Health Care

If the last few Democratic presidential debates are any guide, tonight's will likely delve into health care proposals. Do voters know what we're talking about when we talk about various plans and concepts, including "Medicare for All?" Or any of the other health policy terms that get thrown around?

Pretty much no.

Sara Plourde; NHPR

Lowering medical costs and increasing access to care are among the most important issues for many New Hampshire voters.

We examine how the candidates say they will address this, as well as the political context and core ideas within their proposals. 

Find NPR's breakdown of candidate proposals here

Original air date: Monday, November 4, 2019. 

Flikr Creative Commons / Dvortygirl

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office says it has decided to join a massive multi-state lawsuit against makers of generic drugs.

The move comes after the AG’s office faced pressure from state lawmakers for not joining the suit sooner.

Ali Oshinskie / NHPR

 

A key portion of the federal Affordable Care Act that gives protection to people with pre-existing conditions will soon be enshrined in New Hampshire state law.

 

Republican Governor Chris Sununu said Tuesday he intends to the sign the bill authored by Senate Democrats.

 

Sununu's statement comes on the day that lawyers in a federal case that could overturn the Affordable Care Act hold oral arguments.

 

Allison Quantz | NHPR

Some rural hospitals in New Hampshire are facing challenges as for-profit health centers, like urgent care facilities, continue to open across the state.  A new bill signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu last week created a committee to address that issue and look into possible solutions.

For-profit health clinics like urgent care can provide more affordable health services to patients. But some hospitals have faced financial losses due to those clinics opening up nearby.

Hospital Mergers In New Hampshire

May 28, 2019

Across New Hampshire, hospitals have been combining forces, with one another and with larger healthcare networks. This is part of a larger national trend of hospitals teaming up. We look at what is driving these mergers, and the impact on patients and the larger community. 

GUESTS:

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

 At a public hearing on the state budget Tuesday, senators heard testimony in support of increasing funding for public schools and health care workers.

Many spoke in support of a bill that would boost state aid for health care programs, address worker shortages, and increase Medicaid reimbursements.

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.

New data shows a widespread shortage in health care workers across New Hampshire.

The data, released by the public health advocacy group New Futures, shows that across the state's 10 community mental health centers there are more than 200 open positions. That's an increase in vacancies of more than 20 percent over the past two years.

Mayu via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/7w8xG1

Earlier this year, Lakes Region General Hospital closed its labor and delivery unit, citing a declining number of deliveries. Now some women in labor may have to travel greater distances to deliver their babies in a hospital.

But what if the baby just can't wait?

Democratic nominee for governor Molly Kelly says she plans to reevaluate the state budget to make the opioid crisis and child protection services a priority.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Kelly on health care issues in New Hampshire. Morning Edition is interviewing all gubernatorial candidates on health issues this week.

A Check-Up For The Affordable Care Act

Jul 27, 2018
NHPR

This controversial health care law has undergone some changes since it was signed eight years ago, particularly under the Trump Administration.  We find what that means for the Granite State and what's in store for the Affordable Care Act in the months ahead. 

NHPR File Photo

 

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering setting aside $38 million to address an ongoing dispute over payments to hospitals in a move that could put funding for other legislative priorities at risk.

Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, is sponsoring an amendment to an unrelated related bill to put money from the state's general fund into escrow to cover potential payments resulting from a legal battle over how much state and federal governments must pay hospitals for uncompensated care.

AP

Keene is the latest in a string of New Hampshire cities to sue pharmaceutical giants over their alleged role fueling the opioid crisis. Nashua and Manchester have filed similar lawsuits, as have hundreds of communities across the country.

Sara Plourde/NHPR

A plan to extend New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion another five years cleared a major hurdle in the House of Representatives on Thursday. The House approved the bill by a vote of 222-125, over the objections of some Republicans who argued Medicaid expansion has been a failure and has driven up health insurance costs.

LRGHealthcare on Facebook

By the end of this year, New Hampshire families will have lost two places to turn to give birth, continuing a years-long trend of maternity unit closures in the Granite State and across the country.

Allison Quantz for NHPR

Have you ever gone to an ER that you thought was in-network, but ended up getting stuck with a surprise bill because the doctor you saw there was out-of-network? That’s known as “balance billing,” and New Hampshire is one of a growing number of states looking at ways to protect patients from these unexpected — and often large — invoices.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A public hearing on plans to combine Elliot Hospital and Southern New Hampshire Health drew a who’s who of local influencers in Manchester last night – all of them with positive reviews for the prospect of seeing the two hospitals join together.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Weekly N.H. News Roundup on The Exchange hit the road this week and recorded before a live audience at The Barley House in Concord. The show airs at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m Friday.

Click here to see photos from the event

Host Peter Biello also fielded questions from the audience, including two about marijuana legislation.

In new guidelines released by the Trump Administration, states including New Hampshire will now be allowed to impose work requirements on some recipients of Medicaid.

 New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny encourages people to do their research and seek help from navigators for enrollment in the Affordable Care Act for 2018.

Sevigny acknowledged the uncertainty for certain consumers when the President and the Republican-controlled Congress continue to knock “Obamacare.”

Another challenge is the shortened enrollment period; Dec. 15 is the deadline this year.

istock photo

November 1st marks the start of the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act. This is the window where people who purchase their own health insurance can shop for and select a plan for 2018. There is no shortage of confusion concerning ObamaCare, including what’s changed and what hasn’t. NHPR’s Todd Bookman joins All Things Considered Host Peter Biello to discuss open enrollment in New Hampshire.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The hospitals will keep their respective names on the building. Employees and patients won’t see any immediate changes. But six months after announcing their intentions to collaborate, Elliot Health System and Southern New Hampshire Health are combining forces under a new umbrella group called SolutionHealth, creating a nearly 500-bed regional health care system, one of the largest in the state.

Updated at 11:29 a.m. ET

President Trump's decision Thursday to end subsidy payments to health insurance companies is expected to raise premiums for middle-class families and cost the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars.

An analyst hired by the state to study trends in its insurance markets told lawmakers on Wednesday that people who receive subsidies to help pay for coverage on the individual market are likely to pay about the same — maybe even less — for coverage next year, on average. But people who don’t receive subsidies could see an average increase of 52 percent.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Democratic New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan are holding a news conference to highlight what they call the "devastating impact" that the latest GOP health care bill would have on state residents.

The senators say there are provisions that would make health insurance unaffordable for millions. They want Republicans to instead restart bipartisan negotiations on health care.

They're holding a news conference at the Elliot Hospital in Manchester on Monday morning.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

Sen. John McCain may, once again, be the savior of President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.

The Arizona Republican announced in a statement on Friday that he opposes the latest GOP legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Thomas Fearon

The Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services is preparing for a new role: CEO of New Hampshire Hospital. But it won’t be Shibinette’s first time working there.

One of her first jobs out of nursing school was as a charge nurse and relief shift supervisor, working primarily with geriatric patients at Thayer Building, part of the hospital campus.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Community health centers in New Hampshire — and nationwide – are bracing for the possible loss of millions of dollars in federal funding if Congress doesn’t take action by the end of this month.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price made a quick trip to New Hampshire Thursday afternoon to announce $200 million in federal grants targeting community health centers, to increase access to mental health and opioid abuse services.

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