Lead Stories

Hollywood Nursing Home Where Eight Died Wasn't On Priority List For Power Restoration

The nursing home where residents died following a hurricane-induced air conditioning outage was not on the priority list for power restoration, according to the facility's utility provider and Broward County officials. Emergency responders confirmed eight deaths last Wednesday at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, three days after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to the facility's air conditioning system. For families, nursing home administrators and state and local officials...

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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.

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." 

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