Health

Health
4:58 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Planning For The End: When Courts Have To Make Medical Decisions

Dr. Tim Lahey is Chair of Dartmouth Hitchcock's Bioethics Committee.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

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.

Read more
Health
4:44 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Planning For The End: Talking About Death Often Stands In The Way

Roy Quimby rides a Harley to his chemotherapy treatments. "I've always been active. I plan on staying active."
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

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.

Read more
Health
1:18 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

In Plain Language: A Glossary Of Terms For End-Of-Life Planning

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

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:

Read more
Health
5:00 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Planning For The End: New Hampshire's Advance Directive Gets An Update

Governor Hassan signing SB 170, a bill that alters the state's Advance Directive form, into law.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

New Hampshire’s advance directive form got an update Monday. Governor Hassan signed a bill that seeks to streamline and simplify the document.

Read more
Health
4:39 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Group Takes State To Court Over Medicaid Managed Care

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.

Read more
Health
5:30 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Former Hospital Worker Agrees To 30-40 Year Prison Term

David Kwiatkowski, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to 16 total charges.
Credit U.S. Attorney's Office

    

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.”

Read more
Health
3:19 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

State Health Officials Announce Launch Date For Medicaid Managed Care

Medicaid Managed Care is a go.

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.

Read more
Health
3:55 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Suspect In Hepatitis C Outbreak Changes Plea, Agrees To 30-40 Year Prison Term

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. 

Read more
Health
9:42 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Potential Doctor Shortage Could Impact Medicaid Expansion Decision

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.

Read more
Health
6:19 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Commission Weighs Alternative Plans For New Hampshire

The commission tasked with deciding if New Hampshire should expand its Medicaid program heard from a panel of experts Tuesday.

Speakers from the National Conference of State Legislatures and National Governors Association were in Concord to discuss options for Medicaid expansion, and to detail what other states are pursuing.

NHPR Health reporter Todd Bookman sits down with All Things Considered Host Brady Carlson to recap the hearing.

 

Read more
Health
4:27 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Insurance Switch Nets University System $10 Million In Savings

The state’s University System says it saved $10 million last year by switching how it provides health insurance for employees.

Rather than paying an insurance company a fixed amount per employee for health coverage, the University System now uses a self-insured plan, where it pays out of pocket as health bills come in.

Self-insured plans put more risk on the employer, but Todd Leach, Chancellor of the University Stem, says the model made economic sense for his institution.

Read more
Health
5:48 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Smokers Can Expect To Pay Extra Dime Per Pack In N.H.

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.

Read more
Health
3:42 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Insurance Department Makes Case For Medicaid Expansion

Tyler Brannen, Jennifer Patterson and Alex Feldvebel of the N.H. Insurance Department testify before the commission considering Medicaid expansion.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

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.

Read more
Health
11:49 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Negative Impacts Of Malnutrition Could Last For Generations

Elizabeth and Jazelle Raymond inside Child Health Services, a health clinic in Manchester.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

    Infants who suffer from malnutrition are more likely to have poorer physical health when they grow up.

Research also finds more emotional problems, including anxiety and attention deficit disorder.

But even as the negative long-term impacts of infant malnutrition become clearer to scientists, Dr. Janina Galler is working to push the field of study even further.

Read more
Health
4:04 am
Mon July 22, 2013

When An Emergency Room Closes Its Doors

Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

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.

Read more

Pages