Health

Health
4:16 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Money To Implement Portion Of Health Law In N.H. Put On Hold

State lawmakers today put off a key vote on whether to accept Federal funds meant to support a partnership health exchange.

Earlier this month, the Feds awarded the state’s Insurance Department $5.4 million to pay for implementation of the Consumer Assistance portion of the new health exchange marketplace.

But on an 8-2 vote, members of the Joint Fiscal Committee tabled the motion, effectively delaying use of the portion of funds allocated for this fiscal year, roughly $340,000.

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Health
4:48 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Insurance Company Practice Of 'Fail First' Called Into Question

Amanda St-Amour inside her home in Merrimack. "There's only so much I can do as one person versus the health care industry."
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

“I have Crohn’s Disease, I have diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and I had a stroke. From all of this, I am on medication for depression as well.”

Chalk it up to bad genes: Amanda St-Amour struggles with a lot of health conditions.

She’s 30, lives in Merrimack, and pulls out a small laundry basket full of pill bottles.

“Basically, I take about 1, 2, 3…15 pills a morning.”

Recently, one pill has gone missing from the stack. It’s a drug called Trilipix, which St-Amour has taken for years to keep her triglyceride levels down.

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Health
11:29 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Report: More Than 96,000 In N.H. Eligible For Health Insurance Tax Credits

A report out today estimates that 96,000 New Hampshire residents will be eligible for health insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. The credits will be available starting in January, 2014, when the individual mandate kicks in.

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Health
4:05 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Governor Creates Commission To Monitor Medicaid Managed Care Implementation

Governor Maggie Hassan announced today the creation of a new Commission to monitor the transition of the state’s Medicaid program to a managed care model.

The 11-person body includes public health experts, advocates for the disabled, doctors, as well as Donald Shumway, former Commissioner of DHHS, who will co-chair the group along with Mary Vallier-Kaplan.

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Health
2:24 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

State Republicans Push For More Input As Health Exchange Planning Takes Shape

Insurance Department Deputy Commissioner Alex Feldvebel hands out documents during today's oversight committee meeting.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

With an October 1st deadline looming, the state continues to move forward with implementation of a partnership health exchange.  In agreeing to that partnership, state Republicans say they were promised input on a planning document called a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU.

But last week, the Feds said partner states don’t have to submit an MOU. Republicans say that shuts them out of the legislative process.

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Health
5:26 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Knee And Hip Replacement Goes Robotic

Dr. Jeremy Hogan demonstrates the robotic MAKOPlasty surgical took inside of Lakes Region General Hospital.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

It’s been two weeks since Bonnie Parker had her hip replaced.

She is 50, petite, a tattoo artist. So she’s no stranger to pain, but says the past few years have been really tough.

“I watched my mother suffer from arthritis, and she sat down one day and never got back up. And I found myself sitting down more and more and not getting up, and I thought, ‘No, I can’t do this.’"

After non-surgical solutions failed to help, Parker spoke with her doctor, and decided to try a new robot-assisted procedure: something called MAKOplasty.

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Health
5:00 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Proposed Change In Dental Care Workforce Losing Steam

Credit Michael Brindley / NHPR

On Thursday, the New Hampshire State Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill that’s getting a lot of attention in the dental community. The measure would expand the role of some hygienists. Advocates say this could help increase access in the state, but dentists argue it’s a misguided solution for a problem that may not exist.

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Health
4:35 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Bill To Ban Medicaid Expansion Voted Down

The New Hampshire House has killed a bill intended to block the state from expanding its Medicaid program.

Opponents of expansion argue that the state can’t afford to grow the health care program for the poor.

But Thomas Sherman, a doctor and Democrat from Rye, told lawmakers the issue is one of social responsibility.

Sherman: “These are New Hampshire people. Our constituents. These are your family, your neighbors, and my patients.”

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Health
12:14 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Medicaid Overhaul Plan Hits A Road Block

It’s been three years since state lawmakers began touting managed care as the salvation of Medicaid.

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Health
4:41 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

State Hospitals Making Gains In Fight Against Infection

The number of dangerous infections acquired at hospitals in New Hampshire is falling. A new report shows that there were 110 acquired infections in 2011. That’s a 20% decrease from 2009 levels.

State law mandates that hospitals report infections following certain procedures, including heart, colon and knee surgeries.

Beth Daly, Chief of Infectious Disease Surveillance at the state Health Department, says these are important numbers to track.

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Health
6:11 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Public Calls For Easy, Affordable Health Exchange Experience

A day after the Federal government approved the state’s application for a partnership health exchange, the public had its chance to weigh in on the new insurance marketplaces.

Small business owners, parents and advocates lined up in Concord at an event organized by AARP and NH Voices for Health. Speakers expressed concerns about affordability.

Many called for more transparency.

Another fear is the sheer complexity of shopping for health insurance. Lisa Kaplan Howe with NH Voices hopes the new marketplaces will streamline the process.

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Health
5:19 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

New Hampshire Gets Okay From Feds For Health Exchange Partnership

The Federal government announced today that New Hampshire’s application for a partnership health care exchange has been approved. Exchanges are the new marketplaces where individuals and small businesses will shop for health insurance starting in October of this year. 

The partnership means the N.H. Insurance Department will continue to regulate plans sold in the state. The Federal government will pay for and control the new marketplace website and the '1-800 call center'.

Health
4:59 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Supporters Of Medicaid Expansion Make Their Case To Lawmakers

Due to the large crowd, lawmakers gathered in Representatives Hall to hear from the public .
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

    The public had its chance today to weigh in on the state’s decision regarding Medicaid expansion.

Nearly two dozen people, all in favor of expansion, testified in front of a committee of state lawmakers.

That included Susan Bruce, who lost her husband, and then her health insurance in 2009. Her part-time job offers no coverage.  

Bruce: "It is an odd position to be in. I don’t make enough money to afford to live, really, but I make too much money to qualify for Medicaid as it currently exists."

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Health
6:00 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Soothing Cancer With The Arts

Jessica Gebard works on her writing with Marv Klassen-Landis
Liz Faiella/NHPR

A creative arts program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon is helping cancer patients and their families deal with life-changing illness.

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Health
7:59 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

What Medicaid Expansion Could Mean For New Hampshire Businesses

A top executive with one of New Hampshire's largest healthcare providers told a gathering of businessmen and women that they have a significant stake in how the state cares for low-income and uninsured residents.

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