Health

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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Health
5:41 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Medicare Penalizes Nine N.H. Hospitals For Too Many Readmissions

Credit St. Joseph Hosptial, Nashua

One in five Medicare patients treated for a list of common conditions - like pneumonia and heart failure -  are readmitted to the hospitals that treated them within a month.

One way the federal government is trying to improve that is by penalizing hospitals based on their readmission rates. It’s a provision of the Affordable Care Act that will hit 2,610 hospitals across the country next year, including nine in New Hampshire.

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Health
5:32 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

State Delays Medicaid Managed Care Oversight Change For Patients With Chronic Conditions

DHHS Commissioner Nick Toumpas
Credit NHPR

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the state will wait until April before it puts Medicaid patients with chronic conditions under the oversight of two managed care companies. In fact the state has not announced when that transition will happen.

New Hampshire is postponing a crucial phase of Medicaid managed care. The delay follows concerns raised by advocates of patients with complicated health conditions.

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Health
5:22 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

2 Confirmed, 500 Treated For Scabies At Dartmouth So Far

Credit Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Dartmouth-Hitchcock is working to stem the spread of scabies at its Lebanon facility. The infectious but non-fatal skin condition has been found in two people so far.

The first was a patient who arrived at the hospital in mid-August with a number of health conditions. That patient, who’s still in the hospital, wasn’t diagnosed with scabies until late September. Since then one Dartmouth staff member has been diagnosed and treated.

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Health
3:28 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Case Of Scabies At Dartmouth-Hitchcock Spurs Preventative Measures

Dartmouth-Hitchcock has discovered one case of scabies in a patient. That means some Medical Center staffers and visitors may also be at risk.
Toby Talbot AP/file

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 2:06 pm

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is trying to prevent the spread of a skin condition known as crusted scabies. Also called Norwegian scabies, the disease is non-life threatening and easily treatable if caught in time.

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Health
3:57 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Maine Insurance Co-op Plans Big Expansion in N.H.

Credit Maine Community Health Options

A health insurance cooperative based in Maine has received $67 million federal loan to expand into New Hampshire’s healthcare exchange.

When the federal healthcare marketplace opened in 2013, Maine Community Health Options made waves when it grabbed a whopping 83 percent market share in Maine. The small cooperative outcompeted Anthem - the only other insurer on Maine’s marketplace at the time, and currently the only insurer on New Hampshire’s healthcare exchange.

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Health
4:58 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

New First Aid Class May Help Some Avoid Mental Health Crisis

Students settle in for an eight-hour class in mental health first aid at the Sullivan County Jail.
Credit Jack Rodolico

Anyone can take a first aid class to learn how to perform CPR or splint a broken bone. But how should you respond to someone not in a physical health crisis, but a mental health crisis?

Mental health professionals in New Hampshire are promoting a course in mental health first aid. The goal is to train the general public to recognize the signs of mental illness - and encourage them to intervene.

For 20 years, Charlie fought bruising battles with mental illness. When he was at his lowest point, here’s how he describes his life.

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Health
5:09 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Conway Woman Dies Of Triple-E

Credit Centers for Disease Control

  One of the people infected with Eastern Equine Encephalitis in New Hampshire this year has died from the disease. The 51 year old woman spent nearly a month in the hospital before succumbing to the illness.

According to the online obituary of a Rhode Island Funeral Home, Diane Humphreys of Conway passed away in a hospice home in Maine on September eighteenth.

Humphreys was the first confirmed human case of triple E in the state back in August.

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Health
4:30 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Cheshire Lands $1.1 Million Grant For Healthy Monadnock Plan

Cheshire Medical Center-Dartmouth Hitchcock Keene

A plan to make the Monadnock region one of the healthiest communities in the country has received a financial boost from the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $1.1 million to Healthy Monadnock 2020, an initiative of Cheshire Medical Center-Dartmouth Hitchcock Keene. The hospital is working with schools, farmers and other private and public entities to prevent some of the leading causes of death, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

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Health
3:19 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Granite State Has Highest Rate Of Breast Cancer

Credit Jason Meredith

New Hampshire has a higher rate of breast cancer than any state in the U.S. according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2011 - the most recent data available is from back - out of every 100,000 people in the state, there were 141.7 cases of breast cancer. In part, that’s because of demographic; breast cancer is most prevalent in white women, and New Hampshire is about 94 percent white.

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Health
6:04 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Urgent Care Clinics Poised to Compete In Keene

Max Puyanic, CEO of ConvenientMD, shows off an urgent care clinic in Concord.
Credit Jack Rodolico

The number of urgent care clinics in New Hampshire has almost doubled since 2012. And in the next year, three such clinics will open their doors in the City of Keene. That will mean more choices for patients in the Monadnock Region - and stiff competition for the clinics.

Urgent care clinics are often called retail healthcare. You’ll see the clinics in strip malls. The idea is you can walk in without an appointment, be treated by a doctor for anything from a bad cut to a broken finger to a sore throat, and get out -- quickly.

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Health
3:34 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Immigrants Growing N.H.'s Food Economy By Changing What's Grown And Sold Locally

Wesley Tiku shows off some mustard greens, one of his store's most popular items, in the produce aisle of Kathmandu Baazar in Concord.
Credit Jack Rodolico

New immigrants often face an unexpected challenge: how to navigate away from an American diet that takes a toll on your health? That’s becoming easier in New Hampshire due to a network of markets and farms that carry familiar foods for the state’s foreign residents.

New Hampshire is home to a small but growing immigrant population; about one in 20 Granite Staters are foreign born. And there’s an experience that unites many of them: that bewildering first visit to an American grocery store.

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Health
3:31 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Hassan Joins New England Governors In Push To Reverse Painkiller Approval

Credit via SEC.gov

The six New England governors are urging the U.S. Health and Human Services secretary to reverse the Food and Drug Administration's approval of a powerful new painkiller, Zohydro.

In a letter dated Thursday, the governors of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island tell Secretary Sylvia Burwell that the region is in the midst of an addiction crisis.

The drug Zohydro is an extended-release capsule that contains up to five times the amount of narcotic hydrocodone previously available in pills.

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Health
4:46 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Transparent Pricing Could Push Health Costs Down

Credit Michael Dorausch

A new study out of Dartmouth tracks a rise in healthcare costs across northern New England. It is not exactly surprising data. But what is new is that the information is even available.

Between 2008 and 2010, people on private insurance in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont saw healthcare costs climb by 4.5 percent annually.

For just shy of a decade, northern New England states have required insurance companies to report how much they pay for services like blood tests and X-rays. That’s important because, historically, these data lived in the dark.

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Health
5:10 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Two Healthcare Centers Receive Federal Grants For Renovations

Lamprey Health Care's Raymond facility will receive a $250,000 for renovations designed to make the building more accessible.

Two New Hampshire healthcare centers will split nearly half a million dollars in federal grants announced on Tuesday. The funding comes from the Affordable Care Act and will be used for renovations.

Lamprey Health Care will use its $250,000 grant to make its Raymond facility more accessible for patients and doctors. The work will include redesigning the floor plan and making the entrance more accessible to wheelchairs. Michelle Gaduet, Lamprey's Communications Coordinator, says the building hasn’t been updated in 18 years.

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