HNF Stories

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

A program that helps seniors choose a Medicare program and save money on prescription drugs could be going away in Florida and across the country.

Mario Perez lives in Miami, but he was in Orlando for a housewarming party Saturday, June 11. After the party, the 34-year-old went to Pulse for Latin night.

At 2 a.m., he heard gun shots. Loud. He knew it was real.

A group of women in Miami walked into a dental office seeking pap smears and treatment for yeast infections.

It was a protest against a recently passed law that will cut funding to women’s reproductive healthcare in Florida.

Two Tampa Bay area members of Congress were in the middle of the battle Wednesday over gun legislation in Washington D.C.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa joined fellow House Democrats participating in a sit-in. The roughly 40 Democrats are demanding a vote on legislation that would prohibit gun sales to people on the government’s terrorism and no-fly watch lists.

Castor’s office emailed a link to video of her on the House floor leading the chant, “No bill. No break.”

United States Marine Corps (Wikimedia Commons)

When it comes to health care in Florida, it pays to shop around.

The cost of a common MRI can vary by thousands of dollars depending on where you go to get it.

The Florida Department of Health reports a child in Miami-Dade County has come down with a case of measles.

 

According to a release from the health department, the child who came down with measles had not been vaccinated.

The department said public health officials would be notifying people who may have been exposed.

The health department did not say where the child may have traveled before or after getting sick.

The measles virus can hang in the air and continue to be infectious up to two hours after the sick person has left the room.

Health News Florida has been honored with the 2016 national Edward R. Murrow award for “Best Small Online News Organization Website” for audio for its statewide multimedia and broadcast collaboration project.

WUSF Public Media in Tampa shares the honor with WLRN in Miami and WMFE in Orlando, which joined Health News Florida in 2013.

Florida Kids Count

According to a new report, children's health in Florida has improved overall, but is still lagging behind when compared to other states.

John Moore/Getty Images

Three babies with Zika-linked birth defects have been born in the U.S., the government reported Thursday in its first accounting of outcomes for pregnant women infected with the virus.

WMFE

Ivy Hernandez promotes Latin Night at Orlando’s Parliament House, so she knows the LGBT Latino community.

She was not at the Pulse nightclub Sunday night; she was working at Parliament House on the other side of town. But she got a phone call as it happened.

Private insurance companies that say they were underpaid by Florida’s Medicaid system over the past two years delivered a $433 million bill to the state this month, according to the Miami Herald.

  It’s a problem that affects 700,000 people in the ten-county Tampa Bay area: food insecurity.

Thomas Mantz, the Executive Director of the group Feeding Tampa Bay says food insecurity is when people like you and me don’t have consistent access to food due to a lack of money or other resources. 

According to a report by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Florida's system for delivering Medicaid to children is among the worst in the nation. 

WMFE

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is urging the governor to approve the University of Florida takeover of Sanford Burnham. The governor was in Orlando for a press event, where Dyer talked with him about what the state can do to help keep Sanford Burnham in Medical City.

Miami Beach Bans Conversion Therapy For Minors

Jun 10, 2016
Miami Beach is the latest city in the country to ban a controversial form of therapy that professes to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity.
 
The city commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to ban conversion therapy for minors under the age of 18.  And from now on, anyone caught practicing it might be slapped with a fine of two-hundred dollars a day.
 
Miami Beach Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemàn sponsored the ban.
Google Maps

  The Hillsborough County Health Department issued health advisories for three public beaches today.

Elevated levels of bacteria were found in the water at Simmons Park, Picnic Island and Davis Island.

WMFE

The University of Florida hopes to have a deal outlined in the coming weeks to negotiate the takeover of Sanford Burnham Prebys Institute in Orlando.

Albuminarium

Baptist Health Resource Center held a “Zika and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know Now” conference Wednesday night in Kendall.

The University of Florida

Professors from the University of Florida have developed a mosquito trap that they say could help prevent the spread of the Zika virus.  Professor Phil Koehler says the trap is proven to catch and kill mosquitoes but the public might not be able use it this summer because it’s awaiting federal approval. 

WLRN's Topical Currents looks at Health News Florida’s PriceCheck project . . .  a community-created guide to health care costs.

Patients can go to Health News Florida's website and enter medical bill or insurance company “explanation of benefit” details.  An easily accessed data-base is thus developed, which shows an assortment of procedure prices.

Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

When the sewer system in St. Petersburg became overwhelmed by rain from Tropical Storm Colin the city had to pump sewage into Tampa Bay.

St. Pete Beach had the same problem and pumped sewage into Boca Ciega Bay.

Keeping guns away from those with serious mental illness could help reduce gun suicides.

 

Jacksonville’s Mosquito Control Chief John Shellhorn says he’s surprised the city hasn’t had any Zika virus cases.

When clinical psychiatrist Cher Morrow-Bradley and other health care providers call the Veterans Choice program, they are greeted with a recorded, 90-second "thank you" from Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald.

It's not having the intended effect.

"Why don't you make this easier? The process is so cumbersome, and I have to listen to you thanking me for spending all this time and then I get put on hold," says Morrow-Bradley, adding that she hasn't figured out how to skip the message.

WMFE

Osceola County is getting its first pediatric intensive care unit beds this week. Osceola Regional is opening a six-bed ICU beds for children and eight private pediatric beds, attached to a new pediatric emergency room.

JusticeSolutions.org

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration approved two new hospitals Friday and denied two others.

Mental health care ranks among the most expensive kinds of health care in American medicine—and having a 

mental illness or behavioral disorder can drive up costs for other kinds of care.

But new research suggests that the Affordable Care Act has helped young people with mental illnesses afford health care—especially young blacks and Latinos.

WMFE

The University of Florida and University of Central Florida had planned to announce a partnership in the acquisition of Sanford Burnham, according the Orlando Sentinel

Federal officials are all but certain there will be a Zika outbreak in the continental U.S. this summer.

The mosquito-borne virus continues to spread in Central and South America and the Caribbean. It’s linked to severe birth defects and other serious side effects.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, spoke with WLRN about what this all means for Floridians:

What Floridians can expect:

Health News Florida has been reporting that Florida’s health insurance companies are asking for double-digit rate increases.

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