A new technology holds the promise of treatment for the nearly one million Americans with epilepsy that don’t respond to medications. The FDA has approved a new implant that uses bursts of electricity to stop seizures before they start.
That’s good news for people like Chrissy Goodman. She’s 32, from Concord, and had her first seizure at age 14.
Epilepsy has affected every aspect of her life, from where she can live to relationships to education.
New Hampshire lawmakers moved a step closer to expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
The Senate Health, Education and Human Services Committee voted 4-1 on Wednesday to approve a plan that includes a “premium assistance program” which would require newly eligibly Medicaid recipients to select private health insurance starting in 2016.
Republican Senator Andy Sanborn of Bedford was the lone dissenting vote.
Calling the deal a “responsible resolution,” Judge Steven McAuliffe approved a major settlement agreement on Wednesday that will bring more resources to people in crisis.
Plaintiffs had brought a class action suit against the state, alleging that a lack of services resulted in unnecessary institutionalization of people with mental illness. The U.S. Department of Justice joined the case, saying the state was violating the Americans With Disabilities Act.
News of a deal on Medicaid expansion emerged just before Governor Maggie Hassan took to the microphone on Thursday to deliver her first State of the State address in Concord. The first-term Democrat relished in bringing one of her biggest priorities closer to fruition.
“With today’s positive step forward, it is clear that we can work through this together, and help working people access critical health coverage,” says Hassan.
Any insurance plan sold in the online exchange would first face a public hearing under a bill before State Senators. The measure comes in reaction to Anthem’s decision to cut out 10 of the state's 26 hospitals for plans sold on the new marketplace, a move many lawmakers and consumers say they were blindsided by.
The company defends the decision, saying it helped lower costs by 25%.
It is the rare 20-year old who sits around a dorm room comparing deductibles or provider networks.
“No, we don’t talk about health insurance,” says Colby-Sawyer College nursing student Maria Antonio.
Up until now, she didn’t much have to think about it. She was covered as a teenager through Medicaid.
“And I knew a little bit, but I didn’t pay attention to it, because I’m not a type of person that is always in the hospital. But now that I’m growing up, I know that I need to know this, just in case that something happened.”
State Senators voted down an effort Thursday to expand the role of some dental hygienists, instead opting to study the issue.
With additional training, advocates say new dental hygiene practitioners could expand access to oral health care, especially in rural and low-income communities. Under the supervision of a dentist, these mid-level professionals would be able to pull baby teeth and fill cavities.
Medical technicians would have to register with the state under a bill passed Wednesday by the New Hampshire House. The measure was prompted by an outbreak of Hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital, where an employee reused needles on patients resulting in 32 infections. The employee had been accused of drug diversion at similar hospitals but continued to gain employment.
As the only company participating in New Hampshire's insurance exchange, Anthem is facing additional scrutiny for its decision to exclude 10 of the state’s 26 hospitals from the plans it’s selling under so-called Obamacare.
The state’s mental health system has been under tremendous strain in recent years. Cuts to services in the community, combined with dwindling in-patient beds, mean patients in crisis end up waiting days for treatment--sometimes longer-- inside ill-equipped emergency rooms.
Last summer, two violent attacks inside Manchester’s Elliot Hospital ER brought to light just how unstable the situation has become.
Donald Wyman was one of the victims of those assaults. He worked as a nursing assistant, but six months later, he’s still working toward recovery.
New Hampshire teens use marijuana at one of the highest rates in the country, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services.
It finds that one in ten minors between the ages of 12 and 17 say they’ve smoked marijuana in the past 30 days. That’s the 9th highest rate in the country, and a full two-percentage points above the U.S. average. The figures are based on a 2012 national survey.
A new report finds New Hampshire veterans face stigma and a complicated health system when seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
The findings come from a Commission created by the state legislature to investigate barriers to care and treatment of PTSD and TBI for the state’s 115,000 veterans.
The Commission, which is composed of military and civilian leaders, surveyed 1,100 vets. Thirty percent responded they weren’t getting the help they needed because of stigma over their mental health needs.
Customers who bought health insurance in the new exchange are getting more time to pay their first month’s bill. Anthem Blue Cross says New Hampshire consumers who signed up before the deadline for coverage starting January 1st now have until the end of the month to pay their first month’s premium. The deadline was originally today.
Last week the company’s president acknowledged that many new customers still hadn’t received their insurance ID cards and that a help line was overwhelmed with calls.
After a slow start, December saw a surge in the number of New Hampshire residents shopping for health insurance on the new exchange. The federal government reports nearly 10,000 consumers in the state selected a plan between Dec. 1 and Dec. 28.
In total, about 11,500 people selected a plan during the first three months of open enrollment, which runs through March 31.
The past few weeks served as a cooling off period after last November’s special legislative session failed to produce a deal on Medicaid expansion between the Democratically-held House and GOP-controlled Senate.
The debate will roar back to life on Wednesday, though, when Democrats in the House say they’ll tack an expansion plan onto an unrelated bill.
Illegal sales of tobacco to minors in New Hampshire dipped in 2013, as more retailers in the state refused underage customers.
The Department of Health and Human Services, along with Division of Liquor staff members, sent underage buyers into more than 300 retailers around the state. Roughly 89% of vendors turned away sales, up two percent from 2012.
State public health director Jose Montero says convenience store clerks aren’t the only ones who can protect children.
New Hampshire consumers looking for information about the health law can now turn to a local website.
CoveringNewHampshire.org bills itself as the gateway for the health insurance marketplace. Browsers can learn about the law, use an online calculator to see if they qualify for tax credits, and window-shop the 11 different insurance plans Anthem is offering through the Affordable Care Act.
A new report finds health care costs in the state continue to rise, even as New Hampshire residents visit doctors less often.
The Insurance Department’s annual report, based on 2012 rates, finds average premiums were up just about 1% from the year before. But Tyler Brannen, an analyst with the Department, says those premium dollars are actually buying consumers less coverage.
Three decades after the start of a global epidemic, roughly 35 million people are living with HIV worldwide, and more than a million in the United States. New Hampshire maintains one of the lowest rates of infection in the country, but stigma and misinformation about the virus persist locally.
As an AIDS outreach worker with Dartmouth Hitchcock in Nashua, Jean Adie works against those forces.
She acts out a typical interaction:
“Jeez, you know, you’re having unprotected sex. When was the last time you were tested?” she’ll ask.
While the Affordable Care Act is a federal law, it’s playing out very differently across the states. In New Hampshire, strong opposition from Republican lawmakers and a lack of competition between insurance companies has marred the roll out advocates had hoped for.
Consumers will have more health insurance options in New Hampshire starting in 2015. Massachusetts-based non-profit Minuteman Health says it plans to compete in the state’s exchange with a wide network of hospitals.
CEO Tom Policelli says his company has already begun talks with many of the state’s providers.
“We believe that we can come into New Hampshire and offer a much more broad network than Anthem has, and still deliver an excellent price point, and that’s what we intend to do,” says Policelli.
Anthem is the only company selling products in 2014.