Lead Stories

Florida Blue

Partnerships With Health Care Providers Boost Florida Blue's Profits, CEO Says

While other health insurers left the Affordable Care Act’s individual market in the state, Florida Blue is staying put and even turning a profit.

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By Carol Gentry
3/12/2009 © Florida Health News

For 20 years, Dr. Mark Kantzler has been getting into trouble with prescription painkillers, records show.. Sometimes it’s from his own addiction, sometimes from the prescriptions he writes. 

He’s been suspended from practice twice. A newspaper featured him in a 2003 series on dangerous over-prescribers. He paid a $700,000 settlement in 2003 for a patient’s death from a drug overdose and now is being sued in another death. 

By Christine Jordan Sexton
3/12/2009 © Florida Health News

Gov. Charlie Crist’s proposed budget would remove a funding threat to five county health departments that was due to take effect in September as part of Medicaid Reform.

As Florida Health News recently reported, public health analysts were predicting county clinics would lose millions of dollars a year and no longer be able to care for the uninsured if the payment formula changed.

HMO says exec stole $1.3M

Mar 11, 2009

By Christine Giordano
 3/11/2009 © Florida Health News

Citrus Health Care, which reported big losses last year, may have been the victim of more than a bad business climate. Its director of compliance – the one in charge of keeping the company honest -- scammed Citrus Health out of $1.3 million, according to a civil lawsuit filed in Hillsborough circuit court.

Correspondence in the file indicates that the FBI is investigating.

By Carol Gentry
3/10/2009 © Florida Health News

As a member of the state’s Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, psychiatrist Michael Bengtson advises the Florida Medicaid program on which drugs need to be available to patients without a hassle, within the budget available.

3/10/2009 © Florida Health News

How good are Medicare beneficiaries at shopping for the best deal in insurance coverage, given a large array of choices?
Not very, according to a study that has significant implications for Florida because of the staggering number of choices here.

By Christine Jordan Sexton
3/6/2009 © Florida Health News

With consolidation on the minds of cash-strapped state officials, some are jumping on a new report by government auditors suggesting a joint effort on buying and packaging prescription drugs. 

By Paul Metts
3/5/2009 Florida Health News

By Christine Jordan Sexton
3/4/2009 © Florida Health News

Last year, Senator Durell Peaden was Gov. Charlie Crist’s health-care point man. He was primary sponsor of the Cover Florida Health plan and helped the governor in other ways.

But Peaden, who chairs the Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee, won’t be carrying the ball for the governor this year. A retired physician from Crestview, Peaden has vowed to work against Crist’s attempted merger of the Department of Health and the Agency for Health Care Administration.

3/4/3009 © Florida Health News 

A coalition of consumer advocacy groups rallied at the Capitol today to urge lawmakers to raise the cigarette tax, plug loopholes in sales-tax exemptions and find other ways to bridge the budget gap. 

They called Gov. Charlie Crist's request to the Legislature to rely on the federal stimulus a "shell game," while he said the money would create more than 200,000 jobs that "the people of Florida desperately need." He said he was grateful to get the money and pre 

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.

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