Health

Savannah Maher/NHPR

Representatives from six state-supported addiction treatment centers gathered at the Statehouse today to rally against decreased Medicaid reimbursement rates. The change, brought on by a switch in the way Medicaid recipients are insured, will take effect next year.

Providers say it will force them to cut services and eliminate inpatient beds instead of expanding to address New Hampshire's opioid epidemic. 

NHPR File Photo

 

The director of operations at New Hampshire's youth detention center has resigned to take an out-of-state job.

Brady Serafin led the Sununu Youth Services Center for 2 ½ years. Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers said Thursday that Serafin served the department with distinction. Serafin also was chief of the Bureau of Family, Community, and Program Supports in the Division for Children, Youth and Families.

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

Supporters of a man being held in the secure psychiatric unit at New Hampshire State Prison, despite never being convicted of a crime, marched in Concord today. As NHPR’s Josh Rogers reports, the protest comes as a federal judge considers Andrew Butler’s request to be transferred to an accredited mental health facility.

Courtesy U.S Department of Agriculture

The town of Londonderry is suing pharmaceutical makers for their alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis, joining hundreds of other municipalities across the country.

NHPR File Photo

 

Last week, the Disability Rights Center of New Hampshire released a report that accused staff at the Sununu Youth Services Center of using unlawful restraint against residents multiple times over the past few years.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

A bill to continue New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program for another five years is on its way to the desk of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

The current program uses Medicaid funds to purchase private health plans for about 50,000 low-income residents, but it will expire this year if lawmakers don't reauthorize it.

Portsmouth Regional Hospital has opened a new drop-off site for moms who are interested in donating breast milk. The hospital partnered with Mother's Milk Bank Northeast for the project.

This is state's fourth milk depot.

Nora Fortin, director of maternity, pediatric and women's health, says there are a lot of women in the state who have extra milk to give.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Starting in 2019, people getting health insurance through New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion program will have to comply with a new work and “community engagement” requirement in order to continue receiving coverage. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees Medicaid programs across the country, formally approved New Hampshire’s request to add the requirements on Monday.

NHPR File Photo

In a swift vote with no floor debate, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a plan to continue the state's Medicaid expansion for at least another two and a half years — and potentially as long as five.

The relatively smooth path for the Medicaid expansion bill this time around marks a stark contrast from past years, when the issue drew much more prolonged and partisan debate. The inclusion of a work requirement and a new funding scheme to avoid using state tax dollars helped to win over more Republicans this time around.

Flickr/ Anne and Tim (Creative Commons)

Supporters of a paid family and medical leave bill are trying to salvage their plan after a key Senate committee decided it wasn’t ready for passage.

NHPR File Photo

 

A New Hampshire state agency that helps people with disabilities find and keep jobs for years spent millions more than it took in, prompting an office restructuring and plan to prioritize services for those with the most significant impairments.

When Alzheimer's Strikes Young

Apr 20, 2018

A recent Concord Monitor series, "Stolen Memories," profiles several Granite Staters who were diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer's, some in their early fifties.  We'll hear their stories and learn about their particular struggles with work, family, and the medical system. 

Jessica Hunt / NHPR

Jeffrey Meyers, Commissioner of the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, says his agency is beefing up oversight of substance use disorder treatment centers that have been struggling to stay afloat or that have closed altogether after financial struggles – a situation the state can ill afford in the midst of the opioid crisis.  

Speaking on The Exchange, Meyers said the state is auditing these organizations regularly.

THORPORRE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is warning Granite Staters about a recall of food products containing powdered kratom made or processed by Triangle Pharmanaturals.

The public health alert comes after the Food and Drug Administration issued a recall on those products after finding several to be contaminated with salmonella.

The products include Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Emerald Green, Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Ivory White, and Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Ruby Red.

 A website developed by the New Hampshire Insurance Department has new features aimed at helping consumers make educated choices about health care.

The department's health price transparency website, NHHealthCost.org, allows residents to compare the price of various health care services across doctors, hospitals and outpatient facilities.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

New Hampshire hospitals are stepping up to make sure the state’s alcohol fund is financially sound for the next five years.

LRGHealthcare on Facebook

Lakes Region General Healthcare has been accused of violating consumer protection laws by hiring a Chief Nursing Officer who didn’t have a New Hampshire nursing license.

After nearly two full hours of floor debate, the New Hampshire Senate green-lit a plan to keep New Hampshire's Medicaid expansion going for another five years.

elliothospital.org

The state Attorney General's office will allow a proposed affiliation between two New Hampshire hospital systems to move forward.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

The Merrimack County Department of Corrections opened the Edna McKenna Community Corrections Center Monday. It's an almost $7 million renovation and expansion project, re-purposing a 1983-built jail that was left vacant for a decade.

 

Officials hope the 68-bed site will decrease recidivism rates in the county by offering classes on things like life skills, parenting, and workforce readiness.

 

But the McKenna facility will also offer drug treatment programs.

 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

When you think about New Hampshire’s opioid crisis, Manchester and Nashua tend to come to mind. That’s because they’ve been getting most of the attention…and resources.

But as NHPR’s Paige Sutherland reports, smaller towns in the Northern part of the state are battling this crisis too…and struggling to do so.

KOMUNews | Flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/aDWgGW

This story has been updated with a statement provided by Envision Healthcare.

When Seabrook resident Donna Beckman got a surprise medical bill after a trip to her local emergency room last summer, she eventually learned it was because the doctor who treated her wasn’t part of her insurance network.

But Beckman’s story doesn’t just serve as a cautionary tale about how patients can be unexpectedly “balance billed” for out-of-network services at in-network medical facilities. It also illustrates how little the average patient knows about who’s involved in their medical care.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A lot of people assume that if a hospital is in their insurance network, the doctors who treat them there will be, too. But that’s not always the case — and it can leave patients on the hook for thousands of dollars in unexpected charges. 

NHPR’s Casey McDermott took a look at how this is playing out in New Hampshire, and what lawmakers are trying to do to address it.

File photo

Flu season in New Hampshire is not as bad as in other parts of the country, but doctors are starting to see an uptick in cases. 

Dr. Pamela Hofley, medical director at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester-Bedford, says New Hampshire is just starting to head into peak flu season, which lasts through April.

“The New Hampshire flu activity level is certainly widespread in the state but still we’re considered low-level activity throughout the country, although we’re just starting to see an uptick,” she says.

N.H. Flu Season Update

Jan 24, 2018

It is a bad flu season this year, we look at why, the history of the flu and its vaccine, and where you should get vaccinated.  

LRGHealthcare on Facebook

Citing financial challenges, LRGHealthcare says it’s reviewing whether it will need to cut or change some of its programs – including its maternity unit.

New Hampshire could become one of just a few states that allows birth control pills to be prescribed by pharmacists.

A commission appointed by the state legislature voted unanimously last week to endorse the idea.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

About 10 patients of a New London doctor traveled to Concord Friday to observe her first appearance in court. Dr. Anna Konopka, who is 84, is challenging the New Hampshire Board of Medicine, saying she was forced to surrender her license and close her practice last month. The board argues instead that Konopka, aware of the allegations against her, chose to settle and surrender her license voluntarily.

One of the biggest selling points New Hampshire uses to promote ATV riding is that it’s something the whole family can enjoy. But as the sport grows in popularity, health and safety officials are growing concerned – saying the state’s laws are ignoring the serious danger these machines pose to kids.

The organ donation system is complex, and often misunderstood -  with a waiting list that is long, and constantly shifting. But living donations, high-risk donors, and new scientific developments in tissue growth are making new strides in addressing the need.

This show originally aired on April 17, 2017. 

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