Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 5:02 pm
Next year, patients across Florida suffering from extreme seizures and a handful of other symptoms should be able to get their hands on low-THC marijuana, but exactly when next year is unclear. An administrative court scrapped much of the proposed distribution framework last week. That leaves stakeholders with hope for a better system, and certainty of a longer wait.
Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 11:00 am
A plan for drug testing welfare recipients in Florida came before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals this week. The American Civil Liberties Union is looking to the Fourth Amendment to challenge the policy.
There’s a shortage of nursing home beds in Florida, and companies are flooding the state with applications to build. With hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, courts may have to sort out the winners and losers.
It’s been 13 years since the Florida Legislature put a hold on building new nursing home beds because of rising costs in the state budget.
That moratorium expired this year, and 163 companies are competing to build more 3,100 new nursing home beds in Florida.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey speaking during a press conference about a pilot parenting program. He's joined by (left to right) Rep. Ritch Workman, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, Sen. President Andy Gardiner, and Brevard State Attorney Phil Archer.
Brooke and Andrew Lee can't imagine being without health insurance.
So for the past seven years, that's meant digging deep into the earnings of their video production agency in St. Petersburg. It’s expensive, but Brooke Lee says the alternative is worse.
“Even though costs are high, I’ve just always been somebody who has health care. And I would be really nervous… for the unknowns to happen, some major accident or health problem that would put us out of business and pretty much ruin everything we’ve worked so hard on if we didn’t have health insurance,” she said.
Florida's insurance officials are recommending a state takeover and liquidation of Florida Healthcare Plus, a Medicare Advantage plan accused of submitting $25.2 million in phony bills to Medicare and Florida Medicaid.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 7:44 am
Three years ago a blistering assessment by a national advocacy group prompted the Florida Department of Transportation to get serious about making the state’s roadways safer for pedestrians and cyclists. After four Florida metropolitan areas were ranked as the most dangerous for pedestrians, FDOT leaders began to consider making design changes such as building narrower lanes.
Proponents of narrower lanes argue that wide, open lanes encourage motorists to hit the gas and endanger pedestrians, while narrow lanes force motorists to slow down.
An Orlando woman died from injuries to her neck and head caused by a car collision and an exploding air bag, according to an autopsy report released Tuesday.
Plastic and metal fragments were scattered throughout the driver's side of Hien Tran's 2001 Honda Accord, and detectives found fragments of loose metal still in the deflated air bag, according to the report. The air bag had multiple tears and was bloodied.
Florida Medicaid has spent at least $30.6 million in the past year on costly drug treatments for Hepatitis C, according to records from the Agency for Health Care Administration.
Most of the spending was for Sovaldi, an antiviral approved by the Food and Drug Administration in December 2013. It was fast-tracked after clinical trials showed it had a high cure rate for patients in advanced stages of liver disease who were infected with the most common strain of the Hepatitis C virus.
With many seniors facing high medical bills, a congressional investigation has found that federal government websites meant to give Medicare patients basic consumer tools instead fail to provide adequate information on out-of-pocket costs, and even quality of care.
The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office found that Medicare lacks clear procedures for getting useful information to consumers.
This weekend marked the beginning of open enrollment season, the time when uninsured Floridians can sign up for health insurance on HealthCare.gov.
An estimated 1.5 million Floridians don’t have insurance.
At Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Eatonville, Renard Murray, the regional administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services came from Atlanta to address the congregation of more than 300.
When asked who knows someone with high blood pressure, asthma or diabetes, almost everyone at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church raised a hand.
Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 1:26 pm
Does this sound like a top health care CEO?
Those are the comments of Baptist Health South Florida CEO Brian Keeley. Baptist Health is the largest faith-based non-profit health system in South Florida. It delivers $2 billion of health care to South Florida through seven hospitals, more than a dozen urgent care centers and various other specialty health centers. The Baptist business has more than 1,700 beds and serves more than 1 million patients per year. Keeley has been with Baptist for more than 30 years.
The nation's top health official says the ongoing legal dispute over the Affordable Care Act won't stop people who want insurance from signing up.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced it will consider a challenge to the law, which could eliminate subsidies for individuals who purchased plans in Florida and dozens of other states via the online marketplace known as HealthCare.gov.
From a tailgating party with Gator fans in Gainesville to a beer festival in Pensacola, Floridians had plenty of opportunities Saturday to get in-person help signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And as the second year of enrollment kicks off, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell is making a swing through Florida today to help get the word out.
Burwell will make a stop in Tampa Monday morning at the Navigation Lab at the University of South Florida; she will be in Miami this afternoon.
Open enrollment on the federal health insurance marketplace starts on Nov. 15. The Health News Florida team is kicking off a series about the second year of open enrollment under the federal health law.
First, we take a look at HealthCare.gov, the website that people in Florida and 36 other states use to buy a health insurance plan. This year, open enrollment runs for three months, until Feb. 15, 2015.
Millions of low-income children - including almost half of those in Florida - are failing to get the free preventive exams and screenings guaranteed by Medicaid and the Obama administration is not doing enough to fix the problem, according to a federal watchdog report.
A jury in Polk County has awarded $35 million in damages to a former Florida smoker who underwent two lung transplants.
The jury's decision Wednesday on behalf of 61-year-old Richard Boatright of Bartow against Philip Morris USA and the Liggett Group tobacco companies. The cigarette makers routinely appeal all such verdicts.
Attorney Sheldon Schlesinger says Boatright started smoking at age 12 and liked the cowboy used in Marlboro ads.
The case is one of thousands filed in Florida after the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a $145 billion class action verdict.
Signing up for health insurance is no fun, especially for those unfamiliar with the industry’s terms and concepts. And according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey, few people excel in that area.
Editor's note: Open enrollment on the federal health insurance marketplace started on Saturday, Nov. 15. The Health News Florida team is kicking off a series about the second year of open enrollment under the federal health law. First, we take a look at HealthCare.gov, the website that people in Florida and 36 other states use to buy a health insurance plan. This year, open enrollment runs for three months, until Feb. 15, 2015.
Visit Florida says it's offering $2.5 million in grant money to increase promotion of medical tourism in Florida.
The state's tourism arm said Monday that two grants will be offered through Dec. 8. One will help promote the state as a medical tourism destination and the other markets the state for medical meetings and training promotion.
The money was approved by the state Legislature.
Each grant awarded under the new medical tourism promotion program will be matched by private dollars.
With sign-up season launching this weekend, officials sharply dialed down expectations Monday for the second year of President Barack Obama’s health insurance law.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said she’s aiming to have 9.1 million paying customers enrolled in 2015 for subsidized private coverage through HealthCare.gov and state insurance markets.
That’s more than now, but well below the 13 million that the Congressional Budget Office had projected.
Medicare Advantage plans that draw a lot of their enrollment from the poor side of town say they're at a disadvantage on the government's five-star ratings scale, which commands respect and governs pay.
One company pressing the issue is WellCare Health Plans, based in Tampa. Its Medicare Advantage plans are rated at 3 or 3 1/2 stars, below the 4-star minimum required for plans to qualify for bonus payments. Plans' premium and bonus payments are kept confidential, but other media report that the bonuses amount to a few hundred dollars per member.