New Hampshire Hospitals

Throughout the state of New Hampshire there are 26 hospitals offering comprehensive services and quality care to its patients, many of which have achieved national recognition for their quality of care. From the northern tip to southern New Hampshire, these hospitals continually work to develop and utilize new technologies to increase and improve health care options.

The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon has made it to the list of “America’s Best Hospitals” for its specialized excellence in research, diagnosis, treatment and education. Throughout the state there are Dartmouth-Hitchcock branches in locations including Concord, Keene, Manchester, Bedford and Nashua.

Located in the Queen city is the Elliot Hospital and the Catholic Medical Center, both which offer urgent care facilities. Also in Manchester is the Manchester VA Medical Center offering various services to veterans including urgent care, primary care and long-term care.

The Speare Memorial Hospital located between the Lakes Region and the White Mountain National Forest in Plymouth offers a wide variety of health services. With recent expansion, Speare has made additions to better meet the needs of its patients living or traveling in the northern part of the state.

The Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester has been providing high quality care for over 80 years while keeping up with latest technologies to meet the ever changing health care needs. They have specifically received recognition for the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate located within Frisbie Memorial and offering high quality education to patients with diabetes.

Despite the great need for high-quality care, Frisbie Memorial Hospital, among others, has faced the crunch in the recession where hours were cut for more than 100 employees and over 20 workers lost their jobs, back in 2009’s recession.

The St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua is a full-service healthcare system working to meet its patients’ needs through innovation, technology and great quality care. Their main campus is leading the way in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. They also have a rehabilitation center and childbirth center.

The Concord Hospital, located in southern New Hampshire has received great recognition for their specialty in orthopedics, and also provides support in urologic care, women’s care, cancer care and cardiac care. According to a press release by the Concord Hospital, they are one of the only large hospitals in the state that have not experienced layoffs due to the recession.

According to Business Week, top executives from New Hampshire’s 23 non-profit hospitals have received substantial pay increases, from 2006 to 2009, which makes their salaries similar to hospital executives in other states, but varies considerably among the hospitals in New Hampshire.

The Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover is the seacoast’s leading medical center, featuring a spine center, joint-replacement center, acute care, disease management, wellness programs, trauma center and strong educational program.

New Hampshire hospitals pride themselves in their quality of care, expansion and ability to discover and utilize new and improved technologies, and revolutionary ways of treating and diagnosing their patients.

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. 

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."

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.

VGo/NHPR Staff

Football faces increasing criticism as mounting evidence shows the dangers of concussions, in particular undiagnosed concussions.

A new telehealth initiative at Dartmouth College aims to eliminate those undiagnosed concussions by bringing neurosurgeons to the sidelines--via robot.

On the sidelines of the Dartmouth/Penn football game, neurosurgeon Robert Singer watches carefully.

"A lot of these hits are shoulder hits. What we’re looking for are direct head to head kind of contact, that type of thing."

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is trying to prevent the spread of a skin condition known as crusted scabies. Also called Norwegian scabies, the disease is non-life threatening and easily treatable if caught in time.

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.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A new technology holds the promise of treatment for the nearly one million Americans with epilepsy that don’t respond to medications. The FDA has approved a new implant that uses bursts of electricity to stop seizures before they start. 

That’s good news for people like Chrissy Goodman. She’s 32, from Concord, and had her first seizure at age 14.

Epilepsy has affected every aspect of her life, from where she can live to relationships to education.

About 90 percent of Americans who need long term care get it from unpaid family members. That puts a strain on a lot of relatives who have neither enough time nor the training to care for loved ones with brain disorders such as dementia.

So Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., gives classes to family caregivers, and recruits actors to play the patients.

Thirteen unemployed and underemployed people from New Hampshire and Vermont will soon be taking jobs with Dartmouth-Hitchcock as medical coders.  Today they graduate from an innovative cross-state program.

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.

YouTube

The patients and staff at the Childrens Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center have hit the Internet big time.

Liz Faiella

Researchers at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice have been at the forefront of research on unnecessary diagnosis and treatment.

The problem is big, and solving it may require a major change in the way the whole health system treats illness.

Earlier this month, Dartmouth hosted the first ever international conference on preventing overdiagnosis.

Speaking to a crowd of doctors at the Preventing Overdiagnosis conference, Dr. Steven Woloshin began by diagnosing his audience.

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.

One key aspect of the federal health overhaul law is a transition away from a fee-for-service system, where hospitals and doctors get paid, for example, per lab test or re-admission. To help test new models under so-called Obamacare, 32 hospitals nationwide launched an alternative system called an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

Results released today looking at the first year of the program show Dartmouth-Hitchcock as one of 18 hospitals that succeeded in lowering costs compared to a control group of Medicare patients.

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

Soothing Cancer With The Arts

Mar 7, 2013
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.

N.H. Begins To Wrestle With Medicaid Expansion

Jul 24, 2012
Sara Plourde / NHPR

A group of New Hampshire lawmakers will meet Wednesday to begin discussing how the state should move forward under the nation’s health care law.  One of the big questions for the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee is whether New Hampshire should expand its Medicaid program.

The recent Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act gives states the option to extend Medicaid to more low-income residents. Under the new law, beginning in 2014, an adult who brings home less than $15,000 a year and a family of four with income under about $30,000 will qualify.

While the future of the Affordable Care Act is unclear, some of the changes may be here to stay. President of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Jim Weinstein is focusing on the improvement of patient care over providing more care. NHPR's Dan Gorenstein reporting for Marketplace has more.

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.

Flikr Creative Commons / Grumpy-Puddin

The State is fining Concord Hospital over two hundred thousand dollars. The hospital was nabbed for not disposing its pharmaceutical waste properly.

During an inspection the Department of Environmental Services found that Concord Hospital was throwing pills and other non-infectious medical waste straight into the garbage. According to the DES this is the first time in New Hampshire that a civil suit has been filed for improper disposal of pharmaceuticals.

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.

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