Health News Florida

Health News Florida
7:10 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Millennials: Tech Not Only Health Solution

GuideWell is testing an interactive bathroom mirror, which provides regular health updates and reminders each morning.
Mary Shedden WUSF

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 7:18 am

There are a lot of stereotypes out there about the millennial generation: they’re disengaged and hyper-focused on technology.

But someday, these 80 million Americans born between 1980 and 1999, will be needing health care. And a lot of it.

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Health News Florida
1:23 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

The Secret Price of Health Care: Transparency

We’ve been hearing a lot about how health care prices are kept secret in this state.

As WLRN and the Miami Herald have been documenting all this week, the tangle of employers, insurance companies and providers makes shopping for health care and health insurance difficult enough — but underneath that web is a layer of secrecy that prevents consumers from seeing what actually gets paid for care. 

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Health News Florida
10:59 am
Thu September 18, 2014

USF Health Out at Villages Clinic

Officials of USF Health & The Villages Health primary care network at the 2013 groundbreaking of USF Health Specialty Care Center.

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 9:14 am

The University of South Florida has dropped its $4 million specialty clinic project in the Villages senior community after just six months, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

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Health News Florida
10:18 am
Thu September 18, 2014

CEO: GuideWell, Not FL Blue, Our Focus

GuideWell Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pat Geraghty

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 10:18 am

Any doubt that Florida’s largest health insurer wants to expand its reach was quashed by its chief executive Wednesday, when he heralded the success of its new umbrella company and outlined ambitious plans for growth.

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Health News Florida
8:18 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Group Launches Another Challenge To Pot Rule

A trade association Wednesday challenged the Florida Department of Health's plan for carrying out a new medical-marijuana law, adding to two challenges filed earlier in the week.

The Florida Medical Cannabis Association is asking an administrative law judge to reject a department rule unveiled this month. The earlier challenges were filed by nurseries Plants of Ruskin, Inc., and Costa Farms.

The cases stem from a law passed this spring that allows strains of marijuana low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabadiol, or CBD.

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Health News Florida
8:44 am
Wed September 17, 2014

The Secret Prices Of Health Care: How What You Don’t Know Can Cost You

Health care pricing is shrouded in secrecy.

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 8:36 am

When Uwe Reinhardt tries to explains the Gordian Knot of hospital pricing to his health care economics students at Princeton University, he has a go-to metaphor:

“It's almost like blindfolding people, shoving them into Macy's and saying, ‘buy — efficiently — for a shirt.’ Well you come out with a pair of shorts,” says Reinhardt.

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Health News Florida
4:29 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Uninsured Rate Remains Unchanged in FL in 2013

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 11:45 am

The rate of Floridians without health insurance stayed the same in 2013 from the previous year, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Twenty percent of Floridians lacked health insurance last year, down slightly from a rate of 20.1 percent in 2012. But the change was within the margin of error, rendering it insignificant.

Nationwide, the rate was 14.5 percent.

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Health News Florida
11:39 am
Tue September 16, 2014

35K in FL Risk Losing Health Law Tax Credits

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 11:38 am

Thousands of consumers risk losing financial aid for health care premiums under President Barack Obama's law unless they clear up lingering questions about their incomes, administration officials said Monday.

The Health and Human Services Department said some people who got coverage have reported incomes that don't square with what the government has on record. At least 279,000 households with income discrepancies face a Sept. 30 deadline to submit documentation. If not, their premiums will be adjusted up or down in November.

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Health News Florida
9:06 am
Tue September 16, 2014

FL ‘Gray Belt’ a Glimpse at Nation’s Future

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:39 am

A billboard at the county line advertises home health care services. Local churches try to create a feeling of belonging for elderly members who may be disconnected from family up north. Lawyers and accountants make house calls like doctors. Elderly residents get ferried to stores by a fleet of county minivans.

Welcome to Citrus County, Florida, where more than a third of residents are senior citizens, one of the highest rates in the nation.

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Health News Florida
7:55 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Damages Reduced in Kickbacks Case

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:07 am

A federal judge has reduced the punitive damages that a Tampa jury imposed in June on national drug-testing firm Millennium Laboratories after finding that it engaged in unfair competition by breaking anti-kickback laws in Florida and two other states.

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Health News Florida
7:26 am
Tue September 16, 2014

When Transparency Isn't Always Enough: A Conversation On Health Care Pricing

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:57 am

In our Power of Price series, we’ve been exploring how the secrecy shrouding health care pricing can raise costs — the cost of the care itself and the cost to employees who get their insurance through work.

There’s a movement to make those prices more transparent. More than a dozen other states have started something called an “all-payer claims database.”

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Health News Florida
9:59 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Suspicious Moves by Scott, HCA Resurface

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 9:03 am

Gov. Rick Scott’s leadership of the Columbia/HCA hospital chain is well known, as is the company’s record $1.7 billion fine for filing false claims for Medicare and other federal health programs.

But as he faces re-election, stories about a simultaneous investigation in the 1990s are emerging involving Scott and attempts to buy the then-publicly owned Tampa General Hospital, The Tampa Tribune reports.

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Health News Florida
9:00 am
Mon September 15, 2014

FL Fires 13 Prison Employees in Crackdown

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 8:55 am

 State prison officials did some major house cleaning this week, firing 13 people in the wake of widespread abuse allegations.

The Florida Department of Corrections on Friday announced the dismissal of three officers and two sergeants for punching and kicking a prisoner at Lancaster Correctional Institution.

Another officer was fired for a DUI arrest and another for driving with a suspended license.

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Health News Florida
8:58 am
Mon September 15, 2014

FL Health Centers Get $13.4M

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 10:00 am

Four dozen health centers around the state that provide a medical home for uninsured low-income Floridians and for those who are newly insured through the Affordable Care Act will get a share of $13.4 million in federal funds, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday afternoon.

Most of the grants fell into the range of $150,000 to $400,000, but a few of them were for more:

·         Community Health of South Florida in Miami, about $507,000.

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Health News Florida
7:44 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Health Care Pricing Is Complicated. Here's A Beginner's Guide.

If only health care financing was this straightforward.

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:58 am

Figuring out the real price of health care is complicated — even if you've already paid your bills. You can hear just how complicated it is here:

And if health care pricing wasn’t convoluted enough, it’s hard to talk about it without running into some conversation-stopping jargon. Words that mean one thing to the rest of the English-speaking world can mean something completely different in health care — like a “charge” that isn’t the same as the price.

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