In its toughest crackdown yet on medical errors, the federal government is cutting payments to 721 hospitals – including 31 in Florida -- for having high rates of infections and other patient injuries, records released Thursday show.
Medicare assessed these new penalties against some of the most renowned hospitals in the nation, including the Cleveland Clinic, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa.
Take a look at the top health care stories in Florida in 2014, and it’s clear that the business of Medicare and Medicaid continued to dominate the news.
Good news -- and plenty of bad, too -- topped the most read stories on Health News Florida in the past year. And yes, the glitches and changes tied to new Affordable Care Act rules created plenty of buzz as well.
Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner is leaving open the possibility that his chamber will consider an expansion of health care coverage for low-income Floridians.
“Intriguing" was the word Gardiner used on Wednesday for a plan from business and hospital leaders that would accept billions of dollars under the federal Affordable Care Act and provide coverage through private insurers. The plan, called "A Healthy Florida Works," was introduced last week.
Fourteen people have been indicted over their links to a deadly meningitis outbreak – including two Central Floridians.
New England Compounding Pharmacy Inc. was blamed for the 2012 outbreak that sickened 678 people and killed 64, including 25 infections and three deaths in Florida. The charges include racketeering, conspiracy and second degree murder.
Winter Park residents and pharmacy owners Carla and Doug Conigliaro are among the 14 former owners or employees of a Massachusetts pharmacy charged Wednesday by federal prosecutors in Boston.
George Dawson has the rough hands of a carpenter and a grizzly grey beard. He’s on his hands and knees pulling weeds out of a red mulch flower bed at the Orlando VA Medical Center’s administration building.
“This community service ain’t too bad,” Dawson said. “I joked when I said Becky had me under the lash. It’s not hard. You just gotta do what you’re responsible for.”
Dawson is clean and sober, and a small business owner: He repairs and resells broken pallets. Thirteen months ago, it was a different story.
More than 1 million people selected a health plan during the fourth week of the health law’s open enrollment and nearly 2.5 million have done so since it began Nov. 15, federal officials said Tuesday.
“And this was before an extremely busy weekend,” said Andy Slavitt, principal deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees the federal online marketplace used by 37 states.
Tuesday’s report did not include enrollment for the final three days before the Dec. 15 deadline for people to enroll if they want coverage to begin Jan. 1.
Two doctors offered conflicting testimony today on whether a South Carolina mother who drove her three children into the ocean off Daytona Beach needs to be forcibly confined for mental-health treatment.
The medical marijuana amendment failed at the polls during last month's election. But that doesn't mean marijuana campaigners have given up.
The Florida for Care Winter Conference takes place Wednesday in Miami at the downtown Intercontinental Hotel. Organizer Ben Pollara said lawmakers will be among the attendees at the all-day conference, which has a two-track agenda for legalizing marijuana as medicine.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:30 am
It's the second year of enrollment for health insurance plans under the federal health law on HealthCare.gov, the website that Floridians, and people in dozens of other states, use to shop for health insurance.
As of Dec. 15, we have passed a key deadline, the deadline to buy a plan to have coverage that starts Jan. 1. But open enrollment runs through Feb. 15, 2015, and we have gathered a panel to talk about what consumers be doing now if they still need to get health insurance coverage to comply with the federal health law known as Obamacare.
Florida's elder guardianship program is meant to help vulnerable elders.
But Sarasota Herald-Tribunereporter Barbara Peters Smith recently published a series that shows the rapidly expanding system run in Florida’s probate court system ignores the rights of some. She spoke with Health News Florida Editor Mary Shedden about the year-long investigation.
The Senate on Monday approved President Barack Obama's nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy to serve as U.S. surgeon general, despite opposition from Republicans and some Democrats over his support for gun control and past statements that gun violence is a public health issue.
The son of immigrants from India, Murthy told senators he was inspired to become a doctor while helping out on weekends at his father's family medicine clinic in Miami.
He moved to Florida at the age of 3, and graduated from Miami's Palmetto Senior High in 1994.
Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:15 pm
A coalition of businesses groups, local officials and healthcare industry representatives has rolled out a plan to insure nearly one million low-income Floridians. But they’re not calling it a Medicaid Expansion.
More than 800,ooo Floridians are in health insurance limbo. They fall into what’s called the Medicaid coverage gap. Reed Mahoney of Tallahassee, is among them.
Dr. Robert Cowie, Feb. 22, 2011, speaking to lawmakers against SB 234. His daughter, an FSU student, was killed at a frat house just weeks before. Cowie's testimony along with then-Sen. Thrasher helped defeat the bill.
Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:26 pm
Florida State University President John Thrasher says his position has not changed since the recent filing of a bill allowing people to open carry on public college and university campuses. It’s the same bill Thrasher helped defeat in 2011 when he was a state senator.
In 2011, the testimony of Dr. Robert Cowie, a friend of Thrasher, also helped derail the bill. Just weeks before, Cowie’s daughter, FSU Student Ashley, had been accidentally shot by a rifle and killed at a frat house.
Some sexual assault victims in Central Florida will now be able to get low-cost treatment closer to home.
That’s because of an agreement between the local Planned Parenthood and Victim Service Center announced this week. Planned Parenthood’s new Kissimmee clinic is now part of a referral agreement with Victim Service Center, which runs the local 24-hour rape crisis hotline.
Victims of rape and sexual assault will get access to free initial and follow-up screenings for STDs like HIV, as well as reduced-cost emergency contraception.
Florida Healthcare Plus, a Medicare HMO with 10,000 members, was declared insolvent Wednesday and turned over to state authorities.
In such cases, state and federal officials help patients move into other health plans or to traditional Medicare. More information is expected on that today or Friday.
The state Division of Financial Services took over the Coral Gables-based plan immediately after the order was issued Wednesday by Circuit Court Judge George S. Reynolds in Tallahassee. DFS is expected to sell off the company’s assets Jan. 1.
Christian Ward lounges on a couch in the University of South Florida student center in Tampa. He props crutches against the armrest and stretches out his leg, which is covered in a cast up to his thigh.
Like a lot of college students, Ward’s parents handle his health insurance. He'll tell you that having it definitely came in handy during his moment of need.
Monday’s an important deadline for Floridians shopping for insurance on HealthCare.gov.
Nearly a million residents signed up on this federally run marketplace last year. Now those wanting to re-enroll -- or sign up for the first time for coverage -- must select a plan by Monday if they want to be covered starting at the beginning of the New Year.
Governor Rick Scott is reappointing Elizabeth Dudek to oversee the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
Dudek has been the head of the agency since 2011. Together, they helped privatize the Medicaid program, paying private insurance companies a set fee for roughly 3 million Medicaid recipients instead of the state paying for each service patients incur.
Scott also praised Dudek for overseeing that Florida hospitals were prepared for Ebola.
Florida’s tough new safety rule for medical-office surgery, years in the making, has been delayed at the last minute by an outcry from obstetrician-gynecologists.
The OB-Gyns appeared Friday at the Florida Board of Medicine, which was to have passed the safety rule that day, to ask for an amendment to spare them from some of the provisions. Board members decided instead to postpone the issue while they figure out what to do.