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. 

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.” 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire Executive Council on Wednesday approved a contract worth more than $900 million for three companies to run the state's Medicaid program.

 

About 180,000 people in New Hampshire are insured by either Medicaid, or expanded Medicaid.

 

Two of the companies, Well Sense and New Hampshire Healthy Families, are already providing those services.

 

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

The state Office of Child Advocate has announced it is currently reviewing how the Department for Children Youth and Families handles cases of infants born exposed to drugs.

The Office of the Child Advocate says it opened the review in December of last year after it received concerns about how DCYF was handling the cases. In two cases in 2018 infants, died after DCYF closed assessments for neglect as unfounded.

Statewide, the state Child Advocate says there were 466 children involved in DCYF cases where there were indications that the child was born exposed to drugs.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Right now, around 50,000 people in New Hampshire get their health insurance through expanded Medicaid. As a creation of the Affordable Care Act, the program is designed to cover people who make too much money to qualify for traditional Medicaid, but not enough to afford private health insurance.

Beginning later this year, for some of those 50,000 people, there is a new string attached to that health insurance: a requirement they work at least 100 hours each month.

Jason Moon / NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu signed three executive orders Tuesday designed to address recommendations from the state's new 10-year mental health plan.

One executive order creates a commission to study the intersection of mental illness and the justice system, including how the state can better treat inmates with mental illness so that they don't re-offend.

Jason Moon / NHPR

Earlier this month, a group of police officers, firefighters, and paramedics became the first in New Hampshire to complete an intensive course on how to react to people in mental health crisis. It brought together people with firsthand experience from both sides of that interaction.

Steve Smithe via Flickr

Multiple news agencies are reporting that drug company Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, is considering filing for bankruptcy. That could affect lawsuits against the drug maker here in New Hampshire.

Mia Phillips

Dogs from around the Northeast gathered in Tamworth last weekend – along with their owners - to take part in a decades-old winter tradition: the Tamworth Sled Dog Races. Organizers say the event goes back to 1937.

But poor weather conditions in recent years have canceled the race, leaving some to worry about the future of this winter classic.

Via NPR

New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan was among the lawmakers asking questions of the nation's biggest drug companies in Washington today.

While much of the hearing before the Senate Finance Committee focused on the high price of prescription drugs in the U.S., Hassan focused her questions on the sales tactics the companies used when promoting opioids to doctors.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill to add new positions to the state’s cold case unit.

The bill would hire two new detectives to investigate cold cases and two new attorneys to prosecute them. The unit is currently staffed with one attorney and four detectives, two of whom work part-time.

The bipartisan bill comes after the federal money that helped launch the unit in 2009 was depleted.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate today unanimously approved a plan to spend more than $10 million to address a shortage of mental health beds in New Hampshire.

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

NHPR Staff

The state senate yesterday unanimously passed two bills aimed at boosting mental health services and protecting vulnerable children.

The votes came on the same day Governor Chris Sununu was outlining his budget which looks to tackle some of the same issues.

One bill, passed Thursday, would add 77 positions to the Department for Children, Youth, and Families over the next two years. That's 15 more positions than Sununu called for in his speech.

PEXELS

New Hampshire's shortage of workers not only affects the state's overall economic growth, but it's also limiting access to health care services.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Bob MacLeod, the CEO of Mid-State Health Center in Plymouth, about how he's struggling to find enough primary care physicians to keep up with the demand.

This is a partial transcript from the interview. To hear the whole conversation, click on the audio above.

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