Lifespan, one of Rhode Island's largest employers, is implementing a new policy that will make employees who use tobacco products pay a surcharge.
The policy will tack on an extra $600 a year to the medical benefits of any employee or spouse or domestic partner covered by company insurance who uses tobacco products. That includes cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes.
Lifespan will also offer employees free smoking cessation programs.
Lifespan’s CEO says it’s a way to encourage employees to quit.
The Bradley School is leaving its home on the grounds of Bradley Hospital for a new facility in Providence. Bradley officials say they plan to make the move on September first.
A letter sent to Bradley parents says the school will now share space with the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program, a school for students who have fallen behind and are at serious risk for dropping out. The letter touts larger classrooms, a cafeteria and a newly constructed gymnasium.
The state’s largest hospital chain and largest insurer have inked an agreement to share patient data that will help them look for ways to improve health and save money. The deal is the largest of its kind in the state and could shape health care for more than 35,000 Rhode Islanders.
A bill is making its way through Rhode Island's General Assembly that would legalize marijuana and regulate and tax it like alcohol. Possessing small amounts has already been decriminalized here. And interest has been growing in legalization for a while.
Proponents say that legalizing the drug would keep harmless people out of jail. Opponents say marijuana is just as dangerous as any other drug and should remain illegal.
Rhode Island Hospital and the entire Lifespan network have announced new guidelines for prescribing painkillers in their emergency rooms. ER doctors are trying to address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse and addiction.
Ed Quinlan, longtime executive director of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island and a public relations executive with a long resume in medical, political and sports public relations, is retiring from his job at HARI early next year.
Quinlan, soon to be 64, says he will be leaving HARI, which is a trade association for Rhode Island’s hospitals, but that he doesn’t intend to retire in the traditional sense. ``I am looking to so something that takes a little less of me and allows more time for my wife in my life,’’ said Quinlan.
Lifespan Hospital system’s growing research complex in Providence’s Jewelry District will benefit from a large National Institutes of Health grant to open new labs and fund new projects. Some of that research could translate into new treatments for Rhode Island patients.
The state’s largest hospital system is facing some unanticipated budget shortfalls. Lifespan isn’t saying yet whether the fix will include layoffs.
Lifespan released a statement saying it had asked employees and physicians to review their budgets and look for ways to trim expenses. No word yet on what immediate steps the organization might take to stem the financial losses - but Lifespan says they won’t compromise patient care and that they’ll "work hard to minimize the impact on...employees."