Health

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A report from the U.S. Surgeon General is prompting health officials in New Hampshire to warn the public of the dangers of youth using e-cigarettes, also known as vaping. The U.S. Surgeon General describes e-cigarette use as a major public health concern for youth and young adults. Over five years, e-cig use jumped 900 percent among high school students nationally, surpassing cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco. The Department of Health and Human Services says one-in-four New Hampshire...

PEXELS

The federal government says more than 10,000 Granite Staters signed up for insurance on Healthcare.gov in the first four weeks of open enrollment. A total of 10,554 New Hampshire residents signed up for health insurance during open enrollment between November 1 and November 26, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Over that same period, more than 2.1 million across 39 states have bought coverage on the federal website. A quarter of those are new enrollees, while the...

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The Senate is scheduled to take up a bill next week that would send $1 billion to states battling the opioid addiction crisis. The federal dollars would be divvied up among states based on per-capita drug overdoses. By that measure, New Hampshire ranks third nationally. The funding would help strengthen the state's growing but still inadequate network of services, including prevention, early detox, long-term housing and mental health treatment, says Tym Rourke, Chair of the Governor's...

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

According to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services , last year New Hampshire hospitals had 64 so-called adverse events - preventable accidents that harm patients. The report tracks everything from pressure ulcers and falls to leaving a foreign object inside a patient's body during surgery. Under state law hospitals self-report the data, with the goal of pushing them to analyze why these mistakes happen - and prevent them in the future. Wentworth-Douglass Hospital had six...

The New Hampshire Attorney General has given a positive review to one aspect of the proposed acquisition of Wentworth Douglass Hospital in Dover by the Massachusetts General Hospital. Because of Wentworth Douglass’ charitable work in the Dover area, the proposed acquisition was subject to a review by the state Attorney General’s office. The favorable determination from the AG’s office is contingent upon Massachusetts General Hospital continuing current levels of community benefit spending in...

New Hampshire is joining 40 other states in a lawsuit against the maker of Suboxone, a drug widely promoted to help opioid addicts.

The federal government has said no to New Hampshire's attempt to make Medicaid recipients prove they're working, or a so-called work requirement. When the state legislature re-authorized expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in 2015, there was a catch: Republicans pushed for a rule that would require Medicaid recipients to prove they were employed or looking for work, a measure that needed federal approval. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services has now rejected that...

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

The state's top health official wants to know if layoffs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock will affect care at the state psychiatric hospital. In a letter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock CEO Dr. James Weinstein , Health Commissioner Jeff Meyers asks if psychiatric staff will be among the 84 layoffs from across the healthcare system. The letter comes as Dartmouth-Hitchcock's relationship with the state is under a lot of scrutiny. In September, Dartmouth-Hitchcock won a $36.5 million state contract to oversee care...

N.H.'s Efforts to Improve Mental Health System Stymied by Low Pay, High Stress, and Licensing Logjams.
Five positions filled, about 15 more to go, before Manchester gets its mobile mental health unit up and running. Meanwhile, the July deadline for doing so has come and gone. Jessica Lachance , the unit’s director, admits it’s been a struggle to attract applicants. And Manchester is far from alone in this dilemma. Ken Norton of the National Alliance for Mental Illness in N.H. says there...

Jason Moon for NHPR

The Governor’s task force on the Seacoast cancer cluster investigation continues to look for what might have caused a string of rare cancer cases in children on the Seacoast. Yesterday’s meeting at the Portsmouth City Hall focused largely on the Schiller Station power plant, which has been suggested as a potential environmental cause for the cancer cluster. But while officials from the Department of Environmental Services offered a detailed look at what the power plant emits into the...

Government of Alberta via Flickr/CC

Public Health officials say the flu has arrived in New Hampshire and will be here through April or May. Every year, scientists create a new flu vaccine to try to outwit the highly mutable influenza virus. That process begins in February, when the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control convene. “They decide by looking at worldwide surveillance date and deciding what types of strains are circulating around the world, so companies that produce vaccine can have it ready by end...

Thomas Fearon

The chief medical officer at New Hampshire Hospital is planning to step down at the beginning of 2017, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers announced Monday afternoon.

Jack Rodolico

Just as the school year began, the Manchester School District announced there was lead in the drinking water at some of its schools. That contamination is now cleaned up. But in the aftermath of Flint, Michigan’s massive drinking water crisis, this small scare in Manchester highlights a concern among New Hampshire’s public health officials: there is no comprehensive lead testing done on drinking water in schools across the state.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is responding to a firestorm of criticism over its announcement to lay off between 270 and 460 employees by the end of this year. The hospital broke the news just two days after accepting a $35.5 million contract from the state. Some say Dartmouth-Hitchcock should have disclosed the layoffs before accepting the contract.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Dartmouth-Hitchcock plans to lay off hundreds of employees after a poor financial performance last fiscal year. In an email sent to Dartmouth-Hitchcock employees, CEO James Weinstein said the company needs to shave $100 million dollars in annual expenses to achieve financial stability. The company finished last fiscal year with a $12 million dollar deficit. Dartmouth-Hitchcock spokesperson Rick Adams said, " because personnel costs are such a significant part of any budget, we’re looking at a...

THOMAS FEARON

The Executive Council voted unanimously today to allow Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital to mange care at the state psychiatric hospital for the next three years.

THOMAS FEARON

The Executive Council is slated to vote Wednesday on a contract between the state hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital. The vote comes as an independent investigation gets underway about a former patient's suicide.

Community Health Options

One of the state's newest health insurance companies, Community Health Options, is pulling out of New Hampshire. Community Health Options is the exact type of business that was supposed to make the individual insurance market more competitive under the Affordable Care Act. In 2014, the first year it was in operation, Community Health Options dominated the individual market in Maine. In 2015, it expanded into New Hampshire with a federal loan. And that's when things got complicated. Claims...

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan is asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to accelerate its consideration of competing products to the EpiPen after a big increase in cost for the allergy treatment. Hassan sent a letter to the FDA on Monday asking it to accelerate its review and work to ensure that safe and affordable generic versions of the treatment are able to come to market "as quickly as possible." Mylan, which makes EpiPen, said it will start selling a cheaper version after...

Jack Rodolico

The Environmental Protection Agency is accusing one of New Hampshire’s most prominent real estate developers of breaking two federal lead paint laws. It’s the latest in a string of public health complaints against Brady Sullivan Properties. The EPA wants Brady Sullivan Properties to pay close to $140,000 in fines.

Jack Rodolico

It’s no secret drugs like OxyContin and hydromorphone are highly addictive. The real question is this: do drug companies downplay how addictive they are while marketing the medicine to doctors? New Hampshire’s Attorney General Joe Foster suspects false marketing of legal pills has led to abuse of illicit drugs like heroin. That’s why he subpoenaed the nation’s largest manufacturers of prescription painkillers. "If they are continuing to mislead the public, we’re going to continue to...

The latest numbers from the New Hampshire Office of the Chief Medical Examiner show that at least 161 people have fatally overdosed so far in 2016. Officials are anticipating that those numbers will continue to rise in the months ahead, and the state is projecting at least 494 overdose deaths by the end of the year.

Thomas Fearon

Despite some controversy over a contract, today Dartmouth-Hitchcock officially takes over operations at New Hampshire Hospital, the state’s only psychiatric hospital. Dartmouth has come under heavy criticism from some of the outgoing psychiatric staff at New Hampshire Hospital; they say Dartmouth wasn’t willing to have a fair conversation with them about salary and compensation, and they’re skeptical Dartmouth is ready to care for the patients currently at the state hospital. Health...

The New Hampshire Insurance Department is looking for 12 to 15 people to advise the commissioner on access to substance abuse treatment and other behavioral health services through private insurance.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Officials from the state Departments of Health and Human Services and Environmental Services, along with lawmakers and area residents met in Portsmouth today for the first meeting of a new task force on the investigation of a cancer cluster on the Seacoast.

Jason Moon for NHPR

State health officials held a meeting in Portsmouth Thursday night to discuss the results of over 1500 blood tests from people exposed to contaminated water at the former Pease Air Force base.

THOMAS FEARON

The Executive Council has voted 5-0 to allow Dartmouth-Hitchcock to take over managing the state psychiatric hospital in Concord, June 30. But a core group of psychiatrist staff refuse to work with Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Thomas Fearon

An ongoing staffing skirmish at New Hampshire Hospital threatens to create a backlog in the state’s already fragile mental health system. The conflict pits one of New Hampshire' s most esteemed medical institutions – Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital – against one of the most specialized psychiatric teams.

Residents with private wells near the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics plant in Merrimack filed two class action cases Wednesday against the company. Saint-Gobain is the likely source of water contamination in the area, according to state officials.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon

Dartmouth-Hitchcock health care system has been discussing a potential affiliation deal with Elliot Health System, a smaller provider serving southern New Hampshire. The Valley News reports D-H executive vice president Stephen LeBlanc confirmed that the discussions were underway, but he declined to say what form the affiliation might take.

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