Health News Florida

Health News Florida
8:03 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Rep. Hudson on Medicaid Expansion: No!

Rep. Matt Hudson

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 12:03 am

Florida business groups, insurers, and hospitals are pushing state officials to accept billions of dollars in federal funds to cover the low-income uninsured.

But when the 2015 legislative session opens next Tuesday, this impressive coalition will run into Rep. Matt Hudson, a Naples Republican who chairs the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.

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Health News Florida
4:30 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

In a Twist, Fight For Medical Pot Goes to Florida Statehouse

In this Oct. 8, 2014 photo, Ben Pollara, who leads United for Care, the group that lobbied for a comprehensive medical marijuana law in last year's Florida ballot, is seen at a rally in Boca Raton, Fla.

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 4:07 pm

Republicans lawmakers in Florida who once opposed medical pot are now embracing it, motivated by the strong show of support from voters and worried that another constitutional amendment during next year's presidential race could drive opponents to the polls.

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Health News Florida
12:09 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

Lawmakers Mull Over Mental Health-Criminal Justice Link, Includes More Officer Training

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 5:45 pm

A group of Florida lawmakers is looking into the mental health issues of inmates in the state’s criminal justice system, and some legislation could be in store based on ideas from different law agencies and the courts.

For Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, he says it’s important all law enforcement agencies get some type of training to account for people with mental health issues called Crisis Intervention Team, or CIT training.

“You see, we’ve got 27 Sheriffs offices that aren’t doing CIT at all; I think we need 100 percent,” said Gualtieri.

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Health News Florida
3:46 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Nutrition Panel: Egg With Coffee Is A-OK, But Skip The Side Of Bacon

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee says in a new report that Americans should shift to a pattern of eating that includes more plant-based foods.
Jennifer/Flickr

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 8:13 pm

If you like a cup of coffee and an egg in the morning, you've got the green light.

A panel of top nutrition experts appointed by the federal government has weighed in with its long-awaited diet advice.

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Health News Florida
11:55 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Amid Tax Season, Feds Give Extra Plan Enrollment Time

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 7:19 pm

The deadline to buy health insurance coverage for 2015 has come and gone. But some people without insurance are just finding out now that they have to pay a tax penalty, and they're getting another chance to sign up.

Federal health officials announced Friday morning that they’re offering a new, special open enrollment period for consumers who are preparing their 2014 taxes now and figuring out that they owe a tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act.

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Health News Florida
12:39 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Senators Look For More Ways To Boost Adoptions

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 8:46 am

A bill that would provide incentives to state employees who adopt children in Florida's foster-care system continued moving forward Wednesday with several changes.

The Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously approved the measure (SB 320) by Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, with amendments aimed at boosting adoptions still further.

The bill would provide a one-time cash payment of $5,000 per child to state employees who adopt children from the foster-care system and $10,000 per child for those who adopt children who also have special needs.

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Health News Florida
9:03 am
Thu February 19, 2015

White House Hosts Tampa Forum on Seniors' Priorities

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 9:02 am

  The White House is holding the first in a series of forums to hear about the most important issues facing older Americans. 

The event Thursday in Tampa comes amid a historic demographic shift in the U.S. as the massive baby boom generation moves closer to old age.

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Health News Florida
7:15 am
Thu February 19, 2015

$500M in New Nursing Home Beds Coming

Richard Montgomery is a short-term rehabilitation patient at The Commons at Orlando Lutheran Towers, a facility where nursing home beds are in short supply.

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 9:33 am

Nursing home beds have been in short supply in Florida for more than a decade.

But the Agency for Health Care Administration on Friday will authorize its top picks to add another 3,100 spots across the state.

The end of this 14-year moratorium can’t come soon enough for Lillian Lara of Orlando.

Her 87-year-old father fell in December and, after a hospital stay, he’s had a bed in the short-term rehabilitation section of The Commons at Orlando Lutheran Towers.

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Health News Florida
5:07 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

FL Has Highest Number of Enrollees

In this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, navigator Dianelys Dominguez, left, assists Giovanny Vega, 18, of Miami, right, sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act at the Borinquen Medical Center in Miami.
AP

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 8:38 am

Florida has eclipsed California to become the state with the highest number of consumers buying health coverage through new insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, according to federal statistics released Wednesday.

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Health News Florida
9:41 am
Wed February 18, 2015

'Telehealth' Compromise Moving Closer

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 9:38 am

 Key senators said Tuesday they are moving closer to agreement with the House on a plan to bolster the use of telemedicine --- or, as lawmakers call it, "telehealth."

The Senate Health Policy Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a telemedicine bill (SB 478) that included changes intended to bring the Senate and House versions closer together.

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Health News Florida
8:41 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Biogenesis Clinic Owner Sentenced

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 11:13 am

  The former owner of a medical clinic who posed as a doctor and illegally supplied steroid injections and other performance-enhancing drugs to professional baseball players and even high school athletes was sentenced Tuesday to four years in federal prison.

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Health News Florida
7:46 am
Tue February 17, 2015

7,000 More Docs Needed in Next Decade

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 11:43 am

The number of doctors practicing psychiatry and general surgery is expected to reach critically low levels in the next 10 years, according to a new study from the state’s teaching hospitals.

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Health News Florida
6:55 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Lawmakers Consider Bill Aimed at Reducing Opioid Overdose Deaths

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 2:56 pm

STORY UPDATE:  A companion bill to the Senate's "Florida Opiod Overdose Prevention Act" was filed in the House Feb 16.  The House bill is co-sponsored by State Representatives Julio Gonzalez, R-Venice, and Ronald Renuart, R- Ponte Vedra Beach.

More than 2,000 people in Florida died from an accidental prescription overdose in 2013.  Now a Florida lawmaker has filed a bill to expand access to the drug naloxone which can save the lives of people overdosing on opioids like Oxycontin, Morphine or heroine. 

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Health News Florida
9:13 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Enrollment Flurry at Deadline; Web Glitch Fixed

Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 8:44 am

After a computer glitch got patched up, supporters of President Barack Obama's health care law were out in force Sunday trying to get uninsured people signed up by the official deadline for 2015 coverage.

The effort had the trappings of a get-out-the-vote drive, with email reminders, telephone calls and squads of community-level volunteers.

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Health News Florida
9:04 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Bill Proposes Expanded Access to Drug to Treat Overdoses

Intropin via Wikimedia Creative Commons

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 2:02 pm

Naloxone is a prescription medication used to rapidly counter the effects of opioids from powerful prescription pain-killers like morphine and OxyContin to street drugs like Heroin. While the drug’s effects are unpleasant, if administered quickly, it can revive people who’ve overdosed on opiate medications and save their lives. Florida lawmakers will consider a bill in the upcoming session to expand availability of naloxone by allowing physicians to prescribe the drug to friends or loved ones of those taking powerful prescription opioids so it could be quickly administered in the case of an overdose. Supporters of the measure point to the more than 2,000 accidental prescription overdose deaths in 2013. Opponents point to potential legal liability issues and argue the bill could encourage prescription drug abuse. 

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