s spending priorities for the coming fiscal year.

A union that represents the majority of workers recently laid off at Women and Infants Hospital is challenging the job cuts in federal court.

They get to stay on the job until at least Thursday. That’s when a federal judge will hear the union’s challenge. Women and Infants announced the lay-offs this week for more than 40 employees, including certified nurses assistants, imaging technicians, food and laundry service workers.

Volunteers Bring Comfort, Ease Suffering For Patients

Oct 2, 2014
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

If you’ve walked through the front doors of a hospital lately, you might remember the friendly volunteer who greeted you, or gave you directions. Volunteers have been a mainstay in health care settings for years. But they’ve become an increasingly critical resource as health care dollars are spread thin.

On The Health Care Agenda For RI's Next Governor

Sep 10, 2014

Rhode Island's next governor - whether it's Republican Allan Fung or Democrat Gina Raimondo - will have plenty of challenges to tackle upon taking office. The state's ailing economy will most likely hold the spotlight over the next eight weeks until the general election. But perhaps I could put a few health care items on the agenda for their consideration - and for the general assembly's.

Debrief: New Health Laws Address Addiction, Breast Cancer

Jun 25, 2014

Another legislative session has wrapped up. Health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Dave Fallon in the studio to talk about how health care fared on Smith Hill.

Here's a transcript of their discussion.

CVS Gets Green Light To Open Retail Clinics In RI

May 15, 2014
Megan Hall / RIPR

The nation’s largest pharmacy chain has been given the green light to open seven retail health care clinics in Rhode Island. CVS pharmacies’ MinuteClinics would see patients for minor illnesses and perform some routine health screenings. But state health officials' approval comes with several conditions.

Ready: RI's Road Map For Health Care Transformation

Jan 15, 2014

A little while ago I mentioned this plan was being drafted, and open for public comment. The final product is available now, and it's worth a read, here: http://www.healthcare.ri.gov/healthyri/resources/SHIPwithAppendix.pdf (.pdf opens another document).

First, this document, the "Rhode Island State Healthcare Innovation Plan," produced out of Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts' office, is a great snapshot of the state's health care system. If you want a primer on our health care system, our biggest health problems, and where the opportunities lie for fixing them, look it over.

Tools For Health Care Consumers: Quality, Cost, And Care

Jan 10, 2014

Thousands of Rhode Islanders have signed up for health insurance in recent weeks, some for the first time. I'm thinking that means some might not be so familiar with our health care system, or they might not know how to keep costs down with plans that carry higher deductibles or out-of-pocket costs.

So... here are a few tools to help you navigate, from finding the highest quality, to keeping costs down, to managing your own health. It's not an exhaustive list, but a start...if you're starting from scratch!

The Bottom Health Stories of 2013

Dec 27, 2013

Lots of news organizations, including this one, are ticking off the year's top 10 stories. I'd like to run through some of Rhode Island's bottom health stories, meaning the ones least likely to have appeared on radar screens - but which should have. And don't worry: there's some good news in here too!

In no particular order:

Reducing Overtreatment, Overtesting, And Overdiagnosis

Dec 3, 2013
Rhode Island Department of Health

I had a chance to speak to Department of Health director Dr. Michael Fine this morning as he traveled to a conference in Boston. The gathering, put on by the Lown Institute, is "From Avoidable Care to Right Care," convenes "...clinicians, patient advocates, and civic leaders to deepen our mutual understanding of the cultural, scientific, and ethical issues surrounding the overuse of medical services." (Dr.

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