A cornucopia of health care news and views

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As the days of summer wane and kids of all ages head off —  or back — to school, there is a lot going on in the local health care environment in the city, region and across the state

Fun with purpose

For many agencies, fall is a time of special events. Providing attendees with a blend of mission and fun, these also serve as valuable fund and friend-raisers. There is no shortage of opportunities to get involved with a range of great causes. Highlights include:

Friday, August 31 – Monday, September 3, the UpReach Therapeutic Equestrian Center presents the 2018 performance of the world-famous Lipizzan Stallions. Details at www.upreachtec.org.

Saturday, September 15, Get your Motor Running with The Way Home’s 9th Annual Freedom Ride. Event features scenic motorcycle ride and biker bash. Details at www.thewayhomenh.org.

Sunday, September 30, NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) Walks NH annual event. Details at www.naminh.org

Monday, October 22, The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester’s 19th Annual Dinner and Awards Benefit featuring former Major League baseball pitcher and NH native Bob Tewksbury. Details at www.mhcgm.org.

Educational opportunities

Aimed at health care professionals, families and others, the region will be host to some important conferences this fall. Highlights include:

Saturday, September 22, The New England Connective Tissue Disorder Symposium. This is a full day symposium for patients, family members and healthcare professionals. Topics covered include Marfan syndrome, Loeys-Dietz syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndromes and related disorders. Details at www.connectivetissuesymposium.org.

Saturday, September 29, The NH Musculoskeletal Institute offers its 25th annual fall symposium. The conference will provide timely, informative clinical updates for physical therapy, athletic training and other musculoskeletal professionals. Details at www.nhmi.net.

From the capitol

Our state’s opioid crisis continues to take center stage and dominates many news cycles. There is optimism that the energy and determination among providers, lawmakers, regulators, business leaders to break down silos and work toward a common vision will ultimately make a dent in this issue. . . This past summer, the NH Department of Health and Human Services received federal approval to expand access to residential treatment for substance use disorder services for Medicaid-eligible residents. The waiver, approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will ensure New Hampshire’s 18 licensed residential treatment facilities retain the ability to bill Medicaid for in-patient services. The move was praised by Jake Berry, Vice President of New Futures who said,The approval of this waiver will help to maintain access to critical treatment services during our devastating substance use crisis.” . .

Open enrollment for NH’s Health Insurance Marketplace -aka Obamacare-is set to kick off on November 1st. According to the NH Department of Insurance, three companies have filed rates with the intention to offer products on the exchange in 2019 for New Hampshire: Ambetter, Anthem, and Harvard Pilgrim. The companies have until Sept. 25 to commit to selling plans on HealthCare.gov for the 2019 plan year. Insurance Commissioner John Elias says that the rate forecast calls for a “modest decrease in premium rates.”

New faces, new places

Tim Soucy, long-time Director of Public Health for the City of Manchester is leaving his position at the end this month to take on a role at Catholic Medical Center. Soucy will replace the retiring Paul Mertzic, a dedicated and humble health care champion who has had an amazing impact upon our community. As of this writing, Deputy Director Anna Thomas been nominated by Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig to fill Soucy’s shoes. She is expected to be formerly confirmed for the corner office in September. . .Sherry Hausmann has been named CEO of Solution Health. Solution Health is the partnership between Manchester’s Elliot Health System and Nashua’s Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. Hausmann comes to the area having led a large integrated health system in Kansas.