Health

Health
8:28 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Second ACA Enrollment Begins Nov.15

New Hampshire residents get their second chance to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act starting Nov. 15. 

The second enrollment season for healthcare.gov runs through Feb. 15. More than 40,000 New Hampshire residents selected health plans during the first enrollment period, which ended March 31. 

Health
5:00 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Lack Of Transparency Leaves Some Medicare Patients In Dark At Half Of N.H.’s Hospitals

Richard Greene sits on the sun porch of his Meredith, NH home, with paperwork from Medicare and Littleton Hospital spread across the table.
Credit Jack Rodolico

Once you hit 65, there’s a line of thinking that goes like this: Medicare is there to protect your health, and your wallet.

That’s mostly true. But about 10 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in New Hampshire – about 26,000 people – are susceptible to hospital charges that would be illegal on the private insurance market.

And most of those people are probably unaware if and when they pay those charges.

Richard Greene is one of those people. It all started with a pain in his shoulder.

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Health
8:15 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Health Center Receives Grant For Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs

The Lamprey Health Care center in Newmarket is getting a $242,000 grant through the Affordable Care Act to create or expand its mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.

The grant is part of $51 million in grants announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The money is going to 210 health centers to expand services to 440,000 people around the country.

At Lamprey, the grant means the number of people in New Hampshire with access to mental health or substance abuse treatment will increase by just over 200.

Health
5:36 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Second Delay For State's Medicaid Managed Care Program

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas
Credit NHPR

The Department of Health and Human Services is delaying part of New Hampshire’s Medicaid Managed Care program.

Transferring New Hampshire’s Medicaid program to so called managed care is a huge, sprawling puzzle. The idea is for private insurance companies to take over the state program that provides health insurance for low income residents. And the trickiest part will be transferring the care of the sickest residents – people with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries.

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Health
4:27 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Data Reveals Impact Of The ACA On N.H.'s Uninsured

Credit NHPR Staff

A new data set gives a bird’s eye view of New Hampshire’s uninsured residents – and how they stand to gain health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The data itself is not shocking. State health officials and insurers alike know New Hampshire’s most rural communities have the highest rates of uninsured. But this is the first time that information has been aggregated into a map that viewers can navigate on a county-by-county basis.

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Health
4:46 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Two Families Allege Abuse At Crotched Mountain School

Credit Vanderbuilt.edu

When her son came home from school one day last March, Jessica Giberson was disturbed. She noticed her son’s genitals were bruised and swollen. Giberson’s son is developmentally delayed.  

"He is nine years old. He’s more like a three year old in a nine year old’s body," says Giberson.

Giberson says she complained to the Crotched Mountain Foundation School, but that nothing ever came of it. Then in June, she got a call from the school.

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Health
10:42 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Willing To Take Potential Ebola Patients

Credit Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

State health officials say in the highly unlikely event any Ebola patients are identified in New Hampshire, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon has agreed to accept them.

The Department of Health and Human Services says each of the state’s 26 hospitals are prepared to identify and isolate a potential Ebola patient, but that long-term care would be better managed at the Lebanon hospital, or a designated national center.

Outside of three cases in Dallas, Texas, no one in the U.S. has been diagnosed with Ebola.

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Health
5:00 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Dramatic Drop In Childhood Obesity, Tooth Decay Rates

Credit Nicole McCracken

State health officials say a survey shows there’s progress being made in the battle against childhood obesity in New Hampshire.

A statewide survey that tracked the actual weights of third-graders finds obesity rates have dropped by a whopping 30 percent since 2008.

Director of Public Health José Montero says when he saw the numbers, he recalculated them all himself to make sure there wasn’t a mistake.

He says they’re correct, and mark a tremendous step forward in childhood health.

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Health
4:14 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Px Drug Monitoring Program Aims To Curb Addiction, Abuse

Oxycodone is one of the most abused prescription drugs in N.H.
Credit Patrick Ireland

Prescription drug abuse causes more deaths in New Hampshire each year than car accidents, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services.

New Hampshire’s prescription drug monitoring program launched Thursday.

David Strang, an emergency room doctor and chairman of the advisory board to the New Hampshire Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, says the program will make it harder for addicts and drug dealers to do what’s called “doctor shopping.”

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Health
3:31 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

First Of Five Health Insurers Outline 2015 Exchange Plans

Maine Community Health Options CEO Kevin Lewis announces the insurance plans his company will offer on the healthcare exchange in 2015 (October 16, 2014).
Credit Maine Community Health Options

One of the new insurers set to begin offering plans on New Hampshire’s health care exchange next year announced its rates Thursday.

Maine Community Health Options is one of five insurance companies offering plans in 2015.

The non-profit, member-run co-op, was the first to announce its rates, saying it will offer ten different plans and will include all of the state’s 26 hospitals in its provider network.

Dr. John Yindra, the company’s Chief Medical Officer, says people with chronic conditions will be able to choose from a range of plans, and costs should be low.

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Health
11:25 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Some Who Benefit Remain Unsold On Obamacare

Yusuf (R) and Imane Valera sit with a social worker at Manchester Community Health Center to fill out an application for the state's expanded Medicaid program.
Credit Jack Rodolico

Yusuf Valera resents that he has to buy health insurance. He’s never had it, and he says he doesn’t want it now.

"I don’t have much of a choice. If I don’t do it, then they’re going to take money out of my taxes anyway," Valera says.

The irony is Valera stands to gain - in a big way - from the Affordable Care Act. Yet like most New Hampshire residents, he simply doesn't like the law.

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Health
3:23 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

EEE Claims Second Life In N.H.

Credit Mr.Ripp

State health officials say a New Hampshire resident has died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE.

The Manchester resident was likely exposed to EEE in August, then passed away in September. This is the second EEE-related death and the third human case of EEE this year.

The virus spreads from birds to humans through mosquito bites. Symptoms come on like the flu, then in some people lead to encephalitis, or severe brain swelling.

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Health
5:12 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

N.H. Expanded Medicaid Tops 20,000 Enrollees

Credit Alex Proimos via Flickr CC

Gov. Maggie Hassan says more than 20,000 people have signed up for health coverage under New Hampshire's newly expanded Medicaid program.

New Hampshire'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 & Technology
10:49 am
Fri October 10, 2014

At Dartmouth, Sidelines Robot Could Be Key To Quickly Diagnosing Football Concussions

Image of VGo telepresence robot courtesy VGo Communications in Nashua.
Credit VGo/NHPR Staff

Football faces increasing criticism as mounting evidence shows the dangers of concussions, in particular undiagnosed concussions.

A new telehealth initiative at Dartmouth College aims to eliminate those undiagnosed concussions by bringing neurosurgeons to the sidelines--via robot.

On the sidelines of the Dartmouth/Penn football game, neurosurgeon Robert Singer watches carefully.

"A lot of these hits are shoulder hits. What we’re looking for are direct head to head kind of contact, that type of thing."

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Health
4:06 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Low Risk, High Prep For Ebola In Granite State

Monrovia, Liberia
Credit Associated Press

Hospitals across the state say they’re ready for the unlikely possibility that a patient with Ebola could walk through their doors.

There are a lot of reasons it is unlikely Ebola could come to the Granite State. There are no direct flights from West Africa to any New England airport. Also, Ebola only spreads from direct contact with an infected person.

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