Health

Health
1:41 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Study: Excessive Alcohol Consumption Is Costing N.H. $1.15 Billion A Year

Credit J. Ronald Lee / Flickr Creative Commons

 

  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.

Read more
Health
6:31 am
Wed January 16, 2013

State Gets Failing Marks On Tobacco Report Card

Credit Justin Shearer / Flick/Creative Commons

A new report out from the American Lung Association gives New Hampshire a failing grade on smoking prevention efforts. 

The state received a 'D' on smoke-free zones in public spaces, an 'F' on tobacco prevention spending, and a 'C' on cessation efforts.

Lee Gilman, Senior Director with the Association, says the state also needs to rethink its low tobacco tax.

Read more
Health
6:12 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

UNH Study Finds Use Of Food Stamps On The Rise Across Nation

A University of New Hampshire study finds that while poverty rates stabilized after the recession, recipients of the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, continued to rise.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Carsey Institute.

In 2011, 13 percent of American households relied on SNAP, a program formerly known as food stamps. That’s compared to roughly 8 percent in 2007.

Read more
Health
12:19 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Mental Health Advocates Push For $37M In Funding

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.

Read more
Health
4:24 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Impasse in Washington Has N.H. Domestic Violence Advocates Worried

Credit Lawrence Jackson / whitehouse.gov via Wikimedia COmmons

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."

Read more
Health
6:26 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Study: Childhood Obesity Rates Decline In N.H.

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.

Read more
Health
5:29 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

To Expand (Medicaid) Or Not To Expand

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.

Read more
Health
4:33 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Deal Means No Health Insurance Co-op In N.H.

Credit istock photo

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.

Read more
Health
4:51 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Mental Health Advocates Say State Is Offering Band-Aids, Not Solutions

Mental health advocates gather for a press conference at the Legislative Office Building in Concord.

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.

Read more
Health
5:00 am
Thu January 3, 2013

The Alzheimer's Café: Unforgettable Therapy

John and Rhea Pereira attend the Alzheimer's Cafe in Dover each month.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Once a month, it’s a decidedly older demographic meeting here at the Children’s Museum in Dover.

A dozen or so seniors gather inside a brightly painted conference room. There’s coffee, cake and, this month, some live entertainment from 'The Sea Reeds,' a quartet of local clarinetists.

For Rhea Pereira, the music is a chance to sing along with friends. She and her husband John moved here from Florida three years ago, when Rhea began experiencing memory problems. 

Read more
Health
1:16 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Whooping Cough Hits N.H.

According to the CDC, there have been around 40,000 cases nationwide of Pertussis (Whooping Cough) this year.
Credit CDC

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.

Read more
Health
5:00 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Can Penalties Help Keep Patients Healthy?

Nearly 1 in 5 Medicare patients ends up back in a hospital bed less than 30 days after being discharged.
Credit Studio Tempura / Flick/Creative Commons

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.

Read more
Health
5:20 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Compounding Pharmacists In New Hampshire Brace For Change

Ron Petrin owns Bedford Pharmacy. He's been compounding for 30 years, and calls the work gratifying.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

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.

Read more
Health
4:56 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

N.H. Ranks Third In Overall Health

A new report from the Minnesota-based United Health Foundation ranks New Hampshire the third healthiest state in the nation.  That’s down a spot from last year. The report weights a variety of factors, including infant mortality, obesity, high school graduation rate and levels of violent crime.  Vermont ranked first in the nation for the sixth straight year.

Health
5:11 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Report: State Ranks Last In Anti-Smoking Efforts

Credit Justin Shearer / Flick/Creative Commons

A new report ranks New Hampshire last in the nation when it comes to funding anti-smoking programs.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids annual release says that New Hampshire allocated zero state funds for tobacco prevention efforts this fiscal year.

That’s despite the fact that the state collected more than $250 million dollars in tobacco tax revenue combined with the state’s portion of a 1998 settlement agreement.

Read more
Health
4:50 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Telemedicine In New Hampshire Gets Boost

Credit Mercy Health / Flick/Creative Commons

Let’s say you are one of the 904 or so residents of Warren, New Hampshire. Let’s say you get sick.  Maybe you just started on a new prescription and are having unwanted side effects.

“Today, they have one of two options,” says Shawn Tester, who runs the day-to-day operations at Ammonousuc Community Health Services, which has five primary care clinics in Grafton and Coos County.

“They either do without. Or they have to travel, oh, I don’t know, 45 miles to our Littleton office to receive that consultative service.”

Read more
Health
10:02 am
Mon December 3, 2012

N.H. Health Officials Stress Importance Of Flu Vaccines

Credit BC Gov Photos / Flickr Creative Commons

State health officials are urging people to get their annual flu vaccination.

Read more
Health
5:46 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Two More Fungal Meningitis Cases In N.H.

Two more people in New Hampshire have been diagnosed with fungal meningitis related to a national outbreak bringing the number affected in the state to 10.

Read more
Health
4:06 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

N.H. Hospital In Danger Of Losing Medicare Funding

Federal inspectors say problems discovered at Exeter Hospital after a hepatitis C outbreak are serious enough to limit the hospital's capacity to provide adequate care.

Read more
The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Overcoming Obesity in the Granite State

Obesity is on the rise here in New  Hampshire, a recent study finds that the U.S. population is gaining too much weight. New Hampshire's numbers are also increasing, with about 26% of Granite Staters now considered obese. Its also predicted that by the year 2030, more than half of this state's population will be obese. Today we'll look at this study and see what can be done to tip the scales in the opposite direction.

Guests

Read more
Health
4:14 pm
Sat October 13, 2012

Four People In N.H. Test Positive For Fungal Meningitis

Public health officials say four people in New Hampshire have been diagnosed with fungal meningitis.

Read more
Word of Mouth
10:04 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Pedaling off the Pounds

Sam Evans-Brown

A lot of Americans are struggling to lose a whole lot of weight, and they try all kinds of crazy things.

Ernest Gagnon — a man from Billerica, Mass. — decided to shed pounds by getting into the often intense, high-adrenaline sport of cyclocross: racing road bikes on obstacle courses.

Two years ago, Gagnon tipped the scales at 570 pounds. He was depressed and embarrassed to leave the house.

Read more
Health
5:01 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Meningitis Outbreak Threatens New Hampshire Patients

http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis-map.html

No patients in New Hampshire have tested positive for fungal meningitis as the national outbreak continues to grow.

Read more
Health
5:11 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

N.H. Contacting 186 Patients About Meningitis Cases

Health officials in Northern New England have not reported any cases in a growing outbreak of a rare form of meningitis that's affected at least six states.

Read more
Word of Mouth
10:37 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Fine Dining...at Hardees

Powerplantop via Flickr Creative Commons

Since spring of this year, our Shifting the Balance series has explored how environmental and social factors affect the way people eat…and how those factors play in to America’s obesity epidemic.  A recently published study in Pyschology reports demonstrates how setting the right mood at meal time can help diners cap their calories. 

Health
4:35 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Report Cites Exeter Hospital For Failing to Maintain Proper Narcotics Supervision

Zaldymlg flickr

The first New Hampshire Health Department clinic to test people for hepatitis C related to an outbreak at Exeter Hospital is opening as a new report cites the hospital for violations, saying it failed to properly maintain supervision over narcotics.

Read more
Health
10:12 am
Sat July 28, 2012

Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Mayo Clinic Announce Collaboration

Jonathan Lynch

Dartmouth-Hitchcock will become a member of Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic Care Network in a deal announced Friday.

Read more
Health Care
3:53 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Who gets Medicaid and who doesn't?

Mercy Health, via Flickr

Reporters love to write in a kind of shorthand. And when it comes to Medicaid, the preferred shortcut is, 'the health care program for the poor.'

Read more
Series: Shifting the Balance
10:02 am
Wed July 25, 2012

EBT Friendly Farmer's Markets

Photo Credit Ianmalcm, Via Flickr Creative Commons

At New Hampshire’s eighty or so farmer’s markets, you can choose from organic produce, local honey and freshly baked breads.

Read more
Expanding Medicaid FAQs
5:02 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

FAQ: New Hampshire Looks At Expanding Medicaid

Veterans in Coos County deserve a medical clinic in Colebrook, according to a letter sent to the Department of Veterans Affairs by Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Charlie Bass.
Photo: Lucid Nightmare Flickr

Q. What does the state have to decide in terms of Medicaid expansion?

A. The Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act gives states the choice to either maintain their current Medicaid program or extend it to more low-income residents. In states that choose to expand, adults who bring home less than $15,000 a year and a family of four who earns less than $30,000 a year will qualify. In New Hampshire, expansion would add about 56,000 people to the state's rolls, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Read more

Pages