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Julio Ochoa

Health News Florida Editor

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.

He comes to WUSF from The Tampa Tribune, where he began as a website producer for TBO.com and served in several editing roles, eventually becoming the newspaper’s deputy metro editor. 

Julio was born and raised in St. Petersburg, and received a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. He earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and worked at a paper in Greeley, Colo., before returning to Florida as a reporter and as breaking news editor for the Naples Daily News.

Contact Julio at 813-974-8633, on Twitter at @julioochoa or email julioochoa@wusf.org.

CBD is now legal in Florida, but not all products are created equal.
Courtesy Second and Seed

CBD is showing up more and more in Florida, from gas stations to grocery stories. It was being sold long before it became legal in the state on July 1. But there is a lot of confusion about whether it’s safe and what is legitimate.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF

By Julio Ochoa

More changes are coming for Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital after a comprehensive outside review delivered several recommendations for improvements.

U.S. Stem Cell, Inc. is headquarterd in Sunrise Florida.
Google Maps

A federal judge has ordered a South Florida clinic to stop injecting patients with their own stem cells.

Copay accumulators keep assistance from drug manufacturers from counting towards a patient’s deductible.
The AIDS Institute

Lauren Killgore first learned about her health insurance company’s new policy at the beginning of 2017, when her husband, a 26-year-old hemophiliac, had an internal bleed in his knee.


An alligator broke into a woman's home in Clearwater early Friday morning.
City of Clearwater

A 10- to 11-foot alligator broke into a woman’s home in Clearwater early Friday and thrashed about, breaking wine bottles and knocking over furniture while a trapper removed it, police said.

child receiving care
iStock

The number of children covered by Medicaid declined in Florida and other states for the first time in more than a decade.

Doctor treating a baby
iStock

Funding within this year’s budget could help thousands of children get health insurance.

Hepatitis A outbreak data map
Florida Department of Health

Florida is seeing a surge in hepatitis A infections and a majority of the cases are turning up in the Tampa Bay area.

Florida's House of Representatives
myfloridahouse.gov

More than 100,000 low-income parents could lose  health care coverage under a Medicaid work-requirement bill being considered in the Florida Legislature, experts estimate.

Tampa businessman Joe Redner has lost the latest round in his attempt to grow his own medical marijuana for juicing.

Trulieve dispensary
Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Florida's largest medical marijuana licensee has settled a lawsuit with the state over how many dispensaries it can open.

Proposed changes to some Medicare prescription drug plans are causing concern among patients with serious health conditions.

Prison buses in front of a prison.
Florida Department of Corrections

Florida's prisons have a health care problem.

The state's aging prison population and the high cost of treating inmates with debilitating diseases are behind a surge in spending on health care in recent years.


affordable care act website
healthcare.gov

Final enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act marketplace were released on Monday, the same day the Trump administration told a federal appeals court that the entire law should be struck down.

Steven Currall speaks in Tampa Friday shortly after being voted the next USF System president.
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

The University of South Florida Board of Trustees have selected Steven Currall as the next System president.

Doctor holding a stethascope.
iStock

39 Florida hospitals will get less money from Medicare this year because their patients had high rates of infections or other complications.

iStock

A health plan that provides care to low-income Hillsborough County residents is expanding to serve more people.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital will continue to get federal funding after regulators said Friday that the St. Petersburg hospital made required improvements.   

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Lawmakers are considering legislation this year that would provide more oversight of the state’s pediatric heart surgery centers.

Google Maps

Two top officials at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg are stepping down.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Tampa Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor was recently selected as chair of the new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

Florida Blue (Facebook)

Florida Blue has won the first round of a lawsuit filed by a competitor seeking to stop the company from contracting exclusively with insurance agents.

Google Maps

Shriners Hospitals for Children will stop offering inpatient care at its Tampa location starting in August.

Julio Ochoa/Health News Florida

It's not even 6 a.m. when Amy and Christie begin a 45 minute drive south. 

The two friends are headed to a clinic in Hernando County where they’ll get a dose of methadone. They take this trip seven days a week, they said, to keep from relapsing into the pill addiction that nearly destroyed their lives.

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida is recruiting 1,600 elderly volunteers to determine whether computer brain exercises can prevent dementia.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Three more leaders have left Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg following multiple reports by the Tampa Bay Times about problems with its Heart Institute.

Six disabled and elderly Floridians are suing the state over alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Google Maps

A bill filed by Sen. Marco Rubio would change the way safety net hospitals are reimbursed for serving uninsured and Medicaid patients.

Julio Ochoa/Health News Florida

The number of Floridians who enrolled in the Affordable Care Act this year increased by more than 55,000 compared to last year.

Medicaid enrollees in Florida will have a much shorter window to apply thanks to a change approved by the federal government. But the reason given for the change doesn't add up for some.

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