Julio Ochoa

Health News Florida Editor

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.

He comes to WUSF from The Tampa Tribune, where he began as a website producer for TBO.com and served in several editing roles, eventually becoming the newspaper’s deputy metro editor. 

Julio was born and raised in St. Petersburg, and received a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. He earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and worked at a paper in Greeley, Colo., before returning to Florida as a reporter and as breaking news editor for the Naples Daily News.

Contact Julio at 813-974-8633, on Twitter at @julioochoa or email julioochoa@wusf.org.

The drug overdose epidemic has killed thousands in Florida and Gov. Rick Scott is looking for answers.

The state will hold workshops in four counties next week to talk about the problem.

While other health insurers left the Affordable Care Act’s individual market in the state, Florida Blue is staying put and even turning a profit.

Bayfront Health is fighting the state over another hospital's request to open a second trauma center in St. Petersburg.  

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

On a recent Tuesday, the weekly produce market co-op at the Woodbrook Estates mobile home community in Lakeland was bustling. 

When it rains in St. Petersburg, as much as four times the amount of sewage can flow through the city's wastewater plants.

Governor Rick Scott isn't waiting for the federal government to decide the future of the Affordable Care Act. His administration is proposing sweeping changes to the state's Medicaid program.  

Health News Florida's database of costs for common health care procedures is growing. PriceCheck now contains thousands of entries for health care providers. We're also getting a lot of feedback from listeners who have stories of their own about navigating the billing process.

In 1930, a mother in Kansas spent ten days in the hospital to deliver her baby. Total bill? $66. Well the cost of health care has gone up quite a bit since then -- how can you know how much many medical procedures cost these days?

Health News Florida has PriceCheck, an online tool to help you compare costs of common health procedures. This week on Florida Matters we're featuring people who shared their own frustrations and sticker shock!


People in their 50s and 60s could be hit with higher health insurance premiums and less financial help paying for them under a proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg filed a letter of intent with the state to open Pinellas County’s second trauma center.

When officials at Nemours Children’ Hospital in Orlando tried to establish a pediatric heart transplant center, they learned how restricting a state law regulating the opening of new health facilities can be.

The Associated Press

The azaleas are in bloom -- that means the legislative session in Tallahassee is just around the corner. What’s likely to happen, and how will it affect you?


The state on Friday denied a request by Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando to establish a new pediatric heart transplant program.

Do you know how safe your tap water is to drink? 

When fifth- and sixth-grade students at Academy Prep in St. Petersburg researched that question, they learned the answer could come with some serious health consequences.

A proposal to build a fifth pediatric heart transplant center in Florida is drawing opposition from at least two of the existing programs.

Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans, which covers nearly 4 million people through Medicare and Medicaid programs, reported an increase in income last year, according to an earnings report released Tuesday.

Gage Skidmore (Wikimedia)

President Trump will be back in Tampa Monday for the first time since the election campaign. Spokesman Sean Spicer says he plans to visit MacDill Air Force Base.

The University of South Florida will use a $1.1 million dollar state grant for Zika research to look at how the virus infects fetuses.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Two of the 27 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against President Trump's executive order temporarily banning some immigrants from coming to the United States are from Florida.

While talk of repeal and replace has dominated the recent conversation about the Affordable Care Act, consumers have quietly been signing up in record numbers.  

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