Health

Construction is wrapping up on a new drug treatment facility at the John H. Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester.

The 36-bed facility at the detention center will provide services to people ages 12 to 18 with substance use disorder.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

New Hampshire is one step closer to overhauling its infrastructure for combatting the opioid epidemic.

State lawmakers on Friday approved nearly $20 million in federal money to bolster treatment and recovery programs over the next 10 months.

The funding was announced last month, and becomes official this week. The state must start spending it within 90 days.

Nearly $9 million will go toward developing a hub-and-spoke model with hospitals serving as the go-to spot for someone seeking help for addiction.

Takeaway: Nearly 1 in 4 foster care children being prescribed psych drugs lacked a treatment plan required in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire is one of the top five states in terms of foster care children being prescribed these medications.  

NHPR Photo

 

A new report shows fewer patients acquired infections in New Hampshire hospitals last year compared to the year before.

The Department of Health and Human Services collects annual data about surgical site infections, bloodstream infections associated with central lines and urinary tract infections associated with catheters.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Nashua residents and officials are debating an EPA proposal to clean up the Mohawk Tannery, a 30-acre toxic waste site along the Nashua River.

The former leather tannery has been the focus of local environmental and health concerns since it closed in the 1980s.

Centers for Disease Control

The numbers of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus in southern New Hampshire is on the rise, prompting officials to issue a public health threat declaration for the region.

On Thursday, Governor Sununu and the Department of Health and Human Services announced that 30 municipalities in southern New Hampshire are at increased risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). 

Churches and recovery centers across the state gathered today for Overdose Awareness Day.

New Hampshire has the second highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country, the majority from fentanyl.

James Jordan / Flickr CC

The number of towns in New Hampshire at risk for West Nile virus is growing. Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services elevated Manchester’s level of risk for West Nile to high, automatically elevating the surrounding towns to medium risk.

Ten community health centers in New Hampshire are splitting over $835,000 in federal grants to improve health care delivery. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the money last week after reviewing the performance of all 1,400 federally qualified health centers in the United States. Eight of the ten centers in New Hampshire receiving awards were also named “Health Center Quality Leaders” for ranking in the top 30th percent of centers nationwide. 

stylepinner.com

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced on Tuesday that temporary rules are in place to expand the state’s Medicaid to Schools Program. 

 

New Hampshire Democrats Maggie Hassan and Annie Kuster are part of a bipartisan group sponsoring a bill that targets counterfeit pill makers.

The bill allows the U.S. attorney general to create a registry of machines that are used to manufacture pills. This would ensure that the machines are not used for illicit purposes.

Hassan said members of both parties, and President Donald Trump's own opioid commission, agree on the importance of regulating the machines.

Don Kreis

At the Department of Motor Vehicles, Don Kreis took a number and waited to be called up to the desk. When he filled out a form requesting a custom license plate, the woman who reviewed the form paused.

 

“If you don’t mind me asking,” she said, “why did you ask for this particular vanity plate?” Don had requested what appeared to be a jumble of letters and numbers on his license plate: N1303K.

 

“When I explained it to her,” he says, “she actually started to cry.”

CDC.gov

 

U.S. regulators Friday approved the first treatment for smallpox — a deadly disease that was wiped out four decades ago — in case the virus is used in a terror attack.

Smallpox, which is highly contagious, was eradicated worldwide by 1980 after a huge vaccination campaign.

But people born since then haven't been vaccinated, and small samples of the smallpox virus were saved for research purposes, leaving the possibility it could be used as a biological weapon.

Courtroom One Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

The juvenile justice system in New Hampshire is built around the idea of rehabilitation. Instead of going to jail, young people who commit crimes gain access to services like counseling and substance abuse treatment to address the underlying causes of their behavior.

But a blind spot in the state’s juvenile justice system can keep some kids from getting the help they need.

NHPR File Photo

 

After several years of instability, the same three companies plan to continue offering health insurance in New Hampshire next year through the marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.

Savannah Maher/NHPR

Representatives from six state-supported addiction treatment centers gathered at the Statehouse today to rally against decreased Medicaid reimbursement rates. The change, brought on by a switch in the way Medicaid recipients are insured, will take effect next year.

Providers say it will force them to cut services and eliminate inpatient beds instead of expanding to address New Hampshire's opioid epidemic. 

NHPR File Photo

 

The director of operations at New Hampshire's youth detention center has resigned to take an out-of-state job.

Brady Serafin led the Sununu Youth Services Center for 2 ½ years. Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers said Thursday that Serafin served the department with distinction. Serafin also was chief of the Bureau of Family, Community, and Program Supports in the Division for Children, Youth and Families.

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

Supporters of a man being held in the secure psychiatric unit at New Hampshire State Prison, despite never being convicted of a crime, marched in Concord today. As NHPR’s Josh Rogers reports, the protest comes as a federal judge considers Andrew Butler’s request to be transferred to an accredited mental health facility.

Courtesy U.S Department of Agriculture

The town of Londonderry is suing pharmaceutical makers for their alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis, joining hundreds of other municipalities across the country.

NHPR File Photo

 

Last week, the Disability Rights Center of New Hampshire released a report that accused staff at the Sununu Youth Services Center of using unlawful restraint against residents multiple times over the past few years.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

A bill to continue New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program for another five years is on its way to the desk of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

The current program uses Medicaid funds to purchase private health plans for about 50,000 low-income residents, but it will expire this year if lawmakers don't reauthorize it.

Portsmouth Regional Hospital has opened a new drop-off site for moms who are interested in donating breast milk. The hospital partnered with Mother's Milk Bank Northeast for the project.

This is state's fourth milk depot.

Nora Fortin, director of maternity, pediatric and women's health, says there are a lot of women in the state who have extra milk to give.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Starting in 2019, people getting health insurance through New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion program will have to comply with a new work and “community engagement” requirement in order to continue receiving coverage. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees Medicaid programs across the country, formally approved New Hampshire’s request to add the requirements on Monday.

NHPR File Photo

In a swift vote with no floor debate, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a plan to continue the state's Medicaid expansion for at least another two and a half years — and potentially as long as five.

The relatively smooth path for the Medicaid expansion bill this time around marks a stark contrast from past years, when the issue drew much more prolonged and partisan debate. The inclusion of a work requirement and a new funding scheme to avoid using state tax dollars helped to win over more Republicans this time around.

Flickr/ Anne and Tim (Creative Commons)

Supporters of a paid family and medical leave bill are trying to salvage their plan after a key Senate committee decided it wasn’t ready for passage.

NHPR File Photo

 

A New Hampshire state agency that helps people with disabilities find and keep jobs for years spent millions more than it took in, prompting an office restructuring and plan to prioritize services for those with the most significant impairments.

When Alzheimer's Strikes Young

Apr 20, 2018

A recent Concord Monitor series, "Stolen Memories," profiles several Granite Staters who were diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer's, some in their early fifties.  We'll hear their stories and learn about their particular struggles with work, family, and the medical system. 

Jessica Hunt / NHPR

Jeffrey Meyers, Commissioner of the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, says his agency is beefing up oversight of substance use disorder treatment centers that have been struggling to stay afloat or that have closed altogether after financial struggles – a situation the state can ill afford in the midst of the opioid crisis.  

Speaking on The Exchange, Meyers said the state is auditing these organizations regularly.

THORPORRE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is warning Granite Staters about a recall of food products containing powdered kratom made or processed by Triangle Pharmanaturals.

The public health alert comes after the Food and Drug Administration issued a recall on those products after finding several to be contaminated with salmonella.

The products include Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Emerald Green, Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Ivory White, and Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Ruby Red.

 A website developed by the New Hampshire Insurance Department has new features aimed at helping consumers make educated choices about health care.

The department's health price transparency website, NHHealthCost.org, allows residents to compare the price of various health care services across doctors, hospitals and outpatient facilities.

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