Todd Bookman

Health Reporter

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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Health
3:42 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Insurance Department Makes Case For Medicaid Expansion

Tyler Brannen, Jennifer Patterson and Alex Feldvebel of the N.H. Insurance Department testify before the commission considering Medicaid expansion.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

The New Hampshire Insurance Department took an overwhelmingly positive view on expansion during its presentation to the Medicaid Expansion Study Commission, the body that will decide if the state grows the health care program for the poor under so-called Obamacare.

Department officials told the nine-member body that expansion would benefit a wide range of groups, including insurance companies, hospitals and employers with low-paid workers.

Tyler Brannen, a health policy analyst with the Department, testified that people who buy their own insurance also stand to gain.

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Health
11:49 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Negative Impacts Of Malnutrition Could Last For Generations

Elizabeth and Jazelle Raymond inside Child Health Services, a health clinic in Manchester.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

    Infants who suffer from malnutrition are more likely to have poorer physical health when they grow up.

Research also finds more emotional problems, including anxiety and attention deficit disorder.

But even as the negative long-term impacts of infant malnutrition become clearer to scientists, Dr. Janina Galler is working to push the field of study even further.

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Health
4:04 am
Mon July 22, 2013

When An Emergency Room Closes Its Doors

Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Back in December 2008, with the town of Lyndeborough still frozen from an ice storm, Sue Carita and her husband went to check on a neighbor. Good deed done, they would both slip and fall on the return trip.

“We went home and called our doctors and of course, it was 4:30pm, 5:00pm on a Saturday afternoon, and there was no one there,” she recalls.

In pain, the Caritas sought care at the nearby Milford Medical Center, where x-rays showed she had a broken wrist, her husband a cracked hip.

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Health
6:26 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Early Results Show Dartmouth Having Success With New Payment Model

One key aspect of the federal health overhaul law is a transition away from a fee-for-service system, where hospitals and doctors get paid, for example, per lab test or re-admission. To help test new models under so-called Obamacare, 32 hospitals nationwide launched an alternative system called an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

Results released today looking at the first year of the program show Dartmouth-Hitchcock as one of 18 hospitals that succeeded in lowering costs compared to a control group of Medicare patients.

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Health
9:18 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Dartmouth's Medical Helicopters Ready To Take On Foul Weather

One of Dartmouth-Hitchcock's two EC-135 medical helicopters sits on the pad in Lebanon, NH.
Todd Bookman NHPR

As head of Dartmouth’s mission control center for Medivac flights, Mark Pippy spends a lot of time grappling with New England weather.

“Oh, wait ten minutes: it is going to change,” Pippy jokes. “It is always partly cloudy to partly sunny, with a chance of showers, and there will be darkness. And you got it 100% of the time.”

Pippy has spent the past 19 years dispatching copters from Dartmouth’s Lebanon campus and a unit based in Manchester. Together, they fly around 1,400 calls each year. Now, he’s a got a new GPS tool to help.

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Word of Mouth
2:06 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

There's Moonshine In These Here New Hampshire Woods

Deep in the woods of New Hampshire, Hoss and his friends turn out 150-proof liquor.
Todd Bookman NHPR

The past few years, moonshine has been making its way back on the shelf, thanks in no small part to the discovery channel’s popular reality show, "Moonshiners."

While "White Lightning" may have its roots in Appalachia, there's at least one illegal operation brewing in the deep shade of New Hampshire's forest. As part of Foodstuffs, NHPR's new series celebrating food, Todd Bookman reports.

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NH News
5:34 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Report Shows Slight Increase In Rental Costs

The average rental price in New Hampshire stands at just over $1,000 per month, including utilities. That's up about a percentage point from last year.

The numbers come from New Hampshire Housing’s annual survey completed in April.

Communications Director Jane Law says high foreclosure rates in recent years have forced more people into the rental market, driving up cost.

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Health
1:10 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Special Medicaid Commission Gets To Work

A special commission looking into a possible expansion of the state’s Medicaid program met Monday for the first time.

The body consists of nine voting members, including five Democratic appointees and four by Republicans.

They put partisanship aside during the first meeting, unanimously selecting Jim Varnum to chair the group. He was tapped to serve by Governor Hassan after leading Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital for nearly three decades.

“I appreciate the opportunity and the confidence you have,” says Varnum. “This is such an important task for all of us.”

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Health
5:09 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

N.H. Businesses Get Extra Year To Sort Out Mandate Under Health Law

Some New Hampshire businesses say they welcome news of a recent delay in a key part of the Affordable Care Act. 

On Tuesday, the Obama Administration announced it is postponing the so-called employer mandate by a year, citing a need for more time to simplify regulations. 

It was this provision that Senator Kelly Ayotte, speaking at the Republican National Convention last summer, offered  as a reason why she thinks Obamacare won’t work.

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Health
11:40 am
Mon July 1, 2013

With Dartmouth On Board, Managed Medicaid Transition A Step Closer

Dartmouth-Hitchcock is agreeing to join the Medicaid managed care program.  The state's largest health care system had been a key hold out in the new effort.

A transition from traditional Medicaid to so-called managed care is already a year behind schedule, costing the state an estimated $15 million in expected savings. One problem has been a lack of participation from hospitals. They’ve voiced concerned that the arrangement could pay them less for treating Medicaid patients.

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NH News
5:00 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Student IDs Still Valid At Polls As Lawmakers Approve Compromise

New Hampshire students will still be able to use their school-issued IDs to vote after lawmakers approved a modified bill Wednesday.

Under a law passed last year, student IDs would no longer have been valid at polls starting this fall. But lawmakers are rolling back that provision, allowing New Hampshire-based school IDs as proof of identity.

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NH News
2:31 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Next State Budget Passes With Broad Support

The New Hampshire House and Senate easily passed a state budget on Wednesday, sending the two-year spending plan onto the Governor for signature.

After four months of debate and some late night deal making, the final product--a $10.8 billion budget measuring nearly 1,000 pages--enjoyed wide bipartisan support.

The vote was unanimous in the Senate and nearly as wide in the House, where lead budget writer Mary Jane Wallner (D-Concord) praised the two chambers for working together.

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Health
5:09 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Quirk In Health Law Creates 'Coverage Canyon'

Credit istock photo

At 60-years old, Wendy Rogers considers herself lucky. She’s healthy, her kids are grown. There’s just one thing that gets her down: health insurance.

“I really don’t let myself think about it, because it overwhelms me.”

Rogers lives in Franklin, in a tidy apartment decorated with framed photos of friends and family. She lost her insurance three years ago, after getting laid off from a local school district  where she was a kindergarten aide. Now she works part time at a child-care center.

Rogers says she relies on family for medical expenses.

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Health
4:40 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Report Into Hepatitis C Outbreak At Exeter Hospital Says Concerns Ignored

Exeter Hospital, where an outbreak resulted in 32 patients contracting Hepatitis C.

State public health officials today released their final report looking into the outbreak of Hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital. The document provides new information into just what took place inside the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab, where a former employee stands accused of stealing narcotics and returning tainted needles. 

NHPR’s Todd Bookman tells All Things Considered Host Brady Carlson about the important new information in the case.

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Health
5:59 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Left Out Of Next State Budget

Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

    

The heavy lifting on the state’s next two year budget wrapped up a little past 3 a.m. Thursday. So when the two sides gathered less than twelve hours later to make it official, House budget leader Mary Jane Wallner was happy to call it a day.

“That’s it. I think we’re done. We’re adjourned!”

But despite that celebratory flourish, lawmakers are far from done when it comes to Medicaid.

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