lifespan

Brain researchers are hoping more Rhode Islanders will enroll in the state’s Alzheimers Disease prevention registry. The goal is to find candidates for clinical trials to find new therapies for Alzheimers.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Workers at Rhode Island Hospital have threatened to strike as contract negotiations reach an impasse. A federal mediator has been called in to help broker a deal between the hospital and members of the Teamsters union. The Teamsters represent certified nurses’ assistants and unit assistants, people who help care for patients.

What could a strike mean for patients and employees? Rhode Island Public Radio’s health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Dave Fallon to sort through the issues.

Members of the Teamsters union working at Rhode Island Hospital voted Wednesday evening to authorize a strike. Don’t expect to see picket lines immediately.

The vote simply gives union leadership the authority to give the hospital 10 days' notice before striking. But members could walk off the job in a couple of weeks if they don’t reach a new contract deal with hospital management. A federal mediator has been called in, according to hospital officials.

CVS Health

Lifespan hospitals and CVS pharmacy’s walk-in health clinics say they’ve agreed to share patients’ electronic medical records.

Lifespan is Rhode Island’s biggest health system, and it’s in the midst of implementing a brand new electronic medical records system. A spokeswoman for Lifespan says there’s no timeline yet for the collaboration with CVS Health (formerly CVS Caremark), and the details still have to be worked out. But sometime after the system is live, the two organizations will be able to share information about patients.

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.   

Pages