PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Sen. Josh Miller was supervising the dinner shift at his restaurant, Trinity Brewhouse, last December when a customer in the bathroom overdosed.

Miller called 911. Rescue workers administered naloxone, a medication to reverse an opioid overdose. And the young man was rushed to the emergency room at Rhode Island Hospital.

But he was never treated.

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If your health insurance deductibles and co-pays have been rising, you’re not alone. A recent report about the cost of health care in the Ocean State found that consumers’ out-of-pocket costs for care have been rising faster than the actual price of health care services. 

On this week’s The Pulse, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay joins news director Elisabeth Harrison to talk about the latest efforts to curb those costs – and keep us healthy.

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STATE HOUSE – Sen. Joshua Miller and Sen. Gayle L. Goldin were joined by community and religious leaders today in the State House rotunda for a rally to demonstrate support and compassion for refugees fleeing the crisis in Syria.

The event was planned to offer reasoned perspective on the crisis facing refugees and to offer a reminder of the American value of offering sanctuary to those fleeing suffering — and Rhode Island’s own history as a refuge for the persecuted.

“This great nation — the home of the brave — can both protect our national security and welcome refugees fleeing violence,” said Senator Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence. “The faces that make up our nation would be very different today if the U.S. didn’t welcome the oppressed. There aren’t many of us here today who can’t trace our family’s arrival in this nation to the quest for a better life.”

The senators called on Rhode Islanders and Americans to consider the suffering faced by those fleeing violence and to remember those throughout history, such as Holocaust victims, who died because they were unable to escape to safer countries. The United States is not threatened, but strengthened by those it welcomes, they said.

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STATE HOUSE – The Senate Finance Committee and Health and Human Services Committee will meet jointly Tuesday for a progress report on the development of a new computer system for the state’s public-assistance programs and HealthSource RI.

The committees are scheduled to meet Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 3 p.m. in Room 313 on the third floor of the State House for a progress report from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services on the United Health Infrastructure Program (UHIP).

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STATE HOUSE — Gov. Gina Raimondo today ceremonially signed a bill sponsored by Rep. Patricia Serpa and Sen. Joshua Miller that sets guidelines for health insurers in coverage of residential or inpatient services for addiction treatment.

The law (H5837A, S490A) requires payors providing insurance coverage for the treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders to rely upon criteria of the American Society of Addiction Medicine when developing coverage for levels of care for substance use disorder treatment.

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