Health News Florida

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 a Thursday morning earlier this month visiting pediatric patients at Tampa General Hospital.

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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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Health News Florida
8:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Taxpayer Tab Mounts In Welfare Drug-Test Legal Fight

Credit Associated Press

Taxpayers are on the hook for at least $307,000 and perhaps much more to cover legal expenses in Gov. Rick Scott's repeated failed efforts to convince courts that a onetime campaign pledge to drug-test welfare recipients is constitutional.

A federal appeals court last week ruled that the state's mandatory, suspicion-less drug testing of applicants in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program is an unconstitutional violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.

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9:17 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Look Up Antipsychotic Drug Usage at Nursing Homes

It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear is not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia. You can check NPR's interactive database to see the history of antipsychotic drug usage at nursing homes in your area and how they compare to national and state averages. In Florida, the average is 21.7 percent.
  • Source: Npr
  • | Via: NPR
It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear's not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
Health News Florida
12:24 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Middle-Aged, Low Income Fall into 'Gap'

Carlos Seibane is both a patient and volunteer at the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.
Carol Gentry, Health News Florida

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 11:41 am

When the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace opened last year, Beth and Doug Warner of St. Petersburg asked a navigator to enroll them. But they discovered their income wasn’t high enough to get a subsidy.

Without one, Doug Warner said, the policy for the couple would cost $700 a month. “Basically the choice was, ‘Keep the roof over your head or buy healthcare.'”

It’s one of the great ironies of the health overhaul. Floridians most in need of health insurance -- adults below the poverty line -- are often blocked from coverage the Affordable Care Act provides.

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