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Health News Florida Staff

Health News Florida is now part of WUSF Public Media in Tampa, Florida.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012. 

Read WUSF News Director Scott Finn's column about it.

Please send news tips or questions to Carol Gentry:

--Landline 813-974-8629

--Cell 727-410-3266

--email cgentry@wusf.org or e-mail carol.gentry@healthnewsflorida.org.

Failures by a Tampa assisted living facility to follow its policies helped lead to an 81-year-old man’s death a state investigation found, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

  The Tampa Bay area's first medical marijuana dispensary opened Thursday morning and it will only be a matter of weeks before another local shop opens.

Some pesticide being used to kill mosquitoes and fight the spread of Zika in Miami-Dade County is also harmful to honey bees, birds, some fish and people, according to the Miami Herald.

The insecticide naled has been approved for use in the United States since 1959 but is banned by the European Union, the newspaper reports.

The number of newborns who are physically dependent on drugs in Florida has nearly doubled since 2010, according to The News-Press.

WellCare Health Plans has made an offer for the Medicare Advantage insurance plans that Aetna plans to shed, according to Reuters.

A decade-long lawsuit over Florida’s Medicaid program has cost taxpayers millions, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Health data breaches have affected more than 3.7 million people so far this year and Florida has the most victims with 2.73 million, The News-Press in Fort Myers reports.

Two Fort Myers companies -- 21st Century Oncology and Radiology Regional -- accounted for 2.7 million of the total, the newspaper reports.

A group of physicians in the Tampa Bay is working with insurance companies to keep patients healthy and out of hospitals, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

During a conversation about health care recently with WMFE, the chief executives of two major hospitals in Central Florida said making prices more transparent to patients is important, but the task itself is hard to accomplish.

Patients looking for more transparency in health care costs won’t usually find it on the bill from their medical provider.

  

  Pinellas County has its first reported case of Zika virus, the Florida Department of Health said on Monday.

The Florida Department of Health says its dramatic drop in the number of new cases of HIV can be attributed to duplicate cases and changes to the way they are counted, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Trying to get a handle on what makes PriceCheck different from other looks at health care costs? Here are some frequently asked questions before you start searching our database.

The Florida Department of Health is pushing back against the Tampa Bay Times for criticizing a revision in the number of the new HIV cases in the state.

As a nationwide investigation of hundreds of hospitals by the U.S. Department of Justice wraps up, two more South Florida hospitals are among those settling False Claims Act charges.

Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong faces another confirmation hearing today, in front of the same group that a year ago refused to back his nomination.

Rose Radiology Centers Inc. has agreed to pay $8.71 million to resolve claims of false billing and kickbacks revealed in two whistleblower lawsuits, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Federal officials say more than 1.6 million Floridians have signed up for Obamacare or had their coverage automatically renewed since last November.

Midway through sign-up season, more young adults are getting coverage through President Barack Obama's health care law. The number of new customers is also trending higher, officials said Tuesday in an upbeat report.

Florida is leading in sign-ups, with more than 1.5 million people who signed up or were re-enrolled. 

Seven hospitals in Florida have agreed to pay the federal government about $9 million to settle allegations they submitted false claims to Medicare for a minimally-invasive procedure commonly used to treat spinal fractures from osteoporosis, a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice says.

Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans Inc. announced Monday it is terminating Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Steven Goldberg, according to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

 

More than $100 million in budget cuts at Florida’s state mental have created an environment where patients are being injured by one another, hurting themselves, and in some cases, attacking the workers assigned to protect and treat then, a joint investigation from the Tampa Bay Times and Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.

The governor's office has responded to a Politico story that shows a news release involving Planned Parenthood failed to include findings from state health regulators.

According to Politico Florida, Gov. Rick Scott's office reworded a news release from Florida Agency for Health Care Administration regulators that said fetal remains were not mishandled at Planned Parenthood clinics in Florida.

The monthly premiums for many of the plans sold on the federal health insurance marketplace will be increasing for Floridians in 2016, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. 

A shortage of nursing home space across Florida will be helped by the addition of almost 1,000 more new beds.

  The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration will audit 31 hospitals to determine whether their contracts with Medicaid managed-care plans comply with state law, according to a list released Wednesday by Gov. Rick Scott's office.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision on health subsidies keeps intact the way more than 1 million Floridians buy and pay for insurance through HealthCare.gov.

People like Phil Ammann. After nearly a decade without insurance, the St. Petersburg resident on Thursday was thrilled by the news. A $300 subsidy means he pays just $93 a month for coverage.

Over the past 15 years in Polk County, more than half of the rape kits collected in criminal cases remain untested in evidence rooms, the

Bills that involve state workers' health insurance, nurse-practitioners and hospital regulations died during this week's Legislative special session because the Senate has declined to consider them.

Senate Health Policy Chairman Aaron Bean said in a statement Monday evening that his colleagues felt there wasn't time to consider major policy changes by Friday, the last day of the special session called to finish work on a state budget.

The issues contained in the House bills require "a thorough and proper vetting," said Bean, R-Fernandina Beach.

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