Carol Gentry

Health News Florida Editor

Carol Gentry, founder and editor of Health News Florida, has three decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.

She covered health and medicine for the St. Petersburg Times for 10 years, for the Tampa Tribune for two years and for the Wall Street Journal for three years, in addition to being a member of the editorial board of the Orlando Sentinel in 2004-05. She has written for national magazines and been a commentator for public radio’s Marketplace; she is active in the Association of Health Care Journalists, serving as a judge for the awards each year.

Ms. Gentry was a Kaiser Family Foundation Media Fellow in 1994-95, conducting research on the managed-care movement’s impact on patients and health-care professionals. In 1996, she earned a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in health policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has taught health journalism at the college and professional level in this and other countries and directed the Knight Journalism Fellowships at CDC for almost four years. She also served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia.

Contact Ms. Gentry at at 727-410-3266 or by e-mail.

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Health News Florida
9:06 am
Fri August 22, 2014

FDA Panel Says No; Docs Say Yes

Dr. Ronald Wheeler
YouTube.com

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 9:06 am

Sarasota urologist  Ronald Wheeler says he's going to continue doing a controversial prostate-cancer treatment, even though an FDA panel recently voted against it and even though the state could punish him for it.

Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the French device that Wheeler uses for high-intensity focused ultrasound, called HIFU, he has been treating his patients in Mexico.

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Health News Florida
9:28 am
Wed August 20, 2014

15 FL Scientists Named 'Most Influential'

Roy Baumeister, Ph.D, FSU psychologist

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 9:21 am

A list of "cutting-edge" scientists who have the most influence on their fields -- using citations by other scholars as the yardstick -- includes 15 researchers based in Florida.

While most are known only in their field of study, a handful have made news. One even co-authored a bestseller.

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NPR Story
10:10 am
Wed August 13, 2014

'Predatory' Doctor Prevails in Hearing

David Simon, D.O.

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 8:28 am

A Lake Worth family doctor accused of beating, choking and locking up a patient during a year-long sexual relationship should be allowed to continue practicing, a state hearing officer says. 

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Health News Florida
7:40 am
Thu August 7, 2014

So Are Premiums Up or Down?

Elizabeth Carpenter of Avalere Health, a consulting company.

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 8:58 pm

Some premiums on the federal health exchange for 2015 are going up. Some are going down. That's all the public really knows right now.

But it appears that the big idea behind the marketplace -- creating competition -- may be working, since three new companies have joined the 11 early adopters, according to Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation.

The OIR released a forecast for a 13 percent premium hike for 2015 plans on the federal marketplace (Healthcare.gov) earlier this week.

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NPR Story
12:58 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Sexting Doctor: 'I Was Stressed Out'

Dr. Tuan Dean

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 2:15 pm

A doctor accused of sending sexually explicit videos and texts to a patient should be barred from treating females and should be suspended until he completes a psychiatric evaluation, the Florida Board of Medicine said Friday.

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Health News Florida
12:50 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Doctor Faces Discipline for Sexting

Tuan Kishfran Imran Dean

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 12:50 pm

A doctor who got into trouble for sexting at work will be called before the Florida Board of Medicine on Friday to explain why he should be allowed to keep practicing.

Dr. Tuan Kishfran Imran Dean, a family practitioner in The Villages, was working at a Doctor Today walk-in clinic in Lakeland when he displayed inappropriate conduct in August 2011, according to Department of Health records.

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Health News Florida
11:07 am
Mon July 28, 2014

FMA Supports Medicaid Expansion

Dr. Aaron Elkin

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 1:58 pm

  The Florida Medical Association's House of Delegates overwhelmingly adopted a resolution supporting Medicaid expansion to cover uninsured low-income adults at FMA's annual meeting on Sunday, according  to doctors who were there.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated with the statement from FMA.)

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Health News Florida
7:50 am
Thu July 24, 2014

FL #1 in Rebates; Blue Owes $20M

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 2:03 pm

Insurers must pay $41.7 million in rebates to Florida individuals and employers this summer, an amount that far exceeds refunds in any other state, according to a federal report released Thursday. 

Companies affiliated with Florida Blue in Jacksonville -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and Health Options Inc. -- owe a total of $20 million, nearly half of the total.

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Health News Florida
5:35 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

How HMOs Hid Rates on State Site

Health News Florida Editor Carol Gentry

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:58 pm

How much will it cost Floridians to buy coverage next year on Healthcare.gov? Lots of people want to know, but the insurers are keeping the prices secret in an unprecedented way.

(Editor's note: This is a conversation between WUSF All Things Considered Host Craig Kopp and Health News Florida Editor Carol Gentry.)

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Health News Florida
11:40 am
Tue July 15, 2014

FL in Last Place for ACA Grants

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 2:36 pm

Florida ranks last in the country in per-person funding from the Affordable Care Act, a new study shows, and that doesn’t even include the billions of dollars the state is forfeiting by saying no to Medicaid expansion.

The Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation at the University of Michigan performed the analysis of ACA grant totals between the time the law was signed in March 2010 and the end of September 2013.

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Health News Florida
11:43 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Lawyers, Patients Fight Cost of Records

Barbara Allen, lead plaintiff in records suit.

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 4:58 pm

Doctors used to give patients a copy of their medical records for free. But that service is waning, as today's large group practices shed the hassle and risk by outsourcing the record-handling.

For-profit companies in the new "release of information" or "disclosure-management" industry include HealthPort Technologies LLC in suburban Atlanta and Bactes Imaging Solutions LLC in San Diego.

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Health News Florida
11:43 am
Thu July 10, 2014

State Blasts Insurers for Hiding Rates

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 2:10 pm

Florida health plans were wrong to use a state "trade secrets" law to hide their rate proposals from the public, the Office of Insurance Regulation says in letters to 15 insurers. 

In what became a nationwide embarrassment for Florida, insurers falsely placed a "zero" on the public rate-filing form for 2015 in the run-up to the June 27 reporting deadline. OIR officials say their intention was apparently to hide their actual rate proposals from one another, but it backfired when Health News Florida reported on the unusual phenomenon.

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Health News Florida
1:49 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Rebel Urologist Faces Trial; FDA Panel to Review Device

Dr. Ronald Wheeler

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 3:18 pm

A Sarasota urologist who diagnoses prostate cancer in an unusual way and treats U.S. patients at a clinic in Cancun will not agree to a suspension from practice.

Dr. Ronald Wheeler has rejected an offer from the Florida Board of Medicine to let him keep his medical license if he agrees to a year of suspension and an $80,000 fine, according to the Department of Health.

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Health News Florida
11:19 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Hospitals Fix Early-Birth Problem

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 11:18 am

 Close to 50 Florida hospitals have successfully reined in a practice that can cause big problems: Deliberately delivering an infant before the completion of the 39th week of pregnancy.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the March of Dimes are giving a banner of recognition that says "Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait" to each hospital that meet the criteria, according to a news release from March of Dimes. 

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NPR Story
1:29 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Medicaid Plans to Get Extra Drug $

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 1:54 pm

Florida Medicaid officials have decided to give an extra payment to managed-care plans to cover the unexpected cost of a new treatment for a common viral illness, Hepatitis C.

The Agency for Health Care Administration intends to make a "kick payment" to plans to help them cover the drug Sovaldi, Press Secretary Shelisha Coleman said. That's the term used when an agency gives additional payments beyond the contracted amount because of unforeseen circumstances.

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