hospitals

Garrett Vonk

A recent study by the Foundation for Healthy Communities found frequent delays in hospital discharges for medically cleared patients in New Hampshire. Data collected from 21 acute care hospitals in the state revealed that over half of affected patients were over the age of 65. 

Families First Health & Support Center

Ten community health centers in New Hampshire are getting $486,000 in federal money meant to reward them for being leaders in areas such as chronic disease management and preventive care.

The money from the Department of Health and Human Services is part of the Affordable Care Act and is going to centers that have achieved the best overall clinical outcomes or have exceeded national benchmarks.

NHPR Staff

A new data set gives a bird’s eye view of New Hampshire’s uninsured residents – and how they stand to gain health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The data itself is not shocking. State health officials and insurers alike know New Hampshire’s most rural communities have the highest rates of uninsured. But this is the first time that information has been aggregated into a map that viewers can navigate on a county-by-county basis.

Two New Hampshire healthcare centers will split nearly half a million dollars in federal grants announced on Tuesday. The funding comes from the Affordable Care Act and will be used for renovations.

Lamprey Health Care will use its $250,000 grant to make its Raymond facility more accessible for patients and doctors. The work will include redesigning the floor plan and making the entrance more accessible to wheelchairs. Michelle Gaduet, Lamprey's Communications Coordinator, says the building hasn’t been updated in 18 years.

Dirty Bunny via Flickr/CreativeCommons

The state saw fewer healthcare-associated infections last year.

According to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services, New Hampshire’s 33 hospitals reported a total of 183 in 2013. That’s down from 198 in 2012.

Beth Daly, the chief of infectious disease surveillance at DHHS, says the numbers are largely positive.

“Forgunately, in this year’s report, we see that most hospitals have a similar number of infections as predicted based on national data or fewer infections than expected.”

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.


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.

The Senate's tax committee is meeting to discuss a recent court ruling that found New Hampshire's tax on hospitals unconstitutional.  Senate President Chuck Morse told the Ways and Means Committee last week he hopes negotiations among legislative leaders, the governor and the hospitals produce a short-term fix to avoid a major impact on the budget. The committee is hoping to have a proposal to attach to a House bill when the panel meets Tuesday.  The Superior Court ruling applies to the 2014 tax year and future tax years.

AshtonPal / Flickr/CC

Predictions for a Rough Allergy Season Following a Cold Winter

Biologists say this year’s cold Winter and late Spring could mean a wallop of an allergy season, a so-called “pollen vortex” adding to a longer trend toward higher pollen counts, due to climate change.

Gavel
SalFalko, Mentus Media / Flickr Creative Commons

 A judge has ruled that New Hampshire cannot collect a Medicaid Enhancement Tax from hospitals.   In a ruling released Friday, Hillsborough County Superior Court Philip Mangones says the state should have stopped collecting the tax in 2011 when a loophole in the Medicaid reimbursement system closed. He says the tax is unconstitutional.   Catholic Medical Center, St. Joseph Hospital and Exeter Hospital sued in 2011, challenging the $31 million they paid in the tax that year.

The New Hampshire House has passed a drug testing bill inspired by the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital. 

The bill, approved 289 to 48 by the House on Wednesday, would require hospitals to set up policies to prevent misuse of drugs by employees to maintain their licenses. It would also require they test employees for drugs if there was a reasonable suspicion of drug use.

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.

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

Six More People Infected With Hepatitis C

Jun 6, 2012

Six more patients at the Exeter Hospital have been infected with hepatitis C, bringing the total to 10.

Hepatitis C Cases Reported In N.H.

May 31, 2012
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sskennel/4526014600/">SSkennel</a> / Flickr

New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital has temporarily closed its cardiac catheterization lab after four patients contracted hepatitis C, and officials are asking 651 other people who've been treated at the lab since August to get tested for the liver-destroying virus.

Specialty Hospitals Pass House

Mar 21, 2012

In a 198 to 161 vote, house members passed a bill that would allow for-profit specialty hospitals to avoid going through the certificate of need regulatory process. The bill also exempts these hospitals, most of which do not take Medicaid patients, from paying the state's Medicaid Enhancement Tax.

Opponents say the bill gives an unfair advantage to these for-profit specialty hospitals. Cancer Treatment Centers of America is eyeing New Hampshire as a location for a facility in the Northeast.

House Votes To Dismantle Certificate Of Need Board

Mar 14, 2012

The Certificate of Need Board approves new hospitals and expansions of existing medical centers in the state. Wednesday the house voted 166-140 to get rid of the board entirely. The House rejected an amendment which would have overhauled the existing board and phase it out over five years. The idea was to reconfigure the board with non-stakeholders, such as not allowing hospital representatives to serve.

Federal health officials Tuesday called on hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and doctors' offices to work harder to fight the spread of a dangerous bacterial infection that can cause life-threatening diarrhea and other complications.

While other health-care related infections have been decreasing in recent years, cases of Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, continue rising, according to Clifford McDonald of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sheryl Rich-Kern

Out-of-hospital births in New Hampshire are on the rise, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control.

That increase is in large part, because of a 2008 law that requires health insurers to pay for midwives who work in homes or at birthing centers.

But a new bill before lawmakers proposes repealing that mandate.

And midwives are worried what that means for their livelihoods.

Specialty Hospitals Get A Favorable Vote

Feb 23, 2012

The House Health and Human Services Committee has sent an amended bill allowing not just Cancer Specialty Hospitals but all specialty hospitals to bypass the Certificate of Need process. All other hospitals in the state must go in front of the CON board to gain approval for new or expanded services.

Rep. Lynn Blakenbeker, Republican of Concord, voted in favor of the bill.

"We as a state should be encouraging businesses all kinds to come into the state especially when it comes to specialty healthcare treatment we should be offering all options," she says.

Certificate Of Need--Is It Still Needed?

Feb 14, 2012
Auntie P / flickr

New Hampshire lawmakers are proposing a law that would do away with the Certificate of Need process. This is a state requirement for hospitals and other healthcare facilities that want to expand or establish new medical facilities. The aim of CON is to keep redundant healthcare out of the system.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America is eyeing a spot in New Hampshire. The for profit chain wants to build a hospital in the Northeast. CTCA successfully lobbied Georgia to change its regulations so a specialty hospital could be built in that state. The company is hoping lawmakers in New Hampshire will make similar changes. A proposed law would exempt specialty cancer hospitals from certain regulations and also from Medicaid taxes.

Does New Hampshire Need Specialty Cancer Centers?

Feb 7, 2012
Miss A Liss / Flickr

Lawmakers are now considering whether to give exemptions to for-profit cancer centers so they can do business in the state. Under current regulations these cancer centers are likely  to be deemed redundant. But a new bill would allow them to avoid what is known as a Certificate of Need--to which all other hospitals must comply. These centers would also be exempt from Medicaid taxes.

There’s a lot of tension between New Hampshire and hospitals in the state right now.

The source of the problem....money, of course.

Thursday morning the two sides clashed in federal court over a cut in how much the state pays to treat low-income patients.

And then this afternoon, lawmakers drilled down on a tax dispute with some of the hospitals.

Even before the budget passed in June the state’s relationship with hospitals was strained.

But by the time the dust settled the relationship had been put in the ICU.

The Attorney General’s Office Thursday argued a federal judge should dismiss a lawsuit filed by 10 hospitals against the state.

Hospitals are suing over the state’s decision to cut how much it pays doctors and hospitals for treating low-income Medicaid patients.

They say those cuts violate New Hampshire’s agreement with the federal government to provide care to the poor.

But Senior Assistant Attorney General Nancy Smith says hospitals have no legal authority to question state reimbursement rates.