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
11:23 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Two States, Two Approaches To The Affordable Care Act

Credit Via U.S. Digital Maps Archive

While the Affordable Care Act is a federal law, it’s playing out very differently across the states. In New Hampshire, strong opposition from Republican lawmakers and a lack of competition between insurance companies has marred the roll out advocates had hoped for.

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Health
5:15 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

More Competition Coming To New Hampshire's Insurance Market

 Consumers will have more health insurance options in New Hampshire starting in 2015. Massachusetts-based non-profit Minuteman Health says it plans to compete in the state’s exchange with a wide network of hospitals.

CEO Tom Policelli says his company has already begun talks with many of the state’s providers.

“We believe that we can come into New Hampshire and offer a much more broad network than Anthem has, and still deliver an excellent price point, and that’s what we intend to do,” says Policelli.

Anthem is the only company selling products in 2014.

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Health
5:05 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Frisbie Memorial Hospital Denied Hearing Against 'Narrow Network'

The New Hampshire Insurance Department is denying a complaint filed by Frisbie Memorial Hospital over its exclusion from Anthem’s provider network for individual policies.

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Health
3:35 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

More New Hampshire Users Getting Through Troubled Health Site

In November, 1,300 New Hampshire residents were able to select insurance plans through HealthCare.gov. That brings the total to 1,569 since the start of enrollment on October 1st.

New data out from the federal government show more than 8,700 people in the state completed applications for health insurance in the new marketplace.

Maine has seen activity similar to New Hampshire.

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Health
1:34 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Wide Variation In Medical Treatment For Children In Northern New England

Credit The Dartmouth Atlas

 A new study from the Dartmouth Atlas Project finds many children in northern New England receive potentially unneeded medical care that could have harmful side effects.

Researchers compared data for a range of care across Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine for children under age 18.

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Health
5:59 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Computer Problems Continue To Plague Insurance Enrollments in N.H.

Anthem Blue Cross says it’s still having trouble processing some new health insurance enrollments because of computer problems.  

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NH News
1:42 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

New Hampshire's Housing Market Shows Strength

New Hampshire remains on track to have the fewest number of home foreclosures in six years.

In October, 239 homes fell into foreclosure. That’s a slight uptick from September, but the state is projected to have less than 3,000 total foreclosures for the year, the lowest since 2007.

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Health
4:10 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Kwiatkowski Sentenced To 39 Years In Prison

David Kwiatkowski

More than a year and a half after an outbreak of Hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital first emerged, a traveling medical technician has been sentenced to nearly four decades in federal prison. 

David Kwiatkowski, his hair trimmed short, looked heavier than at his last court appearance in August, when he pleaded guilty to 16 federal charges.

For nearly a decade, the defendant admits he routinely stole syringes of powerful pain medication. He would inject himself, and then reuse those needles on patients.

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History
4:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

'Thanks' To The Woman Who Helped Make A November Thursday Special

This portrait of Sarah Josepha Hale, painted by James Reid Lambdin, hangs in Newport, N.H., where she was born.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 6:39 pm

Thursday's holiday has Sarah Josepha Hale to thank for helping it get national recognition.

Thanksgiving before 1863 was something of a moveable feast, with states honoring the holiday at various times or not at all. But as the Civil War dragged on, Abraham Lincoln needed a way to unite the country. And Hale, a prominent magazine editor, persuaded him to declare a national holiday.

Hale, who was from New Hampshire, was a prolific writer of biographies, cookbooks, novels, editorials and volumes of poetry, including the children's rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

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NH News
12:00 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

How Newport's 'Mother Of Thanksgiving' Got Her Holiday Wish

Credit Oil painting by James R. Lambdin

Thanksgiving before 1863 was something of a moveable feast, with states honoring the holiday at various times or not at all. But as the Civil War dragged on, Abraham Lincoln needed a way to unite the country. It was a prominent magazine editor, Sarah Josepha Hale, who finally persuaded him to declare a national holiday.

Hale, born 1788 in Newport, New Hampshire, was a prolific writer. She authored biographies, cookbooks, novels, editorials, and volumes of poetry, including the children’s rhyme Mary Had a Little Lamb.

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Word of Mouth
11:46 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Classic Thanksgiving Dishes, Right In Your Backyard

Credit Shannon Dooling for NHPR

The traditional thanksgiving feast includes turkey, potatoes, cranberries and of course, pie. Some of the foodies from NHPR’s newsroom traveled around the state to find more on the local producers and traditions of holiday fixings. 

Thanks to Shannon Dooling, Emily Corwin, Sam Evans-Brown and Todd Bookman for these stories, which first aired last November.

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Health
9:29 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Will Work For Health Insurance: The 'Job Lock' Conundrum

Richard Polonsky, with his dog Bella, at home in Bedford.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Richard Polonsky is an organizational consultant, and can, if prompted, easily talk like one.

“Being an outsider to an organization, I think people tend to listen to you more than when you are part of the organizational structure,” says Polonsky.

Based in Bedford, he has spent a career advising companies and non-profits on big campaigns. It’s a role Polonsky excels in: working from the outside, thinking strategically, and being blunt with management.

But as an independent contractor, he never received the same health benefits employees could access.

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Health
3:28 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Amid Insurance Website Problems, State Looks To Keep High Risk Pool Alive

The New Hampshire Insurance Department wants to keep open a program that provides health coverage for 2,750 residents with pre-existing conditions. The $45-million high risk pool operated by the New Hampshire Health Plan was set to close at year’s end.

Since health insurance companies can no longer deny people because of pre-existing conditions under the Affordable Care Act, state-run high risk pools around the country are winding down.

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Health
3:07 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Anthem Extends Renewal Date For Customers Who Want To Keep Plans

Anthem Blue Cross says it’s extending the renewal date for customers who buy individual policies. The state’s largest health insurance company informed brokers earlier this week that current policyholders who want to keep their plans will have until the end of the month to renew,  a two week extension from the original deadline of November 15.

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Health
6:39 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Parties Continue To Negotiate On Medicaid Expansion

House and Senate leaders continue to debate an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program to more low-income New Hampshire residents.

A key difference between the two sides is how quickly New Hampshire moves an estimated 35,000 individuals from Medicaid into the exchange to obtain private insurance.  

House leaders and the Governor say the GOP’s plan to shift people in 2015 won’t work. Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, are defending their proposal.

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