Health Care

truthout.org / Flickr Creative Commons

Twenty-fourteen is when the rubber hits road for the ACA, with new deadlines and new requirements kicking in. These include the so-called individual mandate, which says everyone must carry health insurance or pay a penalty.  We’re talking about what to expect in the Granite State in 2014.

GUESTS:

  • Todd Bookman- NHPR’s health reporter
  • Jay Hancock – reporter for Kaiser Health News

On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley about how the Democratic members of New Hampshire's Congressional delegation - all facing re-election next fall - are now supporting changes to the Affordable Care Act.  

NHPR Staff

 

Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has introduced a measure that would give people at least a two-month extension to make up for time lost to website glitches to sign up for health insurance plans under the new federal health care overhaul law.

The open-enrollment period current ends March 31, 2014.

The measure also would give the Health and Human Services Secretary flexibility to further extend enrollment if Healthcare.gov isn't fully functional as of Dec 1.

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.

New Hampshire still hasn't hired anyone to advertise the federal health care overhaul law in the state, but officials say that's not necessarily a bad thing, and the state isn't alone.

Concord Hospital Names New CEO

Oct 2, 2013

Concord Hospital is getting a new CEO.

The hospital Board of Trustees has selected Robert Steigmeyer. He is expected to start the first week of January 2014.

Steigmeyer has been the chief executive officer at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton, Pa., since 2012 and a leader of a community medical center that eventually joined it.

401(K) 2013 via Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire is getting a $3 million federal grant to fight unreasonable increases in health insurance rates and to make pricing more transparent.

The grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is part of the federal Affordable Care Act. The goal is to support state efforts to review health insurance rate increases, educate consumers and hold insurance companies accountable.

Greening The O.R.

Sep 18, 2013
Flickr Creative Commons

Reduce, reuse, recycle? Not in the medical profession. While recycling has become the aspiration or even the norm in most areas of our daily lives, an operating room is the one place where recycling feels like a dangerous practice. Recent studies provide staggering statistics of the amount of waste produced by hospitals on a daily basis; one conservative estimate puts annual hospital waste at five point nine million tons, with operating rooms accounting for twenty to thirty percent of that total. In light of these numbers, there is a growing effort to bring sustainability into the health care sector while still maintaining the highest level of hygiene.

Group Decries Impact Of Federal Healthcare Law

Aug 1, 2013
Ella Nilsen

Conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity rallied against the Affordable Care Act in the front of the State House today, detailing concerns including rising costs and doctor shortages.

The protest comes as a panel examines Medicaid Expansion in N.H., a provision of the federal healthcare law.

Director of Americans for Prosperity – N.H., Greg Moore said the group opposes expansion.

Health Reform on Hold?

Jul 18, 2013
truthout.org via Flickr/Creative Commons

The Obama administration recently announced delays in several provisions of the Affordable Care Act -- including the employer mandate, which requires businesses of a certain size to provide health insurance for employees…as well as smaller technical changes. We’ll talk with experts on where we are now, given this shift, and what might be next.

 Guests:

Keith Weller / via monadnocklyceum.org

*Note: Due to an error on July 7th, we will air this lecture on Sunday, August 18 at 3 p.m. The audio is also available for streaming below. We apologize for any inconvenience.*

-What will healthcare look like in 10 years?

-How can I prepare for the new healthcare landscape?

-What are the best and worst aspects to the new healthcare system ahead?

A recent national study of how much hospitals charge Medicare showed giant disparities among different facilities, even for the same procedures and within the same city!  The research comes as policymakers intensify their focus on costs.  We’ll explore why these huge variations exist, and efforts to reduce the price tag at hospitals in the Granite State.

Guests

Michael Green – President and CEO of Concord Hospital

Ned Helms –Director of the New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and Practice at UNH

After using email and using a search engine, looking for health information is the third most popular web activity for internet users. That’s according to a 2011 study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. A new website combines that quest with the popularity of online crowd-sourcing...or putting communal wisdom to work on perplexing problems. CrowdMed is a site for crowd-sourcing medical diagnoses. It uses the collective wisdom of some actual – and mostly armchair -medical professionals to solve tough medical cases and diagnose rare diseases that left traditional healthcare professionals stumped.

Jared Heyman is founder of the online market research firm Infosurv, his new venture is CrowdMed.   welcome to word of mouth.

Clare Martorana worked previously as a general manager and editor-at-large of Web-MD, and now serves as an advisor for CrowdMed.

Although the Supreme Court upheld most of the Affordable Care Act, it said states could choose whether to expand Medicaid. Supporters say doing so helps low income Americans gain coverage and boosts the economy. Critics warn it’s government overreach and is simply unaffordable. We’ll get New Hampshire’s take on this debate.

 Guests

Leo Reynods via Flickr Creative Commons

Our niftiest and spiffiest content, all in one great show. This week, a look at the shifting human condition. Holocaust survivors being turned into holograms, a Russian "Swiss Family Robinson" that missed most of the 20th Century, corporate anthropologists, transplant "tourism," the nasty effect of internet comments, and a former professor pens a memoir about being stalked by an ex- student online.

Today we sit down with New Hampshire's Health and Human Services Commissioner, Nick Toumpas.  After many years of budget cutting, Toumpas may see some funds restored to his budget... from mental health to children in need of services.  Also, he's working on figuring put what the Affordable Care Act could mean for his department, with the 2014 deadline of full-implementation looming.  We'll talk to him about that and take your calls and emails as well.

Guest:

'Families First' Makes Health Care Affordable

Mar 9, 2013

The Families First Health and Support Center is a community health center that provides services regardless of ability to pay. Sue and Kellie are a mother and daughter who have received health care services at the center.

Michael Simmons via flickr Creative Commons

Pop question: how much does a hip replacement cost for an uninsured person? Answer: somewhere between $11,000 and $125,000. A college student’s survey of American hospitals found quoted costs to vary wildly – even when the hospitals provided quotes; many could not, or did not provide the quotes at all. The results were recently published by JAMA -- The Journal of American Medicine Association. Elisabeth Rosenthal covers health and medicine for the New York Times and wrote about the study for “Well”.

http://www.intouchhealth.com

Last week, the FDA approved the first self-navigating communications robot for use in hospitals. The RP-Vita which stands for remote presence virtual independent telemedicine assistant – was created by iRobot and In-Touch. The FDA sanction for the self-guided robot could mark a new era of robotic care in hospitals here in the United States.  Joining us with more on how RP-Vita works is Marcio Macedo, Director of Product Management for iRobot’s remote presence business unit.

The Granite State gets ready for what are called “health exchanges” under  the Affordable Care Act.  These are new marketplaces where consumers and small businesses can shop for health coverage, advocates say these will encourage competition and lower costs, but there are many unknowns, including who will regulate the insurance companies that participate.

Guests:

Mercy Health, via Flickr

Following President Obama’s reelection and the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmation of much of the Affordable Care Act, the gears are in motion to implement this law 2014. We’re talking with lawmakers and health care experts about aspects of Medicaid expansion and health exchanges, major parts of the new law now being debated in the Granite State.

Guests:

surroundsound5000 via Flickr Creative Commons

The loudest and largest debate in health-care over these past few years has centered on coverage and how it ought or ought not to be extended to millions of uninsured Americans.  But for some Americans, coverage isn’t the problem – the problem is getting doctors to agree on the diagnosis and treatment for baffling, or inconclusively researched conditions.

abortion protest in San Francisco - 333
Steve Rhodes / Flickr Creative Common

While voters say economic issues are their top concern, abortion is also a high priority this year.  In a recent Gallup Poll, nearly two-thirds of voters said it’s an important factor in their decision. 

But when you have a pro-choice Republican running against a pro-choice Democrat, abortion doesn’t seem like an obvious lightning-rod issue. 

Photos courtesy of the candidates

On Oct.

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.'

A new report by the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies finds that CEO pay has risen by eighteen percent in recent years, a far greater increase than wages in the private sector. Critics say this seems out of line with the charitable mission of these hospitals. But others say these salaries are in keeping with a competitive job market and reward highly skilled leaders.

Guests

Daqella Manera via Flickr/Creative Commons

Although the Supreme Court upheld much of the Affordable Care Act, it removed the federal government’s power to require states to expand Medicaid enrollment or face severe penalties. Now, some states say they’ll opt out. Others are uncertain about how to proceed.  We examine the debate in the Granite State.

Guests:

Mercy Health, via Flickr

This presentation was given at the Unitarian Universalist church in Peterborough, N.H. on July 8. The presentation will air on NHPR at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

From the Monadnock Summer Lyceum:
 

NH's Health Care Exchange Still Up in the Air

Jun 28, 2012
Bruce A Stockwell / Flickr Creative Commons

Exchanges are the marketplaces where consumers will basically window-shop the various health care policies available in different states.

The Federal government granted each state funds to begin studying and implementing these exchanges, but New Hampshire’s Executive Council gave that money back, nearly $1,000,000.

Republicans, including House Speaker Bill O’Brien, say that the exchanges will simply cost too much to run. He points to the experience of other New England states.

Gubernatorial Candidates React to Health Care Ruling

Jun 28, 2012
Photo by Chickenlump, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire’s gubernatorial candidates are weighing in on the Supreme Court’s ruling, and they stand, pretty much, where you'd expect.

The two leading GOP contenders for the state’s corner office didn’t like the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court ruling, and that hasn’t really changed.

Ovide Lamontagne, the current front runner, says that as Governor, he would do everything possible to slow down or block the law’s implementation.

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