HNF Stories

Wikimedia Commons

A central Florida lab can now test mosquitoes for the Zika virus.

County workers at Mosquito Control departments across the state can now send mosquitoes to the Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Kissimmee. Once there, the insects are tested for Zika and its viral cousins, Dengue and chickungunya. 

On a Thursday afternoon, 17-year-old Brendon Santana is sitting cross-legged on his bed, cradling a ukulele as he sings Karen O’s Moon Song.

I'm lying on the moon

My dear, I'll be there soon

His bedroom is plastered with Beatles memorabilia and paintings of instruments.

It's a quiet and starry place

Time's we're swallowed up

In space we're here a million miles away

Insurers are seeking double-digit rate increases for 2017 health plans that will be sold to individual Floridians under the Affordable Care Act, a reflection of increasing medical costs and the end of a safety net for insurers.

USF Health

Five medical groups are joining forces to form the Tampa Bay Health Alliance to increase access to high quality, efficient health care.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

A South Tampa doctor who is was blamed for the deaths of three people in a Pinellas Park pill mill case was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Monday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

Edward Neil Feldman, 76, faced multiple counts in a drug and financial conspiracy after authorities said he used his Pinellas Park practice to prescribe pain medication to patients who didn’t need it, according to the Times.

In a move that might actually help health care costs become more transparent, some hospitals are starting to give patients detailed information about what their upcoming visits will cost in an attempt to get them to pay ahead of time, according to the website Modern Healthcare. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES AND SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE

Florida will spend $58 million more next year on mental health care, with $16 million addressing staffing and safety deficits in the state’s mental hospitals, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.

Most of the remaining money will go to two competitive grant programs that communities can apply for if they agree to provide matching funds, according to the Herald-Tribune.

Albuminarium

The number of pregnant women in Florida with the Zika virus climbed from nine to 36 following new federal guidelines outlining how the cases will be counted.

WMFE

Details are emerging on Sanford-Burnham's planned exit from Orlando.

While Congress fidgets over whether and how to pay for the fight against the Zika virus, state and local health departments are scrambling and slimming down.

That's because these front-line public health agencies have already seen their budgets chopped because of the debate.

ProPublica

A database set up by ProPublica detailing the prescribing habits of doctors around the country may be luring the wrong audience, the publication recently reported.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Some Tampa Bay area residents who like to dress up like their favorite comic book and movie characters are stepping into a new role. These cosplayers are volunteering their time to brighten the lives of children dealing with serious medical issues.

Associated Press

Prescription drug costs are not only a problem for consumers. Health care providers are worried about it too.

Health data breaches have affected more than 3.7 million people so far this year and Florida has the most victims with 2.73 million, The News-Press in Fort Myers reports.

Two Fort Myers companies -- 21st Century Oncology and Radiology Regional -- accounted for 2.7 million of the total, the newspaper reports.

Muhammad Mahdi Karim / Wikimedia Commons

The Zika pandemic has gotten people talking about mosquito control.

But humans aren’t the only ones affected by mosquito-borne diseases in South Florida.

A group of physicians in the Tampa Bay is working with insurance companies to keep patients healthy and out of hospitals, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Florida kids go to the emergency room more often than kids in the rest of the country—even when they have insurance—according to a new analysis from the Health Care Cost Institute.

The researchers at HCCI analyzed three years of insurance company billing information from Aetna, Humana, UnitedHealthcare and Kaiser Permanente to look at trends in how children are receiving health care.

They found that children in Florida and across the country are going to the doctor less often, but when they do it’s getting more expensive.

Florida Blue

The insurance company Florida Blue says its rate increases were published too soon on the Obamacare website.

The numbers that were briefly available showed as much as an 11 percent price increase on some plans.

Charles Elmore of the Palm Beach Post first saw the numbers when he was surfing the HealthCare.gov website.

  Florida health care advocates and politicians are making the case that health care access is a religious issue.

Health News Review

  It makes Gary Schwitzer cringe when he sees a network news report about a diet that lets you eat pizza, doughnuts and ice cream while melting away fat.

WLRN

Patients looking for more transparency in health care costs won’t usually find it on the bill from their medical provider.

Associated Press

  

  Pinellas County has its first reported case of Zika virus, the Florida Department of Health said on Monday.

Expert: Pot Is $4.5 Billion Industry In The United States

May 10, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

Retails sales of marijuana in the United States are expected to be $4.5 billion this year, but constant changes in state regulations are creating hurdles for business people trying to make money off pot.

A Miami-Dade circuit judge has declared Florida's new death penalty law unconstitutional.

Florida Hospital Tampa.

In an effort to expand services and reduce unnecessary hospital visits, Tampa Family Health Centers opened its first facility connected to a hospital.

The Associated Press

Twelve health centers in Florida will get more than $10 million from the federal government to renovate, expand and increase capacity to serve underserved patients, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced this week.

Thousands In Orlando For International Child Care Conference

May 5, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

More than two thousand researchers, foster parents, and non-profit leaders are in Orlando today and tomorrow to talk about child care. The Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) is hosting the International Child Care Conference at First Baptist Church of Orlando.

Associated Press

The lives of nearly 400 death row inmates hang in the balance during oral arguments Thursday before Florida's Supreme Court, which will ultimately decide if their sentences should be reduced to life in prison.

Hospital, Insurer Clash Over Payment Information

May 5, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

In a battle between a major Jacksonville hospital and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday grappled with questions about how much information the hospital should be required to disclose about its charges for care.

House Bill Would Curb Regulation Of E-Cigarettes, Cigars

May 5, 2016
Ed Andrieski/Associated Press / Associated Press

Vape away.

Increasingly popular e-cigarettes and cigar varieties could be exempt from some government safety regulations if House Republicans have their way. It’s a move that alarms Democrats and public health advocates who argue that it could lead to unsafe products.

Pages