Medicare

The Pulse
2:35 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

United And Medicare: When Insurers Drop Your Doctor

You may have heard about United Healthcare's decision to cut a number of doctors from its Medicare Advantage plan in Rhode Island and some surrounding states. That means that, for some seniors, their doctor may no longer be considered "in network" - and, therefore, no longer affordable for some, since "out of network" doctor visits cost more.

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The Pulse
4:37 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

RI Rolls Out Integrated Care Initiative For Elderly, Disabled

Rhode Islanders who are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid - the so-called "dual eligibles" - take note: you're being enrolled in a new health plan designed to coordinate your primary care and long term care needs a bit better. It's called the Integrated Care Initiative, it could affect nearly 28,000 Rhode Islanders, and it's not without controversy.

But first, what's it about?

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The Pulse
4:03 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Drug Overdose Deaths; Tracking Opioid Prescribers

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Opioids are narcotic painkillers, and they include popular drugs with brand names like OxyContin, Vicodin, and Demerol. Heroin is another. And while the former have eased the pain of many, all of these drugs are potential killers. They're incredibly addictive. And prescription drug overdose deaths, according to what many health care providers and experts tell me, have reached epidemic status in Rhode Island.

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The Pulse
2:08 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

New Hospital Price Data Helps, But What About Quality?

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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The Pulse
11:10 am
Wed February 13, 2013

What it meant: health care in the State of the Union

In last night's State of the Union address, President Barack Obama mentioned health care five times (by my count). One, later in the address, referred to making sure military veterans get the mental health care they need. The other mentions had to do with Medicare: as the nation ages, it's the biggest contributor to our nation's deficit.

Here's what he said:

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Health Care
6:00 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Paying for graduate medical education: what experts say

This morning, you might have heard the next in our Future Docs series, which looks at a projected doctor shortage and how graduate medical education funding could staunch or deepen that shortage.

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Healthcare
2:40 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Sen. Whitehouse: spare Medicare, reform the system

Credit RIPR File

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) published an op-ed on Politico Tuesday urging President Obama not to agree to any Medicare cuts in the fiscal cliff negotiations. The reason: reforming the health care system, including the way we deliver and pay for health care, will add up to all the savings we need.

Whitehouse writes:

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Health Care
12:29 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Primary Care and Graduate Medical Education Funding: A New Model?

Rhode Island's Biggest Teaching Hospital

A new study in the journal Academic Medicine provides one of the first looks at a program created by the Affordable Care Act in 2010 to train more primary care doctors. It’s a pretty different model than the traditional one, where the government, through Medicare, makes payments to teaching hospitals to help fund graduate medical education (like a residency program for doctors-in-training).

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Health Care
2:00 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Graduate Medical Education Funding Showdown?

The Association of American Medical Colleges has launched a new ad campaign, running in newspapers near the sites of upcoming presidential debates, calling for an increase in funding for graduate medical education. The group is trying to draw attention to what it sees as a crisis in the making: the current limit on the number of federally funded residency programs could, it says, lead to doctor shortages. It's just the latest in a series of movements on the GME front.

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On Politics
3:45 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Medicare + Social Security loom large in CD1 race between Cicilline and Doherty

As part of his effort to separate himself from congressional Republicans, Brendan Doherty held a news conference outside Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket this morning. He offered what his campaign calls, via news release, an “ironclad pledge”:

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