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.

Contact

Pages

Health
5:00 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Planning For The End: New Hampshire's Advance Directive Gets An Update

Governor Hassan signing SB 170, a bill that alters the state's Advance Directive form, into law.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

New Hampshire’s advance directive form got an update Monday. Governor Hassan signed a bill that seeks to streamline and simplify the document.

Read more
Health
4:39 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Group Takes State To Court Over Medicaid Managed Care

A group of developmentally disabled residents is taking the state to court over a proposed plan to transition coordination of their treatment to private companies.

The complaint was filed just a day after the Department of Health and Human Services announced the state will officially launch Medicaid Managed Care on December 1st. Under the managed care model, three companies will effectively take over administration and coordination of medical services for Medicaid recipients.

Read more
NH News
5:26 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Two N.H. Organizations Selected As Navigators Under Health Law

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and Bi-State Primary Care Association, a non-profit network of health centers, will receive federal grant money to help consumers sign up for coverage under the new health law.

Federal officials announced Thursday a total of $67 million in grants to more than 105 groups around the country.

Bi-State Primary Care Association will receive $430,000, while Planned Parenthood will get $145,000.

Read more
Health
5:30 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Former Hospital Worker Agrees To 30-40 Year Prison Term

David Kwiatkowski, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to 16 total charges.
Credit U.S. Attorney's Office

    

David Kwiatkowski entered the federal courtroom in shackles, wearing a Strafford County Department of Corrections jumpsuit. The 34-year defendant looked heavier than last July, when he was arrested on 14 federal charges, including tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

When asked by the judge why he changed his plea, the clean shaven Kwiatkowski said, “Because I’m guilty.”

Read more
Health
3:55 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Suspect In Hepatitis C Outbreak Changes Plea, Agrees To 30-40 Year Prison Term

A former hospital employee charged with spreading Hepatitis C in New Hampshire and seven other states is pleading guilty to federal charges.  

34-year old David Kwiatkowski was arrested last July for stealing syringes filled with fentanyl, a powerful pain medication. Officials say he would inject himself and then reuse the needles on patients inside Exeter Hospital, infecting at least 32 people with Hepatitis C.

Facing 14 federal charges including tampering with a consumer product and illegally obtaining controlled substances, Kwiatkowski is changing his plea to guilty. 

Read more
Health
9:42 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Potential Doctor Shortage Could Impact Medicaid Expansion Decision

If you’ve got health insurance, you know it can be hard to get a routine doctor’s appointment.

Representative Neal Kurk (R-Weare), who sits on the commission studying a possible Medicaid expansion, worries it could get harder.

“As a public official, will I start getting calls from my constituents saying, I had to wait another seven weeks for my doctor’s appointment? My operation took much longer on the left hip that it did on the right hip,” says Kurk.

Read more
Word of Mouth
10:43 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Apollo 13 Comes Safely To New Hampshire

Todd Bookman

“Houston, we have a problem!”

Tom Hanks’ famous line as astronaut and Apollo 13 Flight Commander Jim Lovell has become an emblem of a dramatic slice of American history.  Now, a youth theater in Wilton is bringing Apollo’s big drama to a much smaller stage.

Actors age 8 to 18 will be taking on deep-space, mission-control and an iffy re-entry in Apollo 13, an original musical opening tomorrow night at Andy’s Summer Playhouse. NHPR’s Todd Bookman sat in on rehearsals, and produced this audio postcard.

Read more
Health
6:19 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Commission Weighs Alternative Plans For New Hampshire

The commission tasked with deciding if New Hampshire should expand its Medicaid program heard from a panel of experts Tuesday.

Speakers from the National Conference of State Legislatures and National Governors Association were in Concord to discuss options for Medicaid expansion, and to detail what other states are pursuing.

NHPR Health reporter Todd Bookman sits down with All Things Considered Host Brady Carlson to recap the hearing.

 

Read more
Health
4:27 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Insurance Switch Nets University System $10 Million In Savings

The state’s University System says it saved $10 million last year by switching how it provides health insurance for employees.

Rather than paying an insurance company a fixed amount per employee for health coverage, the University System now uses a self-insured plan, where it pays out of pocket as health bills come in.

Self-insured plans put more risk on the employer, but Todd Leach, Chancellor of the University Stem, says the model made economic sense for his institution.

Read more
Health
5:48 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Smokers Can Expect To Pay Extra Dime Per Pack In N.H.

After a $0.10 cut two years ago, smokers in New Hampshire will again pay an extra dime in tobacco taxes starting today. 

Republicans in the statehouse lowered the tobacco tax in 2011, saying the cut would spur cross-border sales and boost state revenues. But tax receipts have come in $56 million lower in the past two years than the prior biennium.

Lawmakers included an automatic trigger to reset the tax if revenues fell, so today, the tax goes back up to $1.78 per pack.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages