Editor

By Jim Saunders
8/3/2010 © Health News Florida

Applicants for caregiver jobs face new background-screening requirements that went into effect Sunday. But a key part of the system --- the places where they get electronic fingerprinting --- isn't fully ready.

The state Agency for Health Care Administration, which had reassured worried health-care providers last week that screening sites would be available, sent an e-mail Friday acknowledging that a contractor, Cogent Systems, had fewer sites open than expected.

9 on way to Supreme Ct.?

Aug 3, 2010

By Jim Saunders
8/3/2010 © Health News Florida

The legal battle about a proposed constitutional amendment targeting federal health reform appears headed straight to the Florida Supreme Court.

The 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee today said the case is of such "great public importance" that it needs to be resolved immediately by the Supreme Court. The justices still need to formally accept the case.

 By Jim Saunders
 8/3/2010 © Health News Florida

Bid winner had fraud claims

Jul 30, 2010

By Carol Gentry
7/30/2010 © Health News Florida

After Congress overturned a competitive-bidding program for home-health equipment two years ago because of problems, Medicare officials promised they’d be careful in their second attempt.

Yet the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded 17 bidding contracts to a company that settled Medicare fraud charges twice in the past eight years.

7/27/2010 © Health News Florida

A federal agency that tracks measures of health-care quality lists Florida's as "average," but barely. The arrow hovers right on the line above "weak."
 
It could be worse; Florida scores are much better than Louisiana and Texas. As usual, the northeastern states hog the glory.

By Carol Gentry
7/23/2010 © Health News Florida

An independent audit conducted for Florida Healthy Kids, a subsidized program for uninsured children of working families, found WellCare Health Plans still owes it money for "double dipping" in the pharmacy program.

Under last year's agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office that deferred criminal prosecution, the Tampa-based HMO -- which also contracts with the state Medicaid program -- agreed to pay $40 million in restitution, including $6.4 million to Healthy Kids.   

Levine joining FL corp. HMA

Jul 20, 2010

By Carol Gentry and Dave Gulliver
7/20/2010 © Health News Florida

The man most responsible for changing the direction of Florida Medicaid is coming back to the state, this time as a corporate executive with a national profile.

Alan Levine, secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals in Louisiana for the past 2 1/2 years, will become a senior vice president for Naples-based Health Management Associates. The publicly traded company operates 58 hospitals in 15 states.

In journalism, we write about things that happened, not about what didn't happen. So I have been flummoxed in how to approach the subject of Peter Gleason, a psychiatrist who was disciplined in three other states. Not Florida.

In the Florida Department of Health medical lookup site, Gleason has a "clear, active" license with no pending complaints. He would be free to work here if he wanted, which could happen at any time, since he is a "locum tenens," accepting temporary assignments. Currently he's working at a psychiatric clinic in California.

By Mary Jo Melone
7/16/2010 © Health News Florida

Joanie Pape of Navarre, 48, lost her job as a bank branch manager in January. With it went her health insurance, including coverage for her children, both students at Pensacola Junior College.

In March, Courtney Pape, 24, and her brother Camryn, 19, were in a car accident. Both suffered serious head injuries and needed extensive hospital care.

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