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
5:00 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Proposed Bill Seeks To Keep More Medical Decisions Out Of The Courts

New Hampshire could soon have a new system for determining who gets to make medical decisions on behalf of patients who lack the ability to do it themselves.

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers, including Democratic Senator Peggy Gilmour, are pushing a bill that creates what’s called a surrogate decision-maker system.

“I think people assume that, for instance, I could speak for my husband,” says Gilmour. “Or, one of my children could speak for me. But that’s just not the case.”

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Health
5:00 am
Tue December 24, 2013

New Website Wants To Tackle Your Health Law Questions

New Hampshire consumers looking for information about the health law can now turn to a local website.

CoveringNewHampshire.org bills itself as the gateway for the health insurance marketplace. Browsers can learn about the law, use an online calculator to see if they qualify for tax credits, and window-shop the 11 different insurance plans Anthem is offering through the Affordable Care Act.

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Health
6:33 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

State Agrees To $30 Million Settlement In Mental Health Lawsuit

The state of New Hampshire has agreed to settle a major class-action lawsuit over its treatment of residents with serious mental illness.

Under the terms of the agreement announced Thursday, the state will spend an additional $30 million on expanding services for the strained mental health system over the next 4 years. 

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Health
3:39 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Profits, Prices Up In New Hampshire Health Insurance Market

Anthem continues to dominate New Hampshire's insurance market.
Credit N.H. Insurance Department '2012 Medical Cost Drivers Report'

A new report finds health care costs in the state continue to rise, even as New Hampshire residents visit doctors less often.

The Insurance Department’s annual report, based on 2012 rates, finds average premiums were up just about 1% from the year before. But Tyler Brannen, an analyst with the Department, says those premium dollars are actually buying consumers less coverage.

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Health
4:15 am
Wed December 18, 2013

HIV In New Hampshire: A Problem For 'Over There'

Three decades after the start of a global epidemic, roughly 35 million people are living with HIV worldwide, and more than a million in the United States. New Hampshire maintains one of the lowest rates of infection in the country, but stigma and misinformation about the virus persist locally.

As an AIDS outreach worker with Dartmouth Hitchcock in Nashua, Jean Adie works against those forces.  

She acts out a typical interaction:

“Jeez, you know, you’re having unprotected sex. When was the last time you were tested?” she’ll ask.

“Oh, I’ve never been tested.”

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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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