With a February 15th deadline looming, a group of lawmakers met today to discuss the direction of the state’s health insurance exchange. But the committee meeting produced more questions than answers.
The state needs to decide, and soon, if it will partner with the Federal government to run a new insurance exchange. For his part, Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny told a legislative oversight committee that he supports the partnership option.
A study finds excessive alcohol consumption is costing the state just over $1.1 billion annually due to factors such as lost worker productivity and medical costs.
The statewide nonprofit advocacy group New Futures put together the study, which also contains several policy recommendations.
Chief among them is incorporating alcohol treatment into Medicaid expansion. But Tricia Lucas with New Futures says that is dependent on lawmakers moving forward with expansion, something they will consider this session.
Advocates for the state’s mental health centers say the state hasn’t lived up to its own plan to improve services in the state. And this week, they’re calling for more than $37 million in increased funding to support a stretched system.
The state’s 10-year plan, called ‘A Strategy For Restoration,’ came out in 2008. It called for major investments in the state’s mental health system, and was hailed as a great step forward. But 5 years into the initiative, advocates say the state has actually slid backwards.
Supporters of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) like to point out that since its passage in 1994, incidents of domestic violence are down by more than 50% nationwide.
But they also say this isn’t about stats, this is about people like Carrie Ann, who requested that her last name not be used.
"The abuse that I encountered was physical, mental, and sexual," she says. "It was constant, day-in-day out. By the end, I was virtually a prisoner. I wasn’t allowed to control my own finances. I couldn’t leave without fear that something truly horrific was going to happen."
For the first time in recent years, obesity rates have gone down in New Hampshire children. The Centers for Disease Control’s first national study on childhood obesity finds that 14.2 percent of preschool-age children in the state are obese, down from 15.6 percent in 2003.
José Montero, Director of Public Health Services at the New Hampshire Department Of Health and Human Services, sees the decline as modest, but encouraging.
Lawmakers will decide this spring whether to expand the state’s Medicaid program to include childless adults making less than roughly $15,000. To make sure they have all the information they need, the Department of Health and Human Services commissioned a study to look at the effects.
We poured over the 61-page report, and boiled it down to these 5 takeaways.
A last minute deal to avert the fiscal cliff contained bad news for the future of health co-ops.
The Affordable Care Act set aside $6 billion to be used as loans for new non-profit, customer-owned insurance plans. The idea was that each state would have a health co-op that could compete with traditional insurers, in theory, driving down prices.
Advocates for mental health services say the state’s plan to re-open 12 beds at New Hampshire Hospital doesn’t go far enough to improve care. Representatives from more than a dozen organizations gathered today in Concord, and described a system stretched beyond its limits.
And they want New Hampshire lawmakers to know that no other medical condition gets treated this way.
Pertussis starts like a cold, but after a week or so, it leads to severe coughing fits that can take weeks to shake. It’s also called ‘whooping cough’ because patients make a high-pitched whoop sound as they suck in air.
There are 222 confirmed cases in the state this year, the highest levels since 2006.
If you’ve just gotten released from Concord hospital, Carriane Wood may be giving you a call.
“Do you have any questions or anything?” she asks a patient.
“It’s at 9:30 on Thursday.”
Wood is a medical assistant, and she’s working her way through a list of recently discharged patients, calling each one to confirm follow-up appointments, and making sure they understand any new prescriptions.
These phone calls are part of a larger movement at hospitals throughout the state and country to reduce hospital readmissions.
About 20 years ago, Bob Vecchiotti developed something called foot neuropathy. It’s a neurological condition that left his feet numb. Sometimes they would tingle or burn.
“But then the pain was getting to the point that I was losing concentration and sleep, and I decided we need to do more,” says Vecchiotti. “That’s when my primary care physician, working with a compound pharmacist, was able to come up with something that worked.”
Vecchiotti is a business consultant in Peterborough. He was somewhat skeptical of compounding.