Lead Stories

Fort Myers News-Press

Lee Memorial Takes Case To Florida Supreme Court

Southwest Florida's Lee Memorial Health System is going to the state Supreme Court in a dispute about the constitutionality of part of a 2000 law.

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By Gary Fineout
3/3/2009 © Florida Health News

Requiring women to get an ultrasound screening before they can have an abortion, an issue that roiled the past two legislative sessions, is back. This time, its odds of passage have improved.
  
In the waning moments of last year’s session, an identical bill died on a 20-20 tie vote in the Florida Senate. But two of the seven Republicans who voted against the measure have left the Senate due to term limits.

By Carol Gentry
2/27/2009 © Florida Health News 

A former state health official says a clause in Florida’s Medicaid Reform plan will cost hospitals nearly $4 billion a year in uninsured emergency-room visits if the pilot project expands statewide. 

Aside from the financial impact, the influx of patients will flood emergency rooms and make it difficult for patients in need of immediate attention to get it, according to health consultant Paul Metts, former deputy secretary at DOH.

By Christine Jordan Sexton
2/27/2009 © Florida Health News

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s Cover Florida plan got most of the attention last year, but it wasn’t the only health-insurance initiative that passed the 2008 Legislature.

The forgotten one, Florida Health Choices, is only now coming together. Its new board was to hold its organizational meeting today, just as the 2009 session is about to begin. 

2/26/2009 © Florida Health News 
The Dartmouth Atlas project compared medical spending per person in cities across the nation and found Miami was off the charts -- about twice as much as average. That's not a total shock since federal prosecutors have said health fraud rates there are the highest in the nation.

By Christine Jordan Sexton
2/25/2009 © Florida Health News

Gov. Charlie Crist is reportedly preparing to recommend a merger of the two largest state health agencies into one, a proposal that would affect thousands of state employees. He also wants to keep the state’s Medicaid “Reform” program unchanged and increase the fees doctors and HMOs get for treating the poor.

By Carol Gentry
2/24/2009 Florida Health News 

Pres. Barack Obama told the nation Tuesday night that the nation must get control of health spending immediately. It "has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough. So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year." 

WellCare members not stuck

Feb 24, 2009

By Carol Gentry
2/24/2009 © Florida Health News

WellCare drug-plan members left reeling from last week's federal crackdown on the Tampa company are not stuck in WellCare for the rest of 2009, after all. They have options.

Medicare officials did not make that clear until Monday afternoon, after Florida Health News questioned remarks an official made last week.

By Christine Jordan Sexton
2/19/2009 © Florida Health News

TALLAHASSEE – The battle to abolish an obscure Medicaid spending panel has taken on the trappings of a full-fledged political campaign.

 By Christine Jordan Sexton
2/18/2009 © Florida Health News

 By Carol Gentry
2/13/2009 © Florida Health News

As many as 300 Florida doctors now require patients to sign a promise that they will not post Internet comments about them without permission.

Patients promise they “will not denigrate, defame, disparage or cast aspersions upon” the doctor and will do all in their power to prevent friends or family members from doing so.

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