Health News Florida

Health News Florida
8:12 am
Tue November 4, 2014

New Whistleblower Charges at WellCare

Attorney Kevin Darkin

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 11:55 am

WellCare Health Plans, which paid more than $400 million to settle past accusations of health-care fraud, is once again being sued under the False Claims Act.

The whistleblowers in this case are a half-dozen former WellCare staff members, including the former Vice President of Care Management Dr. Kirk Cianciolo. All are represented by Tampa attorney Kevin Darken, from the same firm that handled the previous whistleblower case against the Tampa-based WellCare.

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Health News Florida
11:53 am
Mon November 3, 2014

WellCare to Lay Off IT Workers

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 9:31 am

Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans, Inc. will lay off 57 employees over the next few months as it outsources its information technology to Ohio-based Accenture, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reports.

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Health News Florida
9:24 am
Mon November 3, 2014

HCA Adds Citrus Memorial

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 9:28 am

Citrus Memorial Health System, a not-for-profit community hospital, is now part of HCA West Florida. Citrus Memorial has a 50-year lease with HCA, which went into effect Nov. 1, according to a news release.
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Health News Florida
2:22 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

VA Seeks End to State Lawsuit About Hospital Inspections

Credit VA.gov / Department of Veterans Affairs

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has fired back at Gov. Rick Scott's administration in a legal battle about whether state health officials should be able to inspect VA medical centers.

Attorneys for the federal agency filed a document last week arguing that a lawsuit launched by the state Agency for Health Care Administration should be dismissed on constitutional grounds. In part, the document points to the U.S. Constitution's "Supremacy Clause," which it says bars states from regulating federal-government activities without consent.

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Health News Florida
10:43 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Hospitals Take Leap on Prevention

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 2:12 pm

Nearly half of Florida hospitals have earned an "A" on error prevention in a new report card from a business-backed group concerned about patient safety.

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Health News Florida
7:33 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Impairment Triggers Wrong-Way Crashes

A woman was killed after driving her car the wrong way on southbound I-75 Sept. 22 and striking a tractor trailer in Pasco County.
Florida Highway Patrol

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 3:53 pm

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading causes of injury and death in the United States. And while wrong-way crashes account for a small percentage of the accidents, more than a dozen people have died in an outbreak of wrong-way driving on Tampa-area roads.

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Health News Florida
9:57 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Six Travelers Monitored As Florida National Guard, Hospitals Prep For Possible Ebola

U.S. Navy Cmd. James Lawler, Naval Medical Research Bio Defense chief of clinical research, briefs a 30-person joint service medical support team in an effort to train personnel to respond quickly, effectively and safely in the event of additional Ebola cases in the United States, on San Antonio Military Medical Center, Tex., Oct. 22, 2014.

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 9:14 am

Six people who recently traveled from Ebola-affected regions are under twice-daily monitoring by the Florida Health Department. The state continues preparing in case someone tests positive.

No cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Florida, and all six of the people being monitored are considered low-risk. Gov. Rick Scott says just under 100 hospitals have completed special Ebola training, and he hopes more will do so.

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Health News Florida
7:30 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Most FL Plans Shine in Star Ratings

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 7:32 am

Just a handful of Florida Medicare Advantage plans offered for 2015 received below average scores in a federal quality rating system, a breakdown of data by Avalere Health shows.

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Health News Florida
5:44 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Casino Magnate Spending More to Defeat Pot Measure

Sheldon Adelson

A Las Vegas casino magnate is kicking another $1 million to defeat a proposal to legalize medical marijuana.

Sheldon Adelson has now donated a total of $5 million to the group that wants to defeat the constitutional amendment that will be on the November ballot.

Adelson, a high-profile Republican donor and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., is the largest single donor to the Drug Free Florida Committee. The committee is using the money to pay for television ads criticizing Amendment 2.

Adelson has been seeking approval to build a resort casino in the state.

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Health News Florida
9:14 am
Mon October 27, 2014

HealthCare.Gov EZ Form Not for Immigrants

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 9:27 am

HealthCare.gov's simpler online application is being touted as a big win for consumers. But it can't be used by immigrants in the United States legally and naturalized U.S. citizens, who represent millions of potential new health insurance customers.

That's prompting worries that many Hispanics and Asians will end up in long enrollment queues when the second sign-up season for coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law gets underway next month.

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Health News Florida
5:12 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

Florida Orders 21-Day Monitoring for Ebola

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 8:46 am

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is ordering twice daily monitoring for anyone returning from places the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates as affected by Ebola.

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Health News Florida
10:03 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Suspended Medicare HMOs Still Listed

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 2:10 pm

Many Florida shoppers at Medicare.gov will find Day Break and Sunrise among their lowest-priced HMO options. But if they call to enroll in either one, they’re out of luck.

Florida Healthcare Plus, a small Coral Gables company that sponsors the two Medicare Advantage plans, is under state and federal suspension, unable to sign up new members during the current open-enrollment season for Medicare, Oct. 15-Dec. 7. Being frozen at this time of year can be a death sentence for such plans.

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Health News Florida
9:09 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Health Director Tackles Ebola Facts, Fiction

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 1:06 pm

Hillsborough County's Health Department director is going of the offensive to combat fears about Ebola.

Douglas Holt said that concerns have grown since two health care workers in Texas tested positive for the disease after treating a man who died from it. 

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Health News Florida
9:14 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Depression An Evolutionary Process

USF psychology professor, Jonathan Rottenberg, will participate in the 22nd Annual Festival of Reading with his book about depression.
Basic Books Publishing Company

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 9:58 am

Psychology Professor Jonathan Rottenberg wants to change the way people think about depression, a condition the World Health Organization estimates 
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Health News Florida
9:57 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Poynter to Host African Journalists After USF Cancels

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 8:44 am

The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg will host a group of African journalists after their original hosts, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg's Department of Journalism and Media Studies, canceled over concerns of the spread of the Ebola virus. 

The visit is part of the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists, which brings 100 international journalists to the United States each year. 

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