health care

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.

Sen. Whitehouse To Focus On Health Reform Success In RI

Nov 27, 2013
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will hold a roundtable discussion Monday on how the Affordable Care Act is benefiting the state. He hopes to call attention to efforts to reduce costs and improve quality.

Are You Changing Health Plans For 2014?

Nov 19, 2013

You might be, if:

Moody's: RI Cities May Shift Retiree Health Costs

Nov 15, 2013
Aaron Read / RIPR

In a new report, investment research firm Moody's says more Rhode Island cities are looking into shifting retirees into health plans on the online health insurance exchange to save money. That's just one of several strategies cities are considering to deal with rising health care costs. 

Most health insurance plans must now cover mental health and addiction treatment the same way they cover medical benefits. A trio of federal agencies has issued the final rule on how to implement the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. Former congressman Patrick Kennedy says the act he co-sponsored is only a beginning for better mental health treatment.

Senators Briefed On The State of Healthsource RI

Oct 17, 2013
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The head of Rhode Island's online insurance marketplace says she's encouraged by the amount of interest consumers have shown in signing up for health insurance on the state’s newly launched health exchange.

It’s been up and running since October 1st to help uninsured Rhode Islanders and small businesses get the health coverage most are required to have by January 2014.

Healthsource RI leader Christy Ferguson briefed state senators on how it’s working last night. She says the exchange could help drive down health care costs if plenty of small businesses sign up.

State health officials say they don’t know why Rhode Island has the nation’s 13th highest rate of accidental deaths caused by illicit drug overdoses.  They say doctors may be part of the problem.

Twenty-eight year old Ross Ricciarelli is a recovering heroin  addict. He got started on Vicodin and progressed to Percocette. When prescriptions became hard to come by he started shooting up.

"I was prescribed them at one point and I really had no idea that it was going to just take me down roads that I never would have imagined that I would have gone down," said Ricciarelli.

RI's Congressional Delegation Slams Shutdown

Sep 30, 2013

Rhode Island’s congressional delegation is roundly criticizing House Republicans  over the budget impasse. Over the weekend Republican lawmakers agreed to continue funding the government beyond midnight Monday provided there’s a one year delay in the implementation of Obamacare; a proposal that’s dead on arrival in the Senate and the White House.

Congressman David Cicilline calls the House Republican caucus strategy the “height of irresponsibility” and he has harsh words for House Speaker John Boehner.

The debate over Obamacare rages from Providence to Pasadena. As the state moves closer to launching its health insurance exchange, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the arguments and traces the law’s Rhode Island roots.

Ask Rhode Island Republican State Chairman Mark Smiley what he thinks of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare and you’ll get a blunt answer:  He says, ``I hate it.’’

Smiley’s position is simple and wedded to his party’s national stance: Repeal the entire law and start over. ``Socialism,’’ he says, ``doesn’t work.’’

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former US Senate candidate Barry Hinckley and Gary Alexander, the controversial Carcieri-era secretary of Rhode Island's Executive Office of Health and Human Services, have launched a new business, Velum Health, that pledges to "drastically reduce health care costs."

RI Health Care Reform Bill Clears Senate Hurdle

May 24, 2013
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A comprehensive health care reform bill is headed for a full vote in the Rhode Island Senate. The bill aims, in part, to increase the transparency of health care costs.

Tracking This Session's Health Legislation

May 22, 2013

Dozens of bills have been introduced in the General Assembly this session that, if passed, could affect your health, your family's health, or the state's health care system.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island

The Lifespan hospital system’s recent acquisition of Gateway, a mental health care network, may be a sign of more to come. But it could be too soon to tell what it means for a patient’s pocketbook.

A Year of Future Docs, In One Documentary

May 20, 2013
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Throughout the school year, we've been following two bright, young, future doctors. Now, we're wrapping up the journey with a one-hour documentary about the crucible of medical school, set against the backdrop of some of the most dramatic changes in health care in a generation. Listen to the full hour or individual segments online, below, or download and listen on the go.

New Hospital Price Data Helps, But What About Quality?

May 9, 2013

You may have heard news yesterday that the federal government has released a greater level of detail on the prices hospitals charge for a list of common procedures and how widely those prices vary - not only from state to state but within states, and  even within the same city. The data comes from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (or CMS), from 3000 hospitals nationwide.

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