There are a lot of stereotypes out there about the millennial generation: they’re disengaged and hyper-focused on technology.
But someday, these 80 million Americans born between 1980 and 1999, will be needing health care. And a lot of it.
That's why the second MediFuture conference this week in Tampa asked a panel of college students for some insight. While the five men and one woman say they may not be using the health care system much now, it's important medicine doesn't assume that technology is all they care about.
We’ve been hearing a lot about how health care prices are kept secret in this state.
As WLRN and the Miami Herald have been documenting all this week, the tangle of employers, insurance companies and providers makes shopping for health care and health insurance difficult enough — but underneath that web is a layer of secrecy that prevents consumers from seeing what actually gets paid for care.
Any doubt that Florida’s largest health insurer wants to expand its reach was quashed by its chief executive Wednesday, when he heralded the success of its new umbrella company and outlined ambitious plans for growth.
GuideWell, launched as a parent of Florida Blue, reaches more than 15 million people through its insurance, consumer, health care and government administration products, Chairman and CEO Pat Geraghty told participants at the Medifuture conference in Tampa.
Less than half are traditional Florida Blue policy holders.
A billboard at the county line advertises home health care services. Local churches try to create a feeling of belonging for elderly members who may be disconnected from family up north. Lawyers and accountants make house calls like doctors. Elderly residents get ferried to stores by a fleet of county minivans.
Welcome to Citrus County, Florida, where more than a third of residents are senior citizens, one of the highest rates in the nation.
A federal judge has reduced the punitive damages that a Tampa jury imposed in June on national drug-testing firm Millennium Laboratories after finding that it engaged in unfair competition by breaking anti-kickback laws in Florida and two other states.
But Millennium Labs, based in San Diego, still owes more than $11 million to its rival Ameritox Ltd. after the reduction. In Friday's 29-page order, U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew called Millennium's conduct "fairly reprehensible."
Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 3:20 pm
Florida recently finished rolling out a new way of providing care to more than 3.5 million low-income Floridians. Nearly all of them are now enrolled in managed care plans. The state agency that runs Medicaid recently released a series of comments from various players in the industry praising the rollout. But some groups say the new system is still plagued with problems.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:58 am
Figuring out the real price of health care is complicated — even if you've already paid your bills. You can hear just how complicated it is here:
And if health care pricing wasn’t convoluted enough, it’s hard to talk about it without running into some conversation-stopping jargon. Words that mean one thing to the rest of the English-speaking world can mean something completely different in health care — like a “charge” that isn’t the same as the price.
Four dozen health centers around the state that provide a medical home for uninsured low-income Floridians and for those who are newly insured through the Affordable Care Act will get a share of $13.4 million in federal funds, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday afternoon.
Most of the grants fell into the range of $150,000 to $400,000, but a few of them were for more:
· Community Health of South Florida in Miami, about $507,000.
· Manatee County Rural Health Services in Palmetto, about $499,000.
The Florida Nurses Association is recognizing Health News Florida founder and Editor Carol Gentry for her significant and ongoing role in reporting on the state’s most important health issues.
The 2014 Communications/Media Award is being awarded to Gentry, who for four decades has been reporting on health policy and business, and has been holding industry and government officials accountable.
A federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of 750 lawsuits filed against tobacco companies by a law firm representing Florida smokers and their families.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Wednesday with a lower court that the cases were improperly filed after the smoker had died. The cases are among thousands filed in Florida after the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a massive $145 billion class action case against cigarette makers.
Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 6:28 pm
Florida’s health insurance marketplace debuted earlier this year but so far, less than forty people have signed up. Now the board that runs the program is looking to attract health insurance providers, and to do that, it’s turning to a new company to help it expand its services.
In an ordinary house on an ordinary street near Orlando live some extraordinary children. To stay alive, they depend on machines and tubes and the caregivers sent out by an agency called Children First.
Registered nurse Maria Schiavi, co-owner of Children First, says some of the kids they care for were injured in an accident, such as a near-drowning. Others were born with life-threatening problems that modern medicine can’t fix.
It’s much too soon to say whether this summer’s flood of Florida Medicaid patients into private managed-care plans will accomplish the state’s goals of improving access to care and saving money.
But one result is already clear: The overhaul is concentrating power in the hands of specialty companies over which the state has no direct control. Some say one such company has essentially taken over home care services and equipment.
Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 10:32 am
A new environmental report predicts nearly half of the bird species currently living in North America—including many in Florida could lose significant parts of their habitats by 2080 due to global warming.
A mental health advocacy group filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging the Florida Department of Corrections and its contractors ignored the widespread torture and abuse of mentally ill inmates for years at a Miami prison.
Meanwhile, as the Miami Herald reports, the department has unveiled a new inmate mortality database amid the furor over inmate deaths.
Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 9:35 am
This November, voters in Florida will decide whether or not to legalize medical marijuana. Recently, The Ledger of Lakeland hosted a forum on Amendment 2. The forum was moderated by Lenore Devore, the paper's editor, and featured Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and Orlando attorney John Morgan.
The owner of a north Florida adult care home is heading to prison.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced Monday that Priscilla Smith Johnson from Williston was sentenced to more than eight years in prison.
Johnson was arrested last October on allegations of neglecting residents, failing to provide medical services for a resident's wounds, and financially exploiting residents at her small family care home. She was also alleged to have restrained a disabled adult with handcuffs and causing wounds on a disabled adult.
Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 6:14 pm
University of Miami president Donna Shalala says she’s stepping down next year from the job she’s held since 2001.
Shalala came to the university after leading the federal health agency for eight years and serving as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She helped build the national stature of the school's medical school and hospital and increased research budgets.
Frank Nero, former head of the Beacon Council, says even big businessmen were impressed by Shalala .
The University of South Florida has been awarded by far the largest grant in the state to hire "navigators" who help uninsured people sign up for health insurance coverage through the federal Marketplace, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday.
Only two other Florida organizations won navigator grants: the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, $871,275, and the Pinellas County Commission, $535,156.
Florida has the 37th highest obesity rate among adults, up from its last ranking of 40th, according to a report from Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Florida's increase from 25.2 percent in 2012 to 26.4 percent in 2013 is not statistically significant, according to the annual report that's now named “The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America." For the past decade, it was called the "F as in FAT" report.
The federal appeals court in Washington threw out a ruling Thursday that called into question the subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people – including Floridians -- afford their premiums under the president's health care law.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted an Obama administration request to have its full complement of judges re-hear a challenge to regulations that allow health insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for consumers in all 50 states.
The nation's respite from troublesome health care inflation is ending, the government said Wednesday in a report that renews a crucial budget challenge for lawmakers, taxpayers, businesses and patients.
Economic recovery, an aging society, and more people insured under the new health care law are driving the long-term trend, according to the report published online by the journal Health Affairs.