Health News Florida

Health News Florida
9:34 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Senate Approves Healthcare Funding For More Low Income Residents

The federal government has put negotiations with Florida health officials on hold. The move is disappointing to state leaders trying to revamp Florida's Low Income Pool and create a private market alternative to Medicaid expansion.

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 6:20 am

We’re midway through the Legislative session in Tallahassee. The only thing lawmakers are required to do is craft a budget for the fiscal year, which begins July 1. But the House and Senate have some big differences in their proposed budgets. The biggest difference is a $5-billion gap regarding healthcare costs.

The Senate has a plan to continue receiving federal money to pay for healthcare for low-income people.

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Health News Florida
11:06 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Senate Approves Bills For Floridians With Disabilities

The Florida Senate has approved several bills aimed at improving education and workforce outcomes for Floridians with disabilities.

The issue is Senate President Andy Gardiner’s top priority—his son has Down syndrome. As an emotional Gardiner presided over the Senate session former Senate President Don Gaetz praised the legislation.

“I can’t remember a time that I’ve been prouder to be on the Senate floor than to see the time, effort energy concern and contributions of substance that have gone into the bills that we’ve taken up now," Gaetz said.  

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Health News Florida
10:28 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Practitioners Not Waiting for Telemedicine Laws

All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg is about to complete its installation of high-resolution telemedicine cameras in the neonatal critical care units at five area hospitals.
All Children's Hospital

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 10:24 am

It was 1964. The New York World's Fair.

And a young Tony Napolitano saw his first video phone at the Bell Telephone pavilion. The boy marveled that people could connect visually from remote locations.

Fast forward to 2015. Napolitano, now a pediatric neonatologist, is about to make this connection an ordinary part of practicing medicine at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.

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Health News Florida
10:25 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Bruising Battle Over Balance-Billing

Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami-Dade

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 3:14 pm

 After an emergency trip to the hospital, some patients find a nasty surprise in their mailbox -- bills their insurer didn't pay. Florida law protects some patients from this but not others.

Those in an HMO would see all their bills covered: ambulance, hospital, and doctors. But those who have another type of health insurance could be slapped with astronomical bills. They could have collection agents calling to get whatever their plan didn't pay.

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Health News Florida
10:25 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Health-Care News Casts Doubt on Budget

Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, conceded that the news from the federal government could complicate plans to finish the session.

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 9:41 am

  The Florida Senate unanimously approved an $80.4 billion budget on Wednesday, hours before the state's health-care agency said the federal government had suspended negotiations on a $2.2 billion pot of money that is part of a conflict between the House and the Senate.

The announcement of a break in the talks between state and federal officials cast further doubt on whether the Legislature could finish its work on the budget in time for the scheduled May 1 end of the session.

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Health News Florida
10:23 am
Thu April 2, 2015

FL: Federal Government Suspending Health Care Talks

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 9:42 am

Florida officials said late Wednesday that the federal government is suspending negotiations over the potential loss of more than $1 billion in money now flowing to the state's hospitals.

The move comes at a critical time: The Florida Legislature is trying to finalize a new state budget between now and the end of the session on May 1. Senate Republicans have vowed that they will not vote for a budget if it requires large cuts to hospitals.

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Health News Florida
10:22 am
Thu April 2, 2015

FL Doctor, NJ Senator Indicted

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 9:37 am

Sen. Bob Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants who rose to become one of the highest-ranking Hispanic members of Congress, was charged Wednesday with accepting nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions from a longtime friend in exchange for a stream of political favors.

Menendez predicted he would be "vindicated" and, in a defiant statement before reporters and cheering supporters Wednesday evening, said, "This is not how my career is going to end."

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Health News Florida
5:11 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Lawmakers Tweak Extended Foster Care Law

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 8:22 am

  Lawmakers are working on changes to a two-year-old law that extended foster care in Florida from ages 18 to 21 and sought to give kids more time to prepare for independence.

Hailed as groundbreaking --- in fact, it was named the "Nancy C. Detert Common Sense and Compassion Independent Living Act" for its Senate sponsor --- the law is likely to get a tweak this session.

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Health News Florida
9:32 am
Wed April 1, 2015

FL Senators Meet with Feds Over Health Care Money

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 2:47 pm

 

 Amid growing budget discord that could derail this year's session of the Florida Legislature, Senate President Andy Gardiner dispatched two top Republican senators to Washington to talk with federal officials about more than $1 billion in health care grants the state could soon lose.

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Health News Florida
9:32 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Lawmakers Look To Revamp Mental-Health Services

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 9:12 am

Legislation aimed at revamping Florida's system of delivering mental-health services is moving in the House and Senate and is gaining momentum.

The House version (HB 7119), which would hold providers to a new set of performance measures and open the bidding on state contracts to for-profit firms, was unanimously approved Tuesday by the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.

In the Senate, a comparable measure (SB 7068) will get its second hearing Thursday in the Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee.

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Health News Florida
9:30 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Despite Opposition, Abortion Waiting Period Bill Passes First Senate Panel

Barbara Devane (left) of Florida NOW and Terri Wonder representing the Manatee County's Democratic Women's Club as well as the Democratic Women's Club of Florida speaking to reporters Tuesday, following a Senate hearing.

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:55 pm

A controversial abortion bill passed its first Senate committee Tuesday, despite much opposition.

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Health News Florida
8:53 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Measles Patient Visited Kissimmee, Sarasota, South FL

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:16 am

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed a measles case in Central Florida.

The measles was diagnosed in an international traveler who stayed at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee March 16 and March 17.

The unidentified traveler spent most of the time in Osceola County, but also visited Miami-Dade, Orange and Sarasota Counties while contagious.

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Health News Florida
7:10 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Fewer Dying Before 75 in Florida

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 2:50 pm

Three Tampa Bay counties improved their health score in this year’s annual County Health Rankings, released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

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Health News Florida
6:46 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Florida Deadliest State for Cyclists

Smart Growth America's map tracks more than a decade's worth of bicycle fatalities in Florida and the rest of the country
Smart Growth America.org

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 1:19 pm

Frank Gilbert has been nudged a few times while riding a bike to work. Nudged is his term for cars bumping into him.

If you close your eyes and think of someone riding a bike to work, you might picture spandex and neon helmets. Maybe jean shorts and a handlebar mustache.

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Health News Florida
10:10 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Hemp Farming Gets Thumbs Up From Florida Senate Committee

Florida lawmakers are considering a bill to let farmers grow hemp crops like these.

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 2:45 pm

A product made from cannabis could become one of Florida’s top crops: A bill in Tallahassee would allow Florida farmers to grow hemp.

Robert Clayton finished construction last year on a house made of hemp in Tarpon Springs. It’s thought to be the first of its kind in Florida. He testified at a Senate hearing about his research for the Hemp Industries Association.

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