Health

Health
6:06 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

On Expansion, Lawmakers Have Two Weeks To Reconcile Two Competing Plans

Credit Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

  Lawmakers returned to Concord Thursday to debate a major part of the federal health overhaul law: expansion of Medicaid. In New Hampshire, such a move would provide insurance coverage to an estimated 50,000 low income residents.

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Health
5:30 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Legislature Gears Up For Medicaid Session, With No Deal Yet Announced

For the next two weeks, lawmakers will be in Concord to discuss Medicaid expansion, including an up-or-down vote. Governor Maggie Hassan says she’s open to ideas for how to expand the health program, but wants to make sure any final plan works for the state.

Hassan and leaders of both parties have been meeting privately to discuss ways to expand Medicaid, but as of yet haven’t hinted at a deal.

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Health
3:51 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

One-Year Renewal An Option For Cancelled Insurance Plans

Many New Hampshire residents who buy their own health insurance are finding cancelation notices in their mailbox. Anthem, the state’s largest carrier, says it’s dropping more than two-thirds of its individual plans because they don’t satisfy new regulations in the Affordable Care Act.

Linda Allen of Allen Associates in Manchester says her brokerage house has been flooded with calls about the discontinuation notice.

“I’d say our phone is ringing probably triple what it usually does with questions from our clients and from people who are not our clients,” says Allen.

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Health
5:11 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Hassan Launches Review Into Mental Health System After Violent Events

Credit DavidWilson1949 via Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Hassan is tapping former New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice Joseph Nadeau to lead a review into mental health services in Manchester following two high-profile incidents. 

In July, a 34-year old patient allegedly attacked two staff members at Elliot Hospital while awaiting transfer to the state psychiatric hospital in Concord.

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Health
4:12 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

New Hampshire's Pre-Term Births Fall; 5th Best in Nation

Fewer premature babies were born in New Hampshire in 2012. A new report from the March of Dimes shows the state’s pre-term birth rate dropped from 9.5% to 9.3%. New Hampshire has the 5th lowest rate in the nation.

Births before the 37th week of pregnancy are the leading cause of newborn death.

Doctor Rebecca Ewing with March of Dimes in New Hampshire says statewide efforts to slow elective early births and anti-smoking campaigns are having an impact.

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Health
1:52 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Food Stamp Cuts Hit State Recipients

Food stamp benefits to 54,000 New Hampshire households are being cut, as a temporary boost from the 2009 stimulus bill expires. 

During the recession, the federal government added more than $45 billion to the program nationally. But with that money spent, the nutrition assistance program now called SNAP is being scaled back.

New Hampshire families will receive up to $65 less each month. Terry Smith with the Department of Health and Human Services says that will have broader impact.

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Health
5:28 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Small Brewers Seek Tax Cuts To Spur Growth

Rep. Annie Kuster with Chris Shey, head brewer at Henniker Brewing Company.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Henniker Brewing Company is a little more than a year old, and this month, could break-even for the first time. That’s good news for investors, but the 5-man operation is still facing some growing pains.

Manager Dave Currier says the beer is good, but the facility needs some improvements.

“Well, as an example, we have two new bathrooms for the tap room that we want to finish,” says Currier, a former Republican state lawmaker.  “And we’ve kind of run out of money in terms of our overall investment, to complete that.”

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Health
5:09 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Critics Take Aim At Medicaid Expansion In New Hampshire

Conservative activists are warning lawmakers that an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program would lead to a fiscal crisis in New Hampshire.

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Health
4:13 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Doctors Look To Phone Apps To Treat Mental Illness

Researchers at the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center in Lebanon are developing mobile apps to assess and treat patients who have severe mental illness. These apps could help patients in crises and also help them manage their illnesses in the crucial time between visits to the doctor.   


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Health
11:38 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Shaheen Continues Push For Health Law Enrollment Extension

Senator Jeanne Shaheen continues to press the Obama administration to extend the enrollment period for those looking to buy coverage through the new health law. In an op-ed in USA Today, Shaheen says consumers shouldn’t be penalized by a failed website roll-0ut.

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Health
10:26 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Divorce On Hold Along With Health Care Website

Among those eagerly waiting on a fix for the troubled health care website are couples wading through divorce proceedings. Health insurance costs have long been a factor in divorce negotiations, but with consumers struggling to calculate and sign-up for coverage through the exchanges, some settlements are now on hold.  Kysa Crusco is a family law attorney based in Bedford. She talked with Morning Edition.

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Health
4:40 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Newborns Facing Withdrawal Symptoms On Rise In State

In 2009, 120 infants exhibited symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), more than double the number of cases from five years prior. NAS is caused by maternal opioid use, and can result in respiratory problems, feeding difficulty and seizures in newborns.

A new report from the N.H. Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services and the N.H. Charitable Foundation says the average hospital stay for an NAS baby is 16 days, compared to three days for other births.

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Health
4:14 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Federal Grant To Market Health Law Again Delayed

A flawed bid process is further delaying efforts to market the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire, as the group in charge of awarding a $2 million contract has decided to reopen its application process.

The New Hampshire Health Plan committee voted 3-2 to award the contract to an unnamed vendor on October 9, but the group, for reasons left unstated in meeting minutes, then decided not to finalize that recommendation.

New Hampshire Health Plan Executive Director Michael Degnan wouldn’t go into detail, but says the committee was divided.

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Health
4:00 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Narrow Network Insurance Plans Could Spark New Regulations

Michael Justice and his wife Chris in front of their Peterborough home.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

When Michael Justice was laid off from a local college last year, he lost a job he liked, a paycheck he needed and an insurance plan he relied on.

At 63, he’s now buying a policy to cover him and his wife. The bill every month is $1,638.

“It’s more than we pay for mortgage, its more than we pay on property taxes, which in New Hampshire is saying a bit,” says Justice. “It’s more than we pay for heating oil, more than we pay for electricity, more than we pay for water.”

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Health
4:42 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Commission Finalizes Plan That Supports Medicaid Expansion In N.H.

Senator Nancy Stiles working with a consultant on the final version of the Medicaid Expansion Commission report.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Brushing up against its October 15th deadline, on Tuesday a special commission studying a possible expansion of Medicaid in New Hampshire finalized its recommendations.

This was the final meeting of a nine-member group that spent the summer debating if and how to expand Medicaid to more low income residents.

While the issue still proves divisive, the commission did find common ground accepting the contents of the final report, voting unanimously to send it to the Governor and legislative leaders.

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