Health

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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. 

This show will air live at 9 a.m. on Monday, April 23rd, and again at 7 p.m.

GUESTS:

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. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is projecting at least 466 people will die from drug overdoses by year’s end — not quite as many as last year’s record of 486, but close.

New Hampshire’s Office of the Attorney General filed its first lawsuit against one of the companies it’s been investigating over their role in the state’s opioid crisis.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu said he was “incredibly disappointed” after Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act came to a halt late Thursday night in Washington.

The GOP's latest proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act hews closely to the earlier bill that didn't win enough support among lawmakers to bring to a vote.

Perhaps the biggest change in the document released Thursday is that it leaves in place the Affordable Care Act taxes on wealthy individuals. It uses that money to reduce the number of people left without insurance coverage by the law's changes. This latest version adds $70 billion to a fund for states — bringing the total to $132 billion — to help support coverage of low-income people.

Work requirements under the federal health insurance program Medicaid are based on a simple premise: If you want to receive government assistance for your healthcare and you’re able to work, you should work.

Crotched Mountain Foundation

Crotched Mountain Foundation's board voted Monday to close its longtime specialty hospital in Greenfield, likely by the end of August.

Political Speechwriting, Wishbones, & Every Body Yoga

May 19, 2017
Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/RUiA2j

On today's show:

Chris Berry via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/7KpvPX

On today's show: 

Thomas Fearon

Every day, an email goes out to leaders in New Hampshire’s mental health system. It gives an updated count on the number of people in immediate need of inpatient psychiatric care, but are being denied that care because of a shortage of beds in New Hampshire hospitals.

On February 20th of this year, that email contained a staggering number: 68 adults and children were being housed in hospital emergency rooms and hallways because of a lack of available beds. It was a new high.

After weeks of will-they-or-won't-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Thursday by a razor-thin margin. The vote was 217-213.

Democrats who lost the battle are still convinced they may win the political war. As the Republicans reached a majority for the bill, Democrats on the House floor began chanting, "Na, na, na, na ... hey, hey, hey ... goodbye." They say Republicans could lose their seats for supporting a bill that could cause so much disruption in voters' health care.

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