Jason Moon

Reporter

Before joining NHPR's newsroom in February of 2015, Jason held internships with a variety of public radio organizations including StoryCorps, Transom.org, and WBHM in Birmingham, Alabama. He studied philosophy, political science, and audio documentaries at Bennington College in Vermont.

Jason lives in New Hampshire's Upper Valley region and covers a variety of topics including health, and is the host and reporter behind Bear Brook, an investigative podcast. 

Towns and cities across the state are marking Memorial Day, with parades and other festivities.

In Hopkinton, Don West watched a line of classic cars with American flags slide through the center of town. He came to remember his uncle who was killed in World War II. But he also had his mind on the world today.

"It's really somewhat scary to think about all the tension around the world and how easy it would be to get sucked into another conflict," he said. "And I just hope that doesn't happen."

AP

Prescription opioids in New Hampshire could soon be marked by orange stickers on their lids. A bill passed by the state senate by a vote of 22-1 on Thursday would also require pamphlets be given out with each prescription.

The bill's sponsor, Democratic state rep Tom Loughman, says he introduced the bill after hearing stories of people who took opioids without realizing it.

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Two Seacoast hospitals have signed an agreement to become part of the Massachusetts General Hospital network.

Exeter Hospital and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover say the move will help them make investments that they can't currently afford as standalone organizations.

The proposed merger is subject to review by state and federal regulators. Public meetings will also be held as a part of the review process.

The news comes just months after another proposed hospital affiliation was announced, between Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Catholic Medical Center.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu wants New Hampshire's congressional delegation to change a Medicaid rule that covers how services for people with developmental disabilities are provided.

The rule is designed to eliminate conflicts of interest. It requires that agencies which provide case management and direct services for people with developmental disabilities cannot provide both to the same people under Medicaid.

Jason Moon / NHPR

Presidential campaigns do all they can to make sure their events stay on message: candidates who pivot out of tough questions, campaign staff who keep a tight grip on the microphone while a voter is asking a question.

But now, more and more, voters are coming to campaign events with their own bag of tricks. With the help of advocacy groups around the state, they’re getting trained in an art known as birddogging.

Senator Maggie Hassan was one of a group of bipartisan lawmakers who introduced a bill on Thursday designed to stop surprise medical billing.

The plan would set up an arbitration process where medical providers and insurers could work out who pays for an out-of-network visit without involving the patient.

“That's really the key part of our legislation,” said Hassan at a press conference in Washington, D.C., “taking the patient out of these payment disputes between plans and providers.”

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Senate Democrats are urging Governor Chris Sununu and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald to join 44 other states in a lawsuit against makers of generic drugs.

The lawsuit, which could be the largest of its kind in American history, alleges that makers of generic drugs have been conspiring for years to artificially inflate prices.

New Hampshire is one of just six states that hasn't signed on to the suit, though the state did join an earlier lawsuit that came out of the same investigation.

Jason Moon / NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker told a crowd of people in Concord Monday that a positive message is the best way to confront President Donald Trump in the next election.

“I'm kinda worried about my party as much I'm worried about other things,” said Booker. “Because I don't think we win this election by showing the worst of who we are. I think this idea, ‘when they go low, we go lower’ is terrifying to me.”

NHPR Photo

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office says it is still deciding whether to join a lawsuit filed by 44 other states alleging a massive price-fixing scheme by generic drug makers.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democrats are criticizing Governor Chris Sununu's veto of a paid family and medical leave bill.

The bill would have offered up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave at up to 60 % of a worker’s salary. The state would've paid for this with a mandatory .5 % payroll tax.

Sununu called it an income tax and vetoed it on Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes, a Democrat from Concord, says that was a missed opportunity for the state.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire's Child Advocate says the Department of Corrections and the Division for Children, Youth and Families could do more to protect children from the negative experiences of having their parent incarcerated.

Studies show when a parent goes to jail, it can have long-term mental and emotional impacts on their children.

One way to mitigate that is to maintain a relationship through visitation or regular communication between the parent and child. At the state prison, a Family Connection Center is supposed to facilitate that connection.

Jason Moon / NHPR

A group of medical providers, patients, and lawmakers gathered in front of the State House Monday in support of a bill designed to address a shortage of health care workers in New Hampshire.

The coalition is backing a bill currently in the Senate that would add state money to health care training programs, increase Medicaid reimbursement rates, and streamline the background check process for health care workers, among other things.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill to add dozens of new state employees at the agency tasked with investigating child abuse has now passed both chambers of the legislature.

Multiple outside reviews of the Division of Children, Youth and Families have identified a shortage of caseworkers as a problem. DCYF employees currently juggle a caseload that is nearly four times the nationally recommended average.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

A plan to spend more than $10 million to address a shortage of mental health beds has passed the New Hampshire House.

The money would pay for a number of efforts including renovations at existing hospitals to make room for more mental health beds, a new mobile mental health crisis unit, and new transitional housing for people who are released from inpatient psychiatric care.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A bill that seeks to limit the impact of a controversial new Medicaid work requirement is now headed to Governor Chris Sununu’s desk.

The so-called community engagement requirement is set to take effect in June. It will require some low-income people who get their health insurance through the state's expanded Medicaid program to complete 100 hours of work or other qualifying activities each month or risk losing their coverage.

Unsung: Marilla Ricker

May 1, 2019

In the late 1800s Marilla Ricker opened the door for women to practice law in New Hampshire. But as Jason Moon reports, some lawyers practicing today say on that issue, we haven’t made as much progress as you might think.

NHPR File Photo

A federal judge has granted the state of New Hampshire's request to intervene in a lawsuit over a new Medicaid work requirement.

Last month, a group of low-income New Hampshire residents sued the Trump administration for granting New Hampshire a waiver that allowed the state to implement the work requirement. 

More than 80 local police departments and pharmacies across New Hampshire are set to participate in National prescription drug take back day on Saturday.

The drop-off locations will accept any expired or unused prescription drugs, but officials like John McGough with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services say they are most interested in getting rid of prescription opioids.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The state Senate Thursday passed a bill restricting access to vaping devices for minors in New Hampshire.

The bill would add vaping devices like e-cigarettes and e-liquid to the existing law that makes it illegal for people under the age of 18 to buy cigarettes.

Courtesy Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Lawmakers at the State House heard testimony on a bill Wednesday that would pave the way for an expansion of telemedicine in New Hampshire.

Senate bill 258 would add primary care physicians and pediatricians to the list of doctors in New Hampshire who can bill Medicaid and private insurers for telemedicine.

CDC.gov

In an effort to halt an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak, health clinics in Manchester, Nashua, Somersworth, and Concord are offering free vaccines to people without health insurance.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

  

A bill to add 77 new positions at the Department for Children, Youth and Families received unanimous approval from a committee of House lawmakers Tuesday.

 

The vote comes a day after a legislative Advisory Board for DCYF put its support behind the bill.

 

Department of Health and Human Services

New Hampshire health officials are warning that a recent outbreak of hepatitis A in the state is accelerating.

The Department of Health and Human Services first announced the outbreak in February, when 13 people had been infected since last November.

Now, DHHS says that number has jumped to 79, including one person who has died. The average number of cases over an entire year in New Hampshire is seven.

Courtesy Catholic Medical Center

Catholic Medical Center, one of the largest hospitals in New Hampshire, has announced plans for a major expansion of its Manchester facilities.

CMC announced Tuesday it wants to add 220,000 square feet and increase its overall capacity from 266 to 330 beds.

CMC spokesperson Lauren Collins-Cline says the plan is driven by increasing demand and that on most days the hospital operates at or near capacity.

“The house is full as we like to say. We've been essentially at capacity most days for quite some time.”

Department of Human Health and Services

The New Hampshire Division for Children Youth and Families advisory board is putting its weight behind a proposal to add dozens of new positions at the agency.

High caseloads have long plagued the state agency that investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect. Right now the average caseworker at DCYF is juggling 45 cases at once, while the nationally recommended average is 12.

As state lawmakers and the governor debate the state budget, a handful of proposals have been put forward to address the staffing shortage.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Lawmakers in the New Hampshire House heard testimony Wednesday on a bill that would roll back some elements of a controversial new Medicaid work requirement.

The new work requirement, set to fully kick in this summer, will require some people who get their health insurance through expanded Medicaid to complete 100 hours of qualifying activities each month or risk losing that coverage.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

 

Case workers from the New Hampshire Division for Children Youth and Families went before lawmakers Tuesday to ask for additional staff to keep up with a growing number of child abuse reports.

 

Caseworkers at DCYF, the state agency that investigates allegations of child abuse, currently juggle an average of around 45 cases each. The nationally recommended level is 12 cases.

A new database released Tuesday offers a detailed look at the health of aging adults in New Hampshire.

The report, funded by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, provides town-level data on 166 different health indicators for adults over 60 in New Hampshire.

DHMC

A new art exhibit opening April 1st at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center focuses on the faces of people living with mental illness.

The exhibit, called The 99 Faces Project, features life-size portraits of 33 people living with bipolar disorder, 33 people living with schizophrenia, and 33 people who love and support them.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock arts program director Marianne Barthel says the artist Lynda Michaud Cutrell wanted to challenge assumptions about what mental illness looks like.

Dan Tuohy

The future of New Hampshire's Medicaid work requirement may be in doubt following a federal court decision that struck down similar work requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky.

In a ruling released Wednesday afternoon, a judge in the federal District Court of Washington D.C. called the decision by the Trump administration to allow the work requirements to go forward in those states “arbitrary and capricious.” 

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