Health News Florida

Health News Florida
7:59 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Enrollment Targets Uninsured Hispanics

CuidadodeSalud.gov

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:31 pm

Luis Alejandro Larrorte has lived the past two decades in the United States -- all of it without health insurance.

But the 56-year-old who sells cable satellite plans as a contractor was diagnosed with eye cancer. And the Pembroke Pines resident was eager to sign up on the federal healthcare marketplace.

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Health News Florida
8:40 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Senate President 'Intrigued" By Proposal to Expand Health Coverage

Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, left open the possibility Wednesday that his chamber will consider an expansion of health coverage for low-income Floridians.

Gardiner described as "intriguing" a proposal that would accept billions of dollars available under the federal Affordable Care Act and provide coverage through private insurers.

A coalition that includes business groups and hospitals is pushing the proposal, and Gardiner was asked about it at a meeting with reporters.

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Health News Florida
9:19 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Elders Trapped By Guardianship Law

Marie Winkelman, 89, had her rights removed a year ago at the request of her stepson-in-law, and is bewildered by the idea that she no longer has access to her own finances.
Thomas Bender Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:43 am

 Florida's elder guardianship program is meant to help vulnerable elders.

But Sarasota Herald-Tribune reporter Barbara Peters Smith recently published a series that shows the rapidly expanding system run in Florida’s probate court system ignores the rights of some. She spoke with Health News Florida Editor Mary Shedden about the year-long investigation.

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Health News Florida
9:45 am
Tue December 16, 2014

WellCare Appoints New CEO

Ken Burdick

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:56 am

WellCare Health Plans, Inc., Florida’s largest Medicaid HMO provider, announced Monday that Kenneth Burdick will be appointed as CEO, according to a statement released by the Tampa-based company. 

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Health News Florida
9:10 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Survey: E-cigs Surpass Regular Cigarettes With Teens

Electronic cigarettes have surpassed traditional smoking in popularity among teens, the government’s annual drug use survey finds. Even as tobacco smoking by teens dropped to new lows, use of e-cigarettes reached levels that surprised researchers.
Credit AP Photo

Electronic cigarettes have surpassed traditional smoking in popularity among teens, the government’s annual drug use survey finds.

Even as tobacco smoking by teens dropped to new lows, use of e-cigarettes reached levels that surprised researchers. The findings marked the survey’s first attempt to measure the use of e-cigarettes by people that young.

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Health News Florida
8:06 am
Tue December 16, 2014

State Will Not Appeal Pot Decision

The state Department of Health will not appeal an administrative law judge's decision that struck down a proposed framework for regulating Florida's new medical-marijuana industry.

Nathan Dunn, a department spokesman, said in an email Monday that the agency will hold a workshop Dec. 30 in Orlando as it again tries to develop a rule.

Lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott this spring approved a bill that will allow strains of non-euphoric marijuana, which supporters say can help people with certain types of conditions, such as children with severe forms of epilepsy.

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Health News Florida
9:20 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Supporters Hope Third Time Is The Charm For Medicaid Expansion In Florida

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:15 pm

A coalition of businesses groups, local officials and healthcare industry representatives has rolled out a plan to insure nearly one million low-income Floridians. But they’re not calling it a Medicaid Expansion. 

More than 800,ooo Floridians are in health insurance limbo. They fall into what’s called the Medicaid coverage gap. Reed Mahoney of Tallahassee, is among them.

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Health News Florida
2:02 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Rays Player Visits Pediatric Patients at Tampa General

Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier signs an autograph for Janice Clauvil, 6.
Daniel Wallace Tampa General Hospital

 Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier spent Thursday morning visiting pediatric patients at Tampa General Hospital.

According to Karen Van Cleaf, the pediatric nurse manager, visits like this help with one of the biggest issues for hospital patients: boredom.

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Health News Florida
10:17 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Deadline for Jan. 1 Coverage Nears

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 8:52 am

Monday’s an important deadline for Floridians shopping for insurance on HealthCare.gov.

Nearly a million residents signed up on this federally run marketplace last year. Now those wanting to re-enroll -- or sign up for the first time for coverage -- must select a plan by Monday if they want to be covered starting at the beginning of the New Year.

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Health News Florida
9:25 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Young Adults Remain Enrollment Challenge

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:37 am

Christian Ward lounges on a couch in the University of South Florida student center in Tampa. He props crutches against the armrest and stretches out his leg, which is covered in a cast up to his thigh.

Like a lot of college students, Ward’s parents handle his health insurance. He'll tell you that having it definitely came in handy during his moment of need.

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Health News Florida
7:17 am
Thu December 11, 2014

State Takes Over Medicare HMO

Circuit Court Judge George S. Reynolds III

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:33 am

Florida Healthcare Plus, a Medicare HMO with 10,000 members, was declared insolvent Wednesday and turned over to state authorities.

In such cases, state and federal officials help patients move into other health plans or to traditional Medicare. More information is expected on that today or Friday.

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Health News Florida
8:30 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Lawmaker Files Bill to Allow Firearms on University Campuses

 A Florida lawmaker has filed a bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons on the campuses of state colleges and universities.

Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, said he already planned to sponsor the measure (HB 4005) before a shooting incident last month at Florida State University --- but that the attack, which left three people injured and the gunman dead, helps to make his point. The bill, filed Monday, would apply to people who are licensed to carry concealed weapons.

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Health News Florida
7:33 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Burwell to FL Leaders: Let's Talk

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell spoke Tuesday in Orlando.
Abe Aboraya Health News Florida

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 8:16 am

If Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell has a chance, she wants to talk with Florida leaders about expanding Medicaid in Florida.

Burwell was at Florida Hospital in Orlando Tuesday promoting open enrollment on the federal HealthCare.gov insurance exchange.  

She said in an interview with Health News Florida that she’s trying to understand why Florida’s legislature has decided to not expand the government health coverage for the poor. She said she’s open to talking about Medicaid expansion with legislative leaders and Governor Rick Scott.

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Health News Florida
7:31 am
Wed December 10, 2014

OB-Gyns Protest Safety Rule

Dr. Karen Harris, OB-Gyn

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 10:54 am

Florida’s tough new safety rule for medical-office surgery, years in the making, has been delayed at the last minute by an outcry from obstetrician-gynecologists.

The OB-Gyns appeared Friday at the Florida Board of Medicine, which was to have passed the safety rule that day, to ask for an amendment to spare them from some of the provisions.  Board members decided instead to postpone the issue while they figure out what to do.

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Health News Florida
9:29 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Scott Takes 'Interim' Off DCF Chief's Title

Mike Carroll, Secretary of Florida's Department of Children and Families

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:36 am

Gov. Rick Scott has made Mike Carroll his permanent secretary of the Department of Children & Families.

Scott on Monday removed the "interim" from Carroll's title. He was initially appointed in April as DCF was struggling with intense media scrutiny over hundreds of child abuse-related deaths.

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