This week, we’ve been looking at end-of-life planning in the Granite State, and some efforts to streamline and increase the use of advance directives--the legal documents that let people name who can make medical decisions for them and what treatments should be avoided to preserve dignity. We continue our series with this look at what can happen when there is no plan in place, forcing the medical system to turn to the legal system for answers.
Dr. Tim Lahey prefers to spend his days in hospitals and clinics, not courtrooms.
A survey from the National Hospice Foundation finds that Americans are more comfortable talking to their kids about sex than they are talking to their elderly parents about death. End-of-life remains simply a taboo subject in many households. But these important conversations are necessary to create the living wills that can help keep dignity in dying. We continue our 3-part series on advance directives with this look at efforts around the state to get more people talking, and planning, for their end-of-life.
The terms used in advance directive forms can be tough to understand and have the possibility for misinterpretation, given that their specific legal definitions can sometimes clash with common usage. Understanding the terms on the forms is vital to creating an advance directive that is properly representative of one's wishes.
As part of his series looking at the issues and changes around advance directives in New Hampshire, NHPR's health reporter Todd Bookman explains the following terms as they relate to end-of-life planning:
A group of developmentally disabled residents is taking the state to court over a proposed plan to transition coordination of their treatment to private companies.
The complaint was filed just a day after the Department of Health and Human Services announced the state will officially launch Medicaid Managed Care on December 1st. Under the managed care model, three companies will effectively take over administration and coordination of medical services for Medicaid recipients.
David Kwiatkowski entered the federal courtroom in shackles, wearing a Strafford County Department of Corrections jumpsuit. The 34-year defendant looked heavier than last July, when he was arrested on 14 federal charges, including tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
When asked by the judge why he changed his plea, the clean shaven Kwiatkowski said, “Because I’m guilty.”
That’s the message from the Department of Health and Human Services, after the three managed care organizations were able to show their provider networks can meet the needs of the state’s Medicaid patients.
Commissioner Nick Toumpas says managed care will go live Dec. 1.
That will be the first day of coverage of the state’s 130,000 Medicaid patients, who will now have to choose between the three managed care vendors.
The state approved a $2.2 billion contract for managed care last summer, the largest contract in state history.
A former hospital employee charged with spreading Hepatitis C in New Hampshire and seven other states is pleading guilty to federal charges.
34-year old David Kwiatkowski was arrested last July for stealing syringes filled with fentanyl, a powerful pain medication. Officials say he would inject himself and then reuse the needles on patients inside Exeter Hospital, infecting at least 32 people with Hepatitis C.
Facing 14 federal charges including tampering with a consumer product and illegally obtaining controlled substances, Kwiatkowski is changing his plea to guilty.
If you’ve got health insurance, you know it can be hard to get a routine doctor’s appointment.
Representative Neal Kurk (R-Weare), who sits on the commission studying a possible Medicaid expansion, worries it could get harder.
“As a public official, will I start getting calls from my constituents saying, I had to wait another seven weeks for my doctor’s appointment? My operation took much longer on the left hip that it did on the right hip,” says Kurk.
After a $0.10 cut two years ago, smokers in New Hampshire will again pay an extra dime in tobacco taxes starting today.
Republicans in the statehouse lowered the tobacco tax in 2011, saying the cut would spur cross-border sales and boost state revenues. But tax receipts have come in $56 million lower in the past two years than the prior biennium.
Lawmakers included an automatic trigger to reset the tax if revenues fell, so today, the tax goes back up to $1.78 per pack.
The New Hampshire Insurance Department took an overwhelmingly positive view on expansion during its presentation to the Medicaid Expansion Study Commission, the body that will decide if the state grows the health care program for the poor under so-called Obamacare.
Department officials told the nine-member body that expansion would benefit a wide range of groups, including insurance companies, hospitals and employers with low-paid workers.
Tyler Brannen, a health policy analyst with the Department, testified that people who buy their own insurance also stand to gain.
Back in December 2008, with the town of Lyndeborough still frozen from an ice storm, Sue Carita and her husband went to check on a neighbor. Good deed done, they would both slip and fall on the return trip.
“We went home and called our doctors and of course, it was 4:30pm, 5:00pm on a Saturday afternoon, and there was no one there,” she recalls.
In pain, the Caritas sought care at the nearby Milford Medical Center, where x-rays showed she had a broken wrist, her husband a cracked hip.