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Health News Florida
9:35 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Doc Accused of Groping Loses License

A South Daytona doctor accused of groping two female patients will avoid a trial by giving up his medical license for life, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Dr. Indravadan Shah agreed to give up his license as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the victims, prosecutors, police, and the Florida Department of Health.

Health News Florida
9:26 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Ebola Highlights Cuts to Public Health

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The current Ebola threat has called attention to cuts in public health programs essential for preventing such an emergency in the first place, the Tampa Bay Times reports. 

Gov. Rick Scott has demanded federal aid to prepare for the disease, but has also overseen a 13 percent cut in staff at the Florida Department of Health since 2010, the Times reports.

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Health News Florida
9:22 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Carroll: Scott Runs State Like He Ran HCA

Former Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll
Credit State of Florida

Gov. Rick Scott’s leadership of the state is similar to the way he ran the Columbia/HCA hospital chain, former allies told the Miami Herald

Former Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll says Scott has underlings “running the show,” and may deliberately remain in the dark on important issues so that he can “claim plausible deniability,” the Herald reports.  

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7:57 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Prisons Chief: Changes Will Take Time

Lead in text: 
Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews says “it's unfair that the agency as a whole is painted under the same umbrella of all being corrupt and non-transparent,” the News Service of Florida reports. In a long interview on his leadership, Crews explains that it will take time to change a culture of fear and intimidation that’s led to the investigation of 100 suspicious inmate deaths, according to News Service.
  • Source: Usf
  • | Via: News Service of Florida
Gov. Rick Scott tapped Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews two years ago to oversee an agency that is responsible for more than 100,000 prisoners and supervises nearly as many people in the community. Crews, who has a bachelor's degree in criminology from Florida State University, started his law-enforcement career 30 years ago as a correctional officer at Apalachee Correctional Institution.
Health News Florida
5:19 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

USF Cancels African Journalists Visit; Ebola Fears Blamed

African journalists from the 2010 Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists pose along the USF St. Pete waterfront
Credit University of South Florida

Officials at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg have canceled a five-day visit by 14 African journalists that was to begin Oct. 31, because of fears of the Ebola virus.

In a letter today written by Han Reichgelt, regional vice president for academic affairs (see below), he says they're doing so out of an abundance of caution.

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Health News Florida
9:24 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Child Deaths Still Going Uncounted

According to a review of Florida Department of Children and Families documents by the Miami Herald, child deaths are being inaccurately counted. The problem, as reporter Carol Marbin Miller explains, is when the death of a child goes from “verified” -- resulting from neglect and abuse -- to “unverified.” As the Herald reports, cases where DCF had prior contact and documented abuse still aren’t being counted as a result of these switches and delays in investigations

Health News Florida
9:20 am
Mon October 20, 2014

35K in FL Lose Coverage over Documents

More than 35,000 Florida residents have lost the health insurance they enrolled in under the federal health law because they didn’t prove U.S. citizenship or legal residency status by Sept. 5, the Miami Herald reports. 

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HNF Stories
9:02 am
Mon October 20, 2014

CDC to Talk Ebola with Florida Hospitals

 Officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will hold a conference call today on Ebola preparedness and training with Florida hospitals.

Gov. Rick Scott said Saturday that the call scheduled Monday afternoon will provide guidance for proper use of personal protective equipment, safe handling of medical waste and effective clinical strategies within hospitals.

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HNF Stories
4:39 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

Questions Help Hospitals Guard from Ebola

All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg

Step inside All Children's Hospital and you're greeted with three things: hand sanitizer, tissues and masks decorated with little cartoon Band-Aids with legs, feet and smiles. "Dirt Squirt Alert!" a sign says. "Stop the spread of germs that make you and others sick!"

A sign at the check-in counter calls on people to immediately tell the triage nurse if 

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Health News Florida
9:28 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Laser Spine Institute Sued by Rival

A lawsuit filed against Tampa’s Laser Spine Institute alleges the center offered illegal incentives to entice patients to have surgery there, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. In a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, the owner of competitor Bonati Institute also accuses the spine-surgery competitor of interfering with business by using “secret shoppers.”   

HNF Stories
9:18 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Nurses Union Demands Better Ebola Training

Nurses gather in Tampa's Ybor City to demand proper training on how to deal with Ebola.
Credit Bay News 9

Nurses from National Nurses United gathered in Tampa's Ybor City on Wednesday to stage a "die-in."

It was a dramatic way to get the public's attention with the hope that hospitals would get the message that the time to prepare to fight Ebola is now.

Pasco County ICU nurse Louise Easty said she thinks some hospitals are making efforts to get up to speed, to where they need to be. 

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Health News Florida
9:06 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Governor Debate: Fan Debacle, Then Issues

After the drama over the fan subsided, the candidates for Florida governor discussed several serious issues, including child deaths and the Department of Children and Families, the so-called “stand-your-ground” law and the Affordable Care Act. As the Tribune/Scripps Capital Bureau reports, the issue of Medicaid expansion was brought up in a question about the state budget. Former Gov. Charlie Crist and current Gov.

HNF Stories
8:49 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Sickest Medicaid Kids in 'Chaos,' Doctors Say

Florida pediatricians who care for severely disabled children  say the state's overhaul of Medicaid has left  kids, parents and caregivers in turmoil.

Extremely fragile children, including some with tracheostomies and feeding tubes, face barriers in access to specialty care, physical therapy, home medical supplies and other urgent needs, the pediatricians say.

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HNF Stories
8:45 am
Thu October 16, 2014

FL to Spend Millions on Ebola Preparation

The nation's Ebola crisis has yet to reach Florida, but state officials want to spend millions to prepare for a possible outbreak.

This week, top health official asked for permission to redirect money from federal grants to buy full body suits for health care workers who may have contact with any potential victims of the virus.

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Health News Florida
9:30 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Bioscan Leader Submits $12M Fraud Plea

A Lake Worth man has pleaded guilty for his role in making more than $12 million in fraudulent Medicare claims,  according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal

Gregory J. Sylvestri, the former principal of Bioscan, will be sentenced at a later date for the claims made between June of 2010 and April 2014.

Health News Florida
9:06 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Chiropractors Sentenced In Crash Scheme

Three chiropractors involved in a massive staged car accident insurance fraud scheme have been sentenced to federal prison, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Kenneth Karow of West Palm Beach was sentenced to 11 years, Hermann Diehl of Miami was sentenced to 9 years, and Hal Mark Kreitman of Miami Beach was sentenced to 8 years. All three were convicted of money laundering and mail fraud, according to the Post.

HNF Stories
8:59 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Scott's Child Abuse Deaths Claim Questioned

Gov. Rick Scott
Credit Associated Press

Republican Gov. Rick Scott repeatedly tells voters that abused and neglected children are safer under his leadership than when his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist was governor, but an Associated Press examination of that claim shows that campaign claim may be an exaggeration.

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Health News Florida
8:52 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Commissioner’s Clinic Raided

St. Johns County Commissioner Bill McClure says he is cooperating with the state investigation of his Medi+M.D. clinics that began last Thursday, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Health News Florida
8:44 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Florida Hospital, Health First Partner Again

More than 3,000 new physicians are joining the Health First Health Plans network under an expanded agreement with Florida Hospital, Florida Today reports.

Adding the major Central Florida hospital chain means seniors with Health First Medicare Advantage plans will have access to physicians and procedures such as kidney and lung transplants.

Health News Florida
9:52 am
Tue October 14, 2014

FL Hospitals Prepare, React to Ebola Scare

Jacksonville’s Baptist Medical Center initiated federal Ebola protocols on Monday after a patient who reported recent contact with a West African traveler was admitted with flu-like symptoms, according to the Florida Times-Union.

After a full screening, the case turned out to be a false alarm, the Times-Union reports.

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Health News Florida
9:21 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Another Jail Tries Private Health Contract

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Osceola County commissioners approved a five-year contract with a private health care company for county jail inmates, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

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Health News Florida
9:02 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Doctor Charged With Visa Fraud

A Citrus County ophthalmologist is in federal court after government officials discovered that he violated the terms of his visa, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

HNF Stories
12:50 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Key to Pot Vote: Turnout, Not Political Party

AP

Need an example of how incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott and his Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist, are trying to attract every possible vote?

Ask them about medical marijuana. Neither candidate avoids the issue. But they do play it safe.

  “I’m going to vote against it. But it’s going to be on the ballot. All the citizens of the state have the right to vote whichever way they think,” Scott told Tampa’s Fox 13 News this past June.

And there’s Crist, no stranger to the well-rehearsed reply.

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HNF Stories
8:53 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Scott, Crist Weigh In on Medicaid Expansion

If former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist gets his old job back, he promises to expand Medicaid to roughly 1 million low-income residents by calling a special session of the Legislature or through an executive order. If Gov. Rick Scott is re-elected, the decision will be once again left to the Legislature with little meddling from him.

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Health News Florida
8:35 am
Mon October 13, 2014

If Pot Passes, Legislature Has Sway

Advocates and foes of the upcoming medical marijuana amendment aren’t talking much about the role Florida’s Legislature would play if it becomes law, the Miami Herald reports.

Lawmakers have a significant say in the rules about who obtains and distributes medical marijuana but the campaigns are focusing on what voters want, according to the Herald.

HNF Stories
8:35 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Support Health News Florida During Our Fall Campaign

WUSF General Manager JoAnn Urofsky, Morning Edition host Carson Cooper and Classical WSMR host Russell Gant during WUSF's one week membership campaign.
Credit Mark Schreiner / WUSF

Health News Florida is proud to be a statewide reporting project of WUSF Public Media.

Donate now to WUSF's Fall Campaign. and you will be supporting journalism for a healthy state.

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HNF Stories
7:45 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Eye Surgeon Wins Close Call

Dr. Alan Mendelsohn
Credit myeyesurgeons.com

A letter from the Federal Bureau of Prisons almost cost Alan Mendelsohn his medical practice, only months after resuming it.

The prominent Hollywood eye surgeon, who served 2 ½ years of a four-year prison term on charges of public corruption and tax evasion, was sent to a halfway house in July.  There, residents are required to work during the days but must return each evening.

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HNF Stories
5:29 pm
Sun October 12, 2014

2 Doctors Lose Licenses for Pain Pills

Credit Florida Board of Medicine

Two Gulf Coast physicians lost their medical licenses Friday on similar charges, prescribing large quantities of addictive pain pills in ways the state said endangered the public.

One of them, Dr. Konstantine Yankopolus of Fort Myers, had already been suspended from practice in an emergency order filed by the Florida Department of Health in May 2013. 

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2:18 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Medical Malpractice Ruling Backs Doctors

Lead in text: 
A ruling on the ongoing challenge to Florida's medical malpractice law is a win for groups such as the Florida Medical Association, Jim Saunders of the News Service of Florida reports. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Friday says changes made in 2013 to the "ex parte communications" portion of the law does not violate patient privacy, the News Service reports.
  • Source: Usf
  • | Via: News Service of Florida
A federal appeals court Friday upheld part of a controversial Florida medical-malpractice law, saying it does not violate requirements aimed at protecting patient privacy. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a ruling last year by a Tallahassee federal judge.
HNF Stories
9:27 am
Fri October 10, 2014

After Prison, Surgeon Returns to Practice

Credit Florida Board of Medicine

A 71-year-old Sebring surgeon who completed his prison sentence on an embezzlement conviction will be allowed to resume practice on probation, the Florida Board of Medicine agreed Friday.

In August 2012, Dr. Alfred Massam pleaded guilty in federal court to improperly taking $1.2 million from his medical practice’s employee pension fund, state records show. He served about 17 months at a minimum-security prison camp and three to four months in a halfway house, wearing an electronic monitor, he said at the board’s meeting in Deerfield Beach.

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