Health News Florida

Health News Florida
7:04 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Doctors Will Appeal 'Docs vs. Glocks' Ruling

Credit MGN Online

Doctors and gun-control advocates said Monday they will appeal to the full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a ruling that upheld Florida's controversial "docs vs. glocks" law.

A three-judge panel of the court, in a 2-1 ruling last week, said the state Legislature had the right to pass the law, which includes provisions restricting doctors and other medical providers from asking questions about gun ownership during medical visits.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which is helping represent Florida doctors fighting the law, announced the appeal Monday.

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Health News Florida
6:55 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Hospitals Drop Trauma Challenges

Credit Tampa General Hospital

Three Tampa Bay-area hospitals have filed notices that they are dropping legal challenges against trauma centers at Blake Medical Center in Manatee County and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Pasco County.

The moves Friday by Tampa General Hospital, Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg and St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa were expected after an administrative law judge last month approved a new state rule for determining where trauma centers could be allowed across the state.

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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
10:52 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Poll: Florida Voters Overwhelmingly Approve of Medical Marijuana

Florida voters overwhelmingly support the idea of legalized medical marijuana according to a Quinnipiac University poll.

The poll released Monday morning showed that 88 percent of Florida voters support medical marijuana, compared to 10 percent who are opposed.

The poll also found that 55 percent of voters approved of recreational use of marijuana, compared to 44 percent who opposed.

The poll didn't specifically ask about the constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would legalize medical marijuana. Instead, it asked about the idea in general.

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Health News Florida
9:41 am
Mon July 28, 2014

ER Workers to Spot Human Trafficking

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 7:39 am

Emergency room doctors and nurses are often the only contact victims of human trafficking have with the outside world, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said Friday while launching an initiative aimed to train emergency workers how to identify signs of trafficking.

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Health News Florida
9:40 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Federal Court Backs ‘Docs vs. Glocks’ Law

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 7:32 am

A Florida law restricting what doctors can tell patients about gun ownership was deemed to be constitutional Friday by a federal appeals court, which said it legitimately regulates professional conduct and doesn’t violate the doctors’ First Amendment free speech rights.

The ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned a previous decision that had blocked the state from enforcing the law.

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

FDA Rules Could Snuff Out ‘Cigar City’

Tuptim Ploysawon has worked at J.C. Newman Cigar Factory for almost five years.
Lottie Watts WUSF

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:23 am

 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to add new regulations to additional tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, pipe tobacco and cigars.

The proposed regulations are not going down well in Tampa's Ybor City, which has been rolling out cigars since 1886.

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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
7:49 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Jobs Needing Less Education Growing

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 1:04 am

Home health aides, medical assistants and other workers with less than a four-year college degree account for nearly half of the health care workforce in Florida and across the country, a new Brookings Institute analysis reports.

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Health News Florida
2:35 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Trauma Industry Fight Nears End

Credit Tampa General Hospital

Florida's trauma drama could be almost finished.

With an appeal deadline passing Monday, the Florida Department of Health and hospitals owned by HCA Health Care chain appear to have prevailed after a three-year legal and political battle about approving new trauma centers.

The key point came last month when an administrative law judge upheld a rule that the department proposed for determining where trauma centers could be allowed across the state. Hospitals in the Tampa Bay and Gainesville areas unsuccessfully fought the proposed rule and then had until Monday to appeal.

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Health News Florida
12:39 am
Tue July 22, 2014

FL Nursing Forecast: 50,000 Short

The Florida Board of Governors addressed Florida's need for 50,000 nurses in a workshop with medical-school and nursing-school deans.
Credit workingnurse.com

Based on current trends, Florida will be short by more than 50,000 registered nurses by the year 2025, a nursing expert warned a committee of the State University System's Board of Governors on Monday. 

While the number of nurse training programs in the state has doubled in the past four years, most of the students are emerging as licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses with just a two-year or associate's degree from college.

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Health News Florida
10:13 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Court: Agency Wrong in Money Distribution

Credit Wikimedia Commons

An appeals court Monday found that the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities did not properly carry out a law that created a new system of funding services for people with developmental disabilities.

The case, brought on behalf of four people with disabilities, focused on a system known as "iBudgets." Lawmakers in 2010 approved moving to iBudgets, but Monday's decision by the 1st District Court of Appeal said rules proposed by the agency to carry out the law "directly conflict with and contravene the Legislature's clear language."

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Health News Florida
10:13 am
Mon July 21, 2014

FL Department of Health Asks About Diseases from Border Kids

Dr. John Armstrong, FL Surgeon General

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:24 am

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's administration expressed concern in a letter Friday about reports that the federal government planned to send unaccompanied immigrant children from the Southwest border to Miami over the weekend, seeming to be unaware that it is a regular practice and asking for any health information the government had about the minors. The letter seemed unusual to immigration attorneys who say the practice has been going on for years.

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Kaiser Health News
9:01 am
Mon July 21, 2014

FL Blue Signals Rate Hikes Ahead

Florida Blue CEO Patrick Geraghty

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:03 am

Florida Blue, the state’s dominant health insurer, snagged more than one in three consumers on the health law’s exchange this year, but many could face rate hikes as the carrier struggles with an influx of older and sicker enrollees, said the company’s top executive.

Several factors could drive up rates next year — including a paucity of younger and healthy enrollees and a greater-than-expected surge in people seeking expensive health services, CEO Patrick Geraghty said in an interview.

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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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