Health

Health
1:14 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Final Members Named To Medicaid Expansion Committee

The final four members have been named to the state's Medicaid Expansion study committee.

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Health
11:40 am
Mon July 1, 2013

With Dartmouth On Board, Managed Medicaid Transition A Step Closer

Dartmouth-Hitchcock is agreeing to join the Medicaid managed care program.  The state's largest health care system had been a key hold out in the new effort.

A transition from traditional Medicaid to so-called managed care is already a year behind schedule, costing the state an estimated $15 million in expected savings. One problem has been a lack of participation from hospitals. They’ve voiced concerned that the arrangement could pay them less for treating Medicaid patients.

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Health
5:09 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Quirk In Health Law Creates 'Coverage Canyon'

Credit istock photo

At 60-years old, Wendy Rogers considers herself lucky. She’s healthy, her kids are grown. There’s just one thing that gets her down: health insurance.

“I really don’t let myself think about it, because it overwhelms me.”

Rogers lives in Franklin, in a tidy apartment decorated with framed photos of friends and family. She lost her insurance three years ago, after getting laid off from a local school district  where she was a kindergarten aide. Now she works part time at a child-care center.

Rogers says she relies on family for medical expenses.

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Health
4:40 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Report Into Hepatitis C Outbreak At Exeter Hospital Says Concerns Ignored

Exeter Hospital, where an outbreak resulted in 32 patients contracting Hepatitis C.

State public health officials today released their final report looking into the outbreak of Hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital. The document provides new information into just what took place inside the hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab, where a former employee stands accused of stealing narcotics and returning tainted needles. 

NHPR’s Todd Bookman tells All Things Considered Host Brady Carlson about the important new information in the case.

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Health
5:59 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Left Out Of Next State Budget

Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

    

The heavy lifting on the state’s next two year budget wrapped up a little past 3 a.m. Thursday. So when the two sides gathered less than twelve hours later to make it official, House budget leader Mary Jane Wallner was happy to call it a day.

“That’s it. I think we’re done. We’re adjourned!”

But despite that celebratory flourish, lawmakers are far from done when it comes to Medicaid.

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Health
10:08 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

House and Senate Each Offer Deal On Expansion, But No Compromise In Sight

Leaders in the Democratically-controlled New Hampshire House are seeking to cut a deal with Senate Republicans that would expand the state’s Medicaid program.  But hours after receiving the proposal Tuesday, members of the upper chamber said they can’t move forward with the plan, and offered their own course of action.

Medicaid expansion remains a key sticking point as lawmakers seek to finalize the state’s next budget by Thursday’s deadline.

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Health
5:03 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Federal Government Confirms State Could Drop Medicaid Expansion At Any Time

New Hampshire can withdraw from an expanded Medicaid program at any time, according to a letter received Thursday from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.

The letter comes as legislative negotiators are poised to meet to finalize the state’s budget.

A point of impasse between the Democratically-held house and Republican-controlled Senate has been an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program.

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Health
5:47 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Planned Parenthood Joins Fight Over Medicaid Expansion

Dr. Becky Ewing, NH March of Dimes Program Services Committee member, speaks at the event in Concord.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

 Women’s health advocates took to the statehouse today, calling for an expansion of the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. The issue remains a sticking point as lawmakers work to finalize the state’s budget.

Planned Parenthood’s Jennifer Frizzell estimates that 61% of those able to sign up for an expanded Medicaid program are women, and she accuses GOP lawmakers of being oblivious to what they want.

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Health
5:29 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

12 New Beds At State Psychiatric Hospital Called 'Partial Solution'

Governor Hassan today announced the reopening of 12 psychiatric beds at New Hampshire Hospital. They'll be used to treat adults over the age of 55 in need of both psychiatric help and medical attention, and are meant to shore up a mental health system that the Governor calls deeply strained.

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Health
5:00 am
Mon June 10, 2013

New Hampshire's Health Exchange Monopoly

via WUKY

It wasn’t exactly a victory lap, but the president was in California last week praising an early success of the Affordable Care Act.

Speaking in San Jose on Friday, Obama touted the California health insurance exchange--one of the new online marketplaces where individuals and small business employers can shop for coverage and apply for subsidies starting October 1.

California's exchange will have 13 companies competing for business and rates far below what experts predicted.

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Health
6:08 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

State Announces 'Secondary Case' In Hepatitis C Outbreak

State public health officials say another person has tested positive for Hepatitis C stemming from last year’s outbreak at Exeter Hospital. 

That brings the total number to 33.

A former hospital employee was arrested last July in connection with the spread of the virus inside the cardiac catheterization lab. Prosecutors say David Kwiatkowski reused syringes on patients after injecting himself with powerful pain killers.

Dr. Jose Montero, the state’s public health director, says it appears this latest case, though, is from sexual contact.

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Health
4:53 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Hassan Calls Medicaid Expansion 'A Good Deal' For The State

Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

Supporters of Medicaid expansion filled the lobby of the Legislative Office Building in Concord for a mid-morning press conference. The show of force comes in advance of Thursday’s budget vote in the Senate.

Flanked by reform advocates, hospitals administrators and doctors, Governor Hassan pressed lawmakers to take advantage of the federal government’s promise to pay 100% of the costs of expansion for the first three years.

She quoted New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie, who supports expansion and says it will save money for taxpayers in his state.

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Health
5:02 am
Thu May 30, 2013

How An Experiment In Oregon Is Impacting N.H.'s Medicaid Expansion Decision

One of the biggest and most contentious issues of this spring’s budgeting process remains whether or not the state should expand Medicaid. When the Supreme Court ruled last summer on the Affordable Care Act, it said the Federal government can’t force states to expand. Instead, states must be given a choice about growing the health care program for the poor.

Governor Hassan and the Democratically controlled House favor expansion, and the House included it in its proposed spending plan.

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Health
4:54 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Group Prenatal Care Takes Root In New Hampshire

Just off from a circle of cushioned chairs, behind a privacy screen, Jessica Densmore greets patients inside a Cheshire Medical Center conference room, in Keene.

“Let’s take a listen and see if we can hear this baby today,” she says, positioning a fetal heart monitor.

Today’s mothers, ten in total,  are all between 22 and 29 weeks pregnant. They come once a month, and then every two weeks as due dates approach, for their Centering Pregnancy appointment: basically a group check-up.

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Health
10:11 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

GOP Budget Writers Vote Down Medicaid Expansion

Saying there’s simply too much uncertainty, top Senate budget writers voted 4-2 against expanding the state’s Medicaid program on Wednesday.

Senate President Peter Bragdon (R-Milford) says he has concerns the Federal government won’t be able to meets its promises to fund the expansion long-term.

And he says it’s unclear if the program would even improve care for the uninsured.

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