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
5:06 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Planning For The End: Miraculous Recovery, Little Regret

Sometimes, even thoughtful planning for the end of one's life can't foresee all the possible outcomes.

That was certainly the case for Reverend Canon Randy Dales of Wolfeboro, and his father-in-law. Canon Dales is a vocal advocate for the use of advance directives to maintain dignity in death, with his position formed by four decades of ministry and 30 years of work in a hospice he co-founded.

We continue our series on advance directives in New Hampshire with this audio postcard.

Other Stories In Our Series

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Health
4:58 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Planning For The End: When Courts Have To Make Medical Decisions

Dr. Tim Lahey is Chair of Dartmouth Hitchcock's Bioethics Committee.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

This week, we’ve been looking at end-of-life planning in the Granite State, and some efforts to streamline and increase the use of  advance directives--the legal documents that let people name who can make medical decisions for them and what treatments should be avoided to preserve dignity. We continue our series with this look at what can happen when there is no plan in place, forcing the medical system to turn to the legal system for answers.

Dr. Tim Lahey prefers to spend his days in hospitals and clinics, not courtrooms.

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Health
4:44 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Planning For The End: Talking About Death Often Stands In The Way

Roy Quimby rides a Harley to his chemotherapy treatments. "I've always been active. I plan on staying active."
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

A survey from the National Hospice Foundation finds that Americans are more comfortable talking to their kids about sex than they are talking to their elderly parents about death. End-of-life remains simply a taboo subject in many households. But these important conversations are necessary to create the living wills that can help keep dignity in dying. We continue our 3-part series on advance directives with this look at efforts around the state to get more people talking, and planning, for their end-of-life.

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Health
1:18 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

In Plain Language: A Glossary Of Terms For End-Of-Life Planning

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

The terms used in advance directive forms can be tough to understand and have the possibility for misinterpretation, given that their specific legal definitions can sometimes clash with common usage. Understanding the terms on the forms is vital to creating an advance directive that is properly representative of one's wishes.

As part of his series looking at the issues and changes around advance directives in New Hampshire, NHPR's health reporter Todd Bookman explains the following terms as they relate to end-of-life planning:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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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