A rising tide lifts all boats. That’s the finding of a Brown University researcher who investigated whether hospital quality improvements brought better care for minority patients as well as white.

Brown University professor Amal Trivedi wanted to know if improved standards at hospitals have helped all patients equally.  Medicare asked hospitals to start reporting certain quality measures in 2005. Trivedi said that at that time, there were significant disparities between the care whites and minorities got at hospitals around the country.

My recent story about the high cost of new hepatitis C treatments focused on the difficulty of deciding who gets these new drugs now and who has to wait. That's because, while new drugs like Sovaldi and Harvoni (both made by Gilead) promise to cure a lot of people, they're so expensive we simply couldn't afford to treat everyone who's infected right now.

October 15 marks the start of open enrollment for anyone who wants to switch Medicare Advantage plans or join Medicare Part D, the prescription drug plan.

November 15 is when open enrollment begins for HealthSource RI, the second time around for Rhode Island's online health insurance marketplace for individuals, families, and small businesses.

Here's what we know so far about the options.


U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.,  has joined with fellow Democratic senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Dick Durbin of Illinois in urging President Obama to use an executive order to reduce or get rid of tax breaks for companies that move their headquarters overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

In  letter to the president the three Democratic senators stated that while Congress considers a legislative solution there is a need for swift action by the president.

Aaron Read / RIPR

You may have gotten a letter in the mail recently from your health insurance company asking whether you wanted to opt out of something called an “all payer claims database.”