HNF Stories

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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.

Federal officials are all but certain there will be a Zika outbreak this summer.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, explained, “In the next couple of months as we approach the very active mosquito season, we project that we will see local outbreaks of Zika particularly in the Gulf Coast area around Florida Texas and other states.”

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.

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