Health

Adam McCune

From the time he was born until the age of three, Isak McCune of Goffstown was a healthy, smart, sweet little boy.

And then his mother says her little boy just changed. He started having tantrums. Really big ones.

"We called it being held hostage," says Robin McCune. "He would go on and on for hours. We couldn’t leave the house. And then when they finally got to the point where he was just exhausted, then he would come to me and be held. Most of them were four to six hours. They were long."

Flickr

A massive cyber-attack has exposed the personal information of tens of millions of Anthem members, including in New Hampshire.

Right now Anthem is assessing the damage. The company is cooperating with the FBI, notifying members, and it has hired an independent firm to investigate the hack, which hit as many as 80 million members in 14 states.

Hackers took Social Security numbers, birthdays, addresses, email, income and employment information. The company says no medical or credit card data was taken.

Best Of 2014 - Stressed Out: Who, Why, And How

Dec 29, 2014
Marsmettnn Tallahassee / Flickr/CC

This week, The Exchange will play the five best shows of 2014, as voted by you. Here's a July program on stress: From major challenges like chronic illness or financial problems to minor annoyances like traffic jams or inconsiderate neighbors, stress affects us all.  For some, it can be overwhelming, while others find ways to cope and even use it to their advantage. In connection with the NPR series on this topic, we’re exploring the latest thinking on stress.

This program was originally broadcast on July 17, 2014.

GUESTS:

Amy via flickr Creative Commons

Sometimes considering radical medical treatments require getting over the ick factor. On today’s show, how transplanting fecal matter from one person to another has saved lives, especially for those with antibiotic resistant digestive disorders, such as clostridium difficile, or C-Diff.

Then, Christmas is next week, a festival of lights, decorated trees, parties, and for some parents, the Santa conundrum…from to elf on a shelf to carrots for Rudolph, we’ll navigate the magical world of Santa.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Kelsey Ohman via flickr Creative Commons

In New Hampshire, skiing is one of winter’s biggest perks and the best cure for cabin fever. The first skiers put two planks on their feet and slid down a mountain, not as a past time but as a way to hunt. On today’s show, a National Geographic reporter sets out on the trail of the earliest skiers in human history and finds himself elk hunting in the far reaches of western China where he witnesses a skiing tradition thousands of years old.

Also, a couple embarks on a medical odyssey to find relief from a devastating illness. And talking to strangers may be good for your health. The psychology behind interacting with people you don't know.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Ebola Response In N.H.: Facts, Fears, And Policy

Nov 13, 2014
Army Medicine / Flickr/CC

Since a handful of Ebola cases have made their way to the U.S., officials have mobilized to deal with the threat, sometimes seeming to add to confusion around this illness. And while the risk of contracting Ebola in New Hampshire remains extremely low, the state has issued a set of guidelines, ranging from symptom monitoring, to, more controversially, quarantine. We’re sorting out the facts, fears, and policies.

GUESTS:

Todd Bookman / NHPR

With a Maine nurse threatening not to comply with a state-mandated quarantine, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan says officials here are prepared to take action should a similar situation occur.

Related: listen to NHPR's full interview with Dr. Jose Montero on quarantine enforcement here. See CDC Guidance for states here.

Nicole McCracken

State health officials say a survey shows there’s progress being made in the battle against childhood obesity in New Hampshire.

A statewide survey that tracked the actual weights of third-graders finds obesity rates have dropped by a whopping 30 percent since 2008.

Director of Public Health José Montero says when he saw the numbers, he recalculated them all himself to make sure there wasn’t a mistake.

He says they’re correct, and mark a tremendous step forward in childhood health.

St. Joseph Hosptial, Nashua

One in five Medicare patients treated for a list of common conditions - like pneumonia and heart failure -  are readmitted to the hospitals that treated them within a month.

One way the federal government is trying to improve that is by penalizing hospitals based on their readmission rates. It’s a provision of the Affordable Care Act that will hit 2,610 hospitals across the country next year, including nine in New Hampshire.

Phalinn Ooi via flickr Creative Commons

Surgery requires years of education, steady hands, extreme confidence, and…kindness? On today's show we ask: when it comes to being a good surgeon, does bedside manner matter? We'll also look into the growing digital house key market and the complicated math behind queue design.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Jack Rodolico

The number of urgent care clinics in New Hampshire has almost doubled since 2012. And in the next year, three such clinics will open their doors in the City of Keene. That will mean more choices for patients in the Monadnock Region - and stiff competition for the clinics.

Urgent care clinics are often called retail healthcare. You’ll see the clinics in strip malls. The idea is you can walk in without an appointment, be treated by a doctor for anything from a bad cut to a broken finger to a sore throat, and get out -- quickly.

Jack Rodolico

New immigrants often face an unexpected challenge: how to navigate away from an American diet that takes a toll on your health? That’s becoming easier in New Hampshire due to a network of markets and farms that carry familiar foods for the state’s foreign residents.

New Hampshire is home to a small but growing immigrant population; about one in 20 Granite Staters are foreign born. And there’s an experience that unites many of them: that bewildering first visit to an American grocery store.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

NASCAR drivers can reach speeds of 200 plus miles per hour. Remarkably, when wrecks occur, drivers overwhelmingly survive the accidents, but they don’t always walk away unscathed. On today’s show: concussions in NASCAR, and the challenges drivers face after the smoke clears. We'll also talk to a futurist about ectogenesis, or artificial wombs. Often referenced in science fiction, the idea of children being grown outside of a mother's body is inching closer to reality. Plus, earlier this year, the New York Daily News reported that the U.S. is in grave danger of a clown shortage. We head to a clown convention to find out why membership is down, but why clowns are unlikely to completely disappear. 

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


More Ticks Means More Concern About Lyme Disease

Aug 18, 2014
beeldmark / Flickr/CC

Lyme disease: caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi, and transmitted by the tiny black-legged tick, it’s an infection that first causes fever, chills and flu-like symptoms.

Nico Nelson via Flickr CC

What do you really know about placentas? If you’re like the majority of people, the "tree of life" is probably pretty mysterious. Despite being vital to both maternal and fetal health, the National Institute of Child Health and Development says that the placenta is the “least understood human organ.” That’s starting to change as more scientists study the invasive organ, a pattern Denise Grady wrote about for the New York Times, but outside the laboratories people are taking the placenta into their own hands. Literally. So we asked: what are some of the most popular and strange things people are doing with their placenta?

Internet Archive Book Images via flickr Creative Commons

In the last decade, cosmetic procedures performed on Asian-Americans, Hispanics and African-Americans have far outpaced those among the white population. The goal? Westernizing ethnic features.  Today we put ethnic plastic surgery on the examination table. Then, scientists are demystifying what may be the least understood human organ: the placenta. Plus, we share some personal stories from the delivery room.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

Ale Viyie via Flickr Creative Commons

The rewards card is everywhere these days. It usually works like this: the more consumers buy, the more incentives and discounts stores hand out.

phalinn via Flickr Creative Commons

Surgery requires years of education, steady hands, extreme confidence, and…kindness? Today we ask: when it comes to being a good surgeon, does bedside manner matter? Then, we head into the OR to find out what some surgeons listen to while their patients are under the knife. Plus, how some European hospitals are harnessing beagles’ sense of smell to detect superbugs. And, one game designer has come up with a simulator which allows players to experience what it’s like coming out to your parents.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


Joel Christian Gill

Whether it’s a catchy theme song, or a single image - think Mary Tyler Moore tossing her cap into the air – some TV credit sequences are etched in our minds. Today we listen for the greatest TV opening sequences of all time. Plus, a look at a graphic novel that reveals the untold stories of African-American history…including that of Richard Potter, for whom the New Hampshire town of Potter Place is named. Then, tis the season for mosquitoes, black flies, and ticks. How are you preventing pesky bites? We sample the rainbow of bug repellant…from witch hazel to DEET.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


New Hampshire has increased the amount of Medicaid funding it devotes to home-based care for the disabled since a 1999 U.S. Supreme Court ruling gave people a choice to live outside institutions.

By 2012, according to data provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the state was providing 50.3 percent of Medicaid long-term care money for disabled people living in home- or community-based settings. That compares to 40.3 percent in 2002.

When I Walk: Talking with filmmaker Jason DaSilva

Jun 20, 2014
zeevveez via Flickr Creative Commons

On today’s show we talked to documentary filmmaker Jason DaSilva. In 2005 Jason was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He was only twenty five years old, but had more films and praise under his belt than most twice his age. Two years later, when he was on a beach vacation with his family, his brother caught a moment on tape which changed the course of his life. He fell, and for the first time since his diagnosis, was unable to get up by himself. It was from this painful and significant moment that his most recent film, When I Walk, was born. 

6.21.14: The Germ Show

Jun 20, 2014
Alexis Chapin

Today on Word of Mouth we're exploring the macro influences of the micro world. First, a conversation with John Timmer about the recently discovered pithovirus which has been sealed in the Siberian permafrost for more than 30 thousand years. Then, a look at a new approach to cleanliness: bacteria-rich body sprays. Plus, Jason DaSilva talks to us about his most recent film about his journey with multiple sclerosis. 

Melissa Wiese / Flickr/CC

Diabetes has been called “the chronic epidemic of the millennium.” Our panel looks at why this is so, changes in management of this disease, and promising research in the field.

GUESTS:

In its latest release of statistics aimed at shedding more light on the quality of the nation’s health care system, the Obama Administration targets the use of physical restraints on psychiatric patients.

It collected data from more than 1,500 facilities nationally. The results show Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester with the fifth highest rate of restraint use in the country.

Hobvias via Flickr CC

New Hampshire residents who may be eligible for Medicaid when the state expands its program are being encouraged to attend one of a dozen public information sessions.

The state is seeking federal approval to expand its program to an estimated 50,000 poor adults by using federal Medicaid funds to buy private health care coverage for adults making less than 138 percent of the federal poverty limit.

The first informational session will be held Monday night in Concord. Others will be held around the state, with the last one scheduled for July 1 in Portsmouth.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

House and Senate lawmakers have signed off on a Medicaid Enhancement Tax deal.

Lawmakers voted 278-72 in favor of the deal that settles a lawsuit with 25 New Hampshire hospitals.

The Senate later passed it on a voice vote, and it now heads to Governor Maggie Hassan’s desk.

Hassan and legislative leaders announced the settlement last week, with St. Joseph Hospital of Nashua the lone holdout.

Republican Representative David Hess of Hooksett says he may not be completely happy with the result, but the deal is better than nothing.

HealthTrust, Property-Liability Trust, and NH Municipal Association office
Amanda Loder / NHPR

Former Local Government Center insurance pool Property-Liability Trust will return $17 million in illegal subsidies.  This despite earlier protests that it didn’t have the money on hand.  The money will go to another former LGC insurance pool--HealthTrust—and then be refunded to member communities. 

For years, Property-Liability Trust struggled, and was supported by the Health Trust program, which raised funds by over-charging member communities. 

Gift of Life via Facebook

This story was produced by WBUR in Boston. 

It all started one spring afternoon about 10 years ago. David Cavell, then a student at Tufts University, strolled past what looked like a campus blood drive. He saw a friend, stopped, agreed to run a Q-tip across the inside of his cheek, and moved on.

Intel Free Press via Flickr/CC - https://flic.kr/p/bA3eBS

A growing number of Americans are doing their jobs outside the usual confines of the office. And that includes doctors – the multi-billion dollar telemedicine industry is opening up new avenues for patients and for providers in New Hampshire.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Like many kids with autism, Hunter Picknell has trouble expressing himself.

“His primary form of communication is sign language, but there’s certain things he can’t do with his hands and fingers because of his motor-planning issues,” says Melissa Hilton, Hunter’s mother.

“He makes kind of his own sign language, which is very idiosyncratic. We often joke around and say it is sign language with an accent.”

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