Health News Florida

Health News Florida
11:30 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Free Dental Care Draws Crowd

Stella Mikesell of Brandon had a filling and an extraction.
Lottie Watts WUSF

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 11:33 am

 Over two days at the Florida State Fairgrounds, volunteers organized by the Florida Dental Association provided more than $1 million in free services.

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Health News Florida
9:11 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Ex-Pres. of Medicare Plan Arrested

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 10:56 am

Haider Ali Khan, patriarch of the now-defunct Quality Health Plans Inc., has been arrested and charged with more than a dozen felonies involving health-insurance fraud, state officials said.

Khan, who was president of the Tampa-based Medicare plan before it closed, turned himself in to Leon County Jail officials on April 3 and was released on $150,000 bond, according to the state Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). His arrest came 20 months after that of his son and daughter, both of whom were also executives in the company.

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Health News Florida
9:45 am
Tue April 15, 2014

High Court Weighs Scott’s Drug-Testing Requirement for State Workers

Gov. Rick Scott addressing a crowd after the end of the 2012 legislature.
Florida House of Representatives

TALLAHASSEE — More than three years after Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order seeking across-the-board drug testing for state employees, the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to decide whether to weigh in on the controversial policy.

The court is expected Friday to discuss privately whether to hear an appeal filed by Scott after a lower court found that the drug-testing plan was too broad, according to an online Supreme Court docket. Behind the scenes, justices sift through thousands of cases a year but decide to hear arguments in only about 100.

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Health News Florida
8:59 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Health Advocates Steamed About Bill Preempting Local E-Cig Rules

Lawmakers debating the electronic cigarette bill mentioned popular brand Blu. Artiles says it's now legal for a 10-year-old to buy them in Florida.

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 9:29 am

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Health News Florida
10:26 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Trauma 'Train' Could Set Up Health Debate

The House and Senate could be headed toward a collision at the end of the legislative session about major health-care issues, including the continued operation of three disputed trauma centers.

A House committee Thursday approved an omnibus bill that cobbled together a series of controversial issues, including a plan to prevent a potential shutdown of the trauma centers, a proposal to expand the powers of nurse practitioners and an effort to increase the use of telemedicine.

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Health News Florida
9:13 am
Fri April 11, 2014

House 'Train Bill' Groups Trauma, Telemedicine And Nursing In Hopes Of Wooing Senate

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 10:55 am

The Florida House is cobbling together several different health-related bills in the hope the combined proposal will sway the Senate to vote for them. But the new, combined proposal still doesn’t sway some in the originating chamber.

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Health News Florida
7:30 am
Thu April 10, 2014

FL Scientists Key in Melanoma Breakthrough

Kieran Smalley in lab at Moffitt.

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 9:10 am

In a lab the size of a basketball court, Moffitt scientist Kieran Smalley and his team study human genes and proteins involved in different kinds of cancer. Their machines whir and clang, but the researchers don't seem to hear it.

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Health News Florida
8:41 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Medicare Pays FL Doctor $21M

Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen
AP

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 11:08 am

While only a small fraction of doctors receive more than $3 million a year from Medicare, Florida accounts for way more than its share -- one in four. And guess which state is home to the doctor who made nearly $21 million?

Those are among the findings of an Associated Press analysis of physician data released Wednesday by the Obama administration, part of a move to open the books on health care financing.

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Health News Florida
9:28 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Health Groups Seek to Snuff Out E-Cigarette Bill

Health groups and local governments say decades of work to keep tobacco products out of the hands of kids could be overturned through a House measure billed as prohibiting the sale of trendy electronic cigarettes to minors.

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Health News Florida
7:46 am
Fri April 4, 2014

HCG Clinics Beyond Board's Control

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 7:30 am

An effort to rein in a weight-loss fad that the FDA calls risky ran into a wall Thursday night at a Florida Board of Medicine hearing in Deerfield Beach.

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11:21 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Suicide Victim Fools Apartment Worker

Lead in text: 
A desk clerk at a St. Petersburg senior housing facility mistook a dead resident for a mannequin, thinking it was part of an April Fools’ Day prank, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Authorities say the 96-year-old resident jumped 16 stories to her death. The body was moved to the dumpster, and it wasn’t until later in the day that other workers found the body and realized the mistake.
ST. PETERSBURG - About 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, Ronald Benjamin took his smoke break outside Peterborough Apartments, where he has worked as a desk clerk for nine years. Benjamin, 61, looked onto the patio and saw a shape on the ground. It looked to him like a mannequin.
Health News Florida
9:44 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Child Welfare Bill Draws Calls for ‘Moral Outrage’ --- and More Funding

A Florida Senate panel on Wednesday approved a sweeping child-welfare reform bill amid calls from foster parents to help more children and pleas from providers to fund the changes properly.

The Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee voted 12-1 to approve a measure (SB 1666) that collapses three bills (SB 1666, 1668 and 1670) into one. It would make a series of changes to the Florida Department of Children and Families and the community-based care agencies that provide adoption and foster care services to children in the state system.

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Health News Florida
3:41 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Lawmakers Poised to Ban E-Cig Sales to Kids

Esmoker Online store manager Dave Allen demonstrates an e-cigarette with a lanyard accessory.
Alicia Mandigo

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 4:48 pm

A bill that would ban sales to minors recently passed the Florida Senate unanimously, and a similar bill is pending in the House. 
 
What started out as an online, underground fad is now a billion dollar business. Electronic cigarettes,  often called e-cigarettes, really aren't cigarettes at all because there's no tobacco, no flame and no smoke. But there are still a lot of questions about where they can be used and whether they pose a health risk.
 
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Health News Florida
9:26 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Senate TeleHealth Bill Extends To Out-Of-State Docs, Nurses And Pharmacists

A doctor in Mexico consults with a client and their doctor in California.

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:39 pm

Florida lawmakers have been weighing how to regulate telemedicine—generating debate between doctors’ groups and other healthcare providers. The House has been moving its telehealth proposal along, but the Senate version of the bill had its first hearing Tuesday.

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Health News Florida
1:55 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Crunch Time Hits Uninsured, Website

Walt Seely, volunteer for Get Covered, America
Carol Gentry WUSF

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 7:32 am

Al Lopez Park in Tampa is normally an oasis of serenity on a Monday. But on the last day of open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the community center was crowded, noisy and stressful. Hundreds of procrastinators came seeking help from navigators.

It was a microcosm of the nation, as 3 million Americans visited the HealthCare.gov website and another 1 million used the call-center line on the last official day to sign up for a 2014 health plan.

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