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Sabadosa bills bring pregnancy loss out of shadows
07-02-2024 2:31 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Two bills presented by Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa that passed last week will support families who have experienced pregnancy loss by adding paid pregnancy loss leave to the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law and establishing a public information campaign...

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Health care gaps create reentry hurdle for incarcerated individuals
05-19-2024 5:00 PM

By JIASHAN ZHENG

Despite ongoing reform efforts, the Massachusetts prison health care system continues to be confronted with significant challenges, deeply affecting the well-being of incarcerated individuals and complicating their reentry into society...


A Page From North Quabbin History: Doctors in the family
03-17-2024 5:01 PM

By Carla CharterThe Dufault family has had three generations of doctors, all of whom have been graduates from Tufts University. This family of doctors had their beginnings in Athol.Dr. Paul F. Dufault of Worcester, an internist, said his grandfather,...


Sen. Comerford talks health care legislation with region’s physicians
03-15-2024 3:55 PM

By LIESEL NYGARD

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Before a room filled with local health care professionals, state Sen. Jo Comerford shared details about legislation she’s filed this session in hopes of bolstering the health care system to “do well by” those physicians and, in turn,...


Consumers, hospitals lose ground as total spending increased 5.8%
03-13-2024 3:50 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

As policymakers this week examine a law meant to keep health care cost growth within sustainable bounds, a new report makes clear that the health care sector has a double-sided problem – the cost of care is pushing it out of reach for many...


State suspends Northfield EMS chief’s paramedic license
03-05-2024 5:37 PM

By LIESEL NYGARD

The state Office of Emergency Medical Services has suspended the paramedic license held by Northfield EMS Chief and Orange EMS Capt. Mark Fortier, but town officials say paramedic staffing levels are sufficient to ensure continued ambulance...


CDC considers dropping 5-day COVID isolation rule as local hospitals bring back mask requirements
02-21-2024 5:08 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering loosening isolation requirements for people who test positive for COVID-19, meaning they would no longer have to stay at home for at least five days when infected with the virus.Under the...


GCC nursing students talk single-payer health care, workplace safety concerns with legislators
02-13-2024 5:01 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — Four women representing western Massachusetts in the state Legislature visited Greenfield Community College on Monday for a panel discussion about health care with second-year nursing students.State Sen. Jo Comerford was joined by state...


McGovern legislation would ease access to medically necessary foods
01-29-2024 5:01 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

The Democrat representing the 2nd Congressional District of Massachusetts has teamed up with a Republican colleague from Florida to sponsor a bill aimed at making it easier for Americans to get medically necessary foods.Jim McGovern and John...


Blue Cross pauses anesthesia policy after doctors raise concerns
01-28-2024 10:46 AM

By MADDIE FABIAN

Less than a month after it began enforcing a longstanding policy restricting the use of anesthesia during colonoscopies and other procedures, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is pausing that action after physicians statewide lobbied the insurer...


Flu cases surge at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, while COVID, RSV less severe
01-22-2024 5:00 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Even with less severe cases of COVID-19 than the past two years and a marked decrease since last fall in RSV, officially known as respiratory syncytial virus, a surge in flu cases is keeping Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s emergency department as busy as...


Massachusetts doctors approve slate of policy priorities
12-18-2023 12:03 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Reining in gun violence, increasing access to housing and health supports for migrant families, and studying the health effects of decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station are among the policies the Massachusetts Medical Society...


DPH backs supervised drug sites as ‘lifelines’ in addiction crisis
12-15-2023 5:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — The state’s drug overdose crisis is persisting at record high levels, exacerbated by a “poisoned drug supply” that isn’t just affecting those who use opioids anymore.There were 2,323 confirmed and estimated fatal opioid-related overdoses...


MassHealth members can get access to doula coverage this spring
12-12-2023 4:00 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Pregnant and postpartum MassHealth members are slated to gain access to doula coverage this spring as state officials aim to tackle worsening maternal health outcomes.Doula coverage will be offered during labor and delivery, as well as for...


Abortion advocates back legislation to expand access to health services
11-24-2023 9:28 AM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Allowing people younger than 16 to receive abortion care without a parent or judge’s consent, regulating so-called crisis pregnancy centers and permitting later-term abortions in more settings are coming into focus as the next fronts for...


Health care coalition demands hospitals bring back masks, take precautions amid fears of COVID surge
11-21-2023 4:25 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Before the pandemic, Dr. David Alpern, like many health care workers at the time, didn’t think twice about going to work with a runny nose or cough.But since symptoms of COVID-19 are indistinguishable from the common cold, the retired Cooley Dickinson...


Senate will press for prescription drug cost relief
11-10-2023 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — Patients would pay no more than $25 for certain name-brand medications to treat some chronic illnesses and face no costs whatsoever for similar generic options under the latest prescription drug legislation set to emerge in the Senate.Senate...


Doula bill heads to hearing
09-18-2023 5:00 PM

By BELLA LEVAVI

This Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing will host a hearing for a bill that could vastly improve access to doula services.The hearing will take place on Sept. 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Doula Bill H 1240/ S 782: An Act Relative...


Loan repayments fortify some in Mass. health care
08-23-2023 4:29 PM

By Chris Lisinski

BOSTON — In a move that one Massachusetts social worker described as an “answered prayer,” the state will repay more than $140 million in student loans for almost 3,000 health care providers who serve communities in need.An estimated 2,935 primary...


Pharmacist-prescribed birth control OK’d in state budget
08-13-2023 5:00 PM

By MADDIE FABIAN

NORTHAMPTON — Registered pharmacists in Massachusetts can now prescribe hormonal birth control under a bill passed in the state budget this week.The legislation, “An Act Relative to Hormonal Contraceptives,” which is co-sponsored by state Rep. Lindsay...


HPC: Mass. seeing billions in ‘excessive’ health care spending
06-09-2023 4:13 PM

By Chris Lisinski

BOSTON — Massachusetts regulators delivered one of their most forceful warnings yet that health care prices are spiraling out of control, ramping up the pressure on lawmakers who have been unable to wrangle the trend and fulfill a consensus vision of...

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