Health

Budget
6:00 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Bill Would Cut Circumcisions From Medicaid Payments

Credit Jon Ovington

A bill proposed in the state legislature would end Medicaid payments for circumcisions.

The bill’s sponsor, state representative Keith Murphy of Bedford, describes the practice as unethical.

"To me there’s something fundamentally wrong about strapping a baby boy to a board and amputating perfectly healthy, normal tissue," says Murphy.

Murphy adds trimming circumcisions from the state budget will save money, although how much will be determined by the legislature next year.

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Health
12:37 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Officials: 2014 Likely A Record Year For Lyme Disease

Lyme disease rash
Credit Via U of Iowa

Public health officials in northern New England say 2014 was another big year for Lyme disease in the region.

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Sheila Pinette says the state is likely to exceed last year's record high of 1,384 cases of the illness. Vermont officials say their state is on track for its second- or third-highest total on record following the 2013 high of 671. New Hampshire officials say the Granite State's numbers are in line with recent years, which included a record-high in 2013.

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ACA
11:34 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Three Hospitals Penalized For Avoidable Infections, Injuries

Credit Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon

Three New Hampshire hospitals will be penalized next year for potentially avoidable mistakes, such as patient infections and injuries.

The federal government claims Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Lebanon and Eliot Hospital and Catholic Medical Center in Manchester should have done more to protect people from a list of "hospital-acquired conditions" in 2013. Those conditions include falls, bed sores, and infections from catheters.

As a result, in the fiscal year starting next October, the feds will penalize those three hospitals one percent of their Medicare payments.

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Health
4:00 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Interested Parties Await State's Next Move Towards Opening Dispensaries

Credit West Coast Cannabis / Flickr/CC

  The Department of Health and Human Services will soon begin asking for license applications from people who want to operate one of four medical marijuana dispensaries. A few proposals have already surfaced and some are partnering with outside companies.

Rex Bunnell hopes to find himself behind the counter of an Alternative Treatment Center, or ATC. That’s what the state calls its medical marijuana dispensaries.

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Health
5:13 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Brain Center Needs Fix Now, But Can State Prevent Future Problems?

Credit Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center, Effingham, NH.

A new state report documents systemic neglect and abuse at a residential facility for people with disabilities in Effingham.

Now the state will determine if the facility can keep its doors open. But the state may simply be ill-equipped to stop these kinds of problems before they happen.

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Health
5:55 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Possible Conflict Of Interest Looms Over Upcoming Report On Effingham Rehab Center

Credit Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center, Effingham.

A report due out Monday could determine the future of a facility for people with disabilities. But some advocates are already concerned about how that report was written.

In September, the Disability Rights Center alleged the death of one resident at Lakeview Neurorehabilition Center in Effingham was indicative of a wide pattern of neglect, abuse and isolation.

"There were pervasive problems with clients not being appropriately monitored, clients being injured," says Karen Rosenberg. "Yet the [Department of Health and Human Services] took no action."

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Health
8:05 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Health Officials: Not Too Late To Get A Flu Vaccine

Credit Lance McCord via Flickr CC

New Hampshire health officials say it's not too late to get the flu vaccine.

Officials said even though the vaccine is not a perfect match for the strain of flu that's making most people sick in the United States this year, it still offers some protection against the flu and its complications.

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Health
7:59 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Monday Marks Deadline For ACA Shoppers Who Want Jan. 1 Insurance Start

Credit Simon Bergmann via Flickr CC

Monday marks a key deadline in the enrollment period for New Hampshire residents shopping for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

The health law's second signup season ends February 15th, but Monday is the last day to enroll for coverage that starts January 1st.

As that date nears, insurance company officials are urging consumers to consider all their options given that the number of companies offering health plans has increased from one to five. The number of plans available to individuals also has jumped, from 11 to 40.

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Affordable Care Act
4:54 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Feds Reward Ten Health Centers For Improving Community Health

Credit Families First Health & Support Center

Ten community health centers in New Hampshire are getting $486,000 in federal money meant to reward them for being leaders in areas such as chronic disease management and preventive care.

The money from the Department of Health and Human Services is part of the Affordable Care Act and is going to centers that have achieved the best overall clinical outcomes or have exceeded national benchmarks.

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All Things Considered
4:21 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

N.H. Doctor Speaks On Ebola From Sierra Leone

Credit CDC

Ebola isn’t in the headlines as much as it was about a month ago, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a problem in West Africa. Over 6,000 people have died there and more than 17,000 have gotten sick with the virus. The Pentagon has sent troops to Africa to help fight the disease, and healthcare workers from around the country have also volunteered.

NHPR spoke with one of those volunteers. Dr. Elizabeth Talbot is New Hampshire’s Deputy Epidemiologist, and she joined us on the line from Sierra Leone, where she’s been for a month.

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Health
8:27 am
Mon December 8, 2014

N.H. Close To Enrollment Target For Expanded Medicaid

Less than six months after sign-ups began, New Hampshire is already close to meeting its first-year enrollment target for the state's newly expanded Medicaid program.

The state's previous Medicaid program covered low-income children, parents with non-disabled children under 18, pregnant women, older residents and people with disabilities. The expansion adds anyone under 65 who earns up to 138 percent of federal poverty guidelines, which is about $15,900 for a single adult.

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Health
9:28 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Survey: Many Older N.H. Residents Lack Dental Insurance, Need Care

Credit Steve Cottrell via Flickr CC

A survey of senior centers in New Hampshire shows that nearly 19 percent of older adults are in need of early or urgent dental care that may be difficult for them to access.

A total of 610 adults age 60 and older were screened last winter and this spring in the survey, which was funded by the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and New Hampshire Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services. The survey said 38 of the participants received restorative treatment using state funds.

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Football
5:58 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Can Football Without Helmets Lead To Fewer Concussions?

Some UNH Wildcats in the "treatment group" run through a tacklig drill without helmets.
Jack Rodolico

On the field, the UNH Wildcats had a nearly perfect season, advancing into the playoffs as the top ranked team in their division. But off the field, a study using this team is trying to figure out how to reduce concussions. The big idea is to protect player’s heads by having them practice - without a helmet.

It’s no big secret that football, from the NFL down to Pee-Wee leagues, has a concussion problem. And there are lots of efforts out there to fix it: new helmets, softer turf, gentler tackling rules, even diagnostics on the field to identify concussions right after a hit.

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Heroin
5:14 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Easier Access To Overdose Drug Could Save Lives

Credit Taber Andrew Bain

A task force appointed by the governor says first responders need quick and easy access to a drug that’s been proven to save lives during a heroin overdose.

There were over 1,200 drug related emergency calls in NH last year. Seventy people died from heroin overdoses.

But the drug task force’s expects higher numbers in 2014, which is why it wants first responders to have easy access to a nasal spray called naloxone. That drug has proven to be effective in saving the lives of people in the throes of an opioid overdose.

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Health
4:53 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Drug, Alcohol Abuse Drag Down N.H. Economy By $1.8 Billion

Credit ep_jhu

Drug and alcohol abuse put a $1.84 billion strain on the New Hampshire economy in 2012, according to a new study. That figure was almost three percent of the state’s GDP in that same year.

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