Health News Florida Staff

Health News Florida is the only news publication dedicated to covering health issues in the nation’s third largest state.

We hold health care policy makers, powerbrokers and practitioners accountable. And our independent reporting, online and on public radio, emphasizes how issues of cost, quality and health care access affect all Floridians.

Founded in 2006, Health News Florida joined WUSF Public Media in Tampa in September 2012. In October 2014, Health News Florida expanded its coverage by adding reporters at public radio stations WLRN in Miami, and WMFE in Orlando.

Krensavage Asset Management, a New York hedge fund company, is trying to exert greater control over a North Central Florida company that makes surgical implants, the Gainesville Sun reports.  

 

Krensavage nominated four people with extensive management experience in health products and services to RTI’s nine-member board of directors after accusing the company of devaluing its stock, according to the Sun.

 

Florida lawmakers finalizing the state budget have are dealing with a new formula for the federal  Low Income Pool funding model that helps hospitals cover costs for treating the uninsured.

As a nationwide investigation of hundreds of hospitals by the U.S. Department of Justice wraps up, two more South Florida hospitals are among those settling False Claims Act charges.

Broward Health

The Florida Attorney General’s Office has rejected a request from Broward Health’s board to hold private meetings over investigations under way by the FBI and the state inspector general, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

Florida Department of Health

Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong faces another confirmation hearing today, in front of the same group that a year ago refused to back his nomination.

Baptist Health South Florida says it will collaborate with New York-based Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for the new $400-million Miami Cancer Institute scheduled to open later this year, the Miami Herald reports.

A private investigator says he spent a year looking into wrongdoing at the Broward Health system at the request of its CEO, who died last week from suicide, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

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Rose Radiology Centers Inc. has agreed to pay $8.71 million to resolve claims of false billing and kickbacks revealed in two whistleblower lawsuits, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Dr. Nabil El Sanadi, president and CEO of Broward Health and an active member of the state’s Board of Medicine and Safety Net Hospital Alliance, died Saturday from what law enforcement is calling a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Federal officials say more than 1.6 million Floridians have signed up for Obamacare or had their coverage automatically renewed since last November.

Florida’s Pam Bondi is one of 15 state attorneys general helping federal officials investigate two pending mega-mergers in the health insurance industry, Reuters News Service reported this week.

Federal prosecutors say the nation's largest nursing home rehabilitation therapy provider has agreed to pay $125 million to resolve a lawsuit that alleged it knowingly had nursing homes submit false Medicare claims.

Twitter/Mayor Bob Buckhorn

President's Obama's top health administrator visited the Sunshine State as the deadline to sign up for health insurance nears.

Park Royal Hospital

Southwest Florida’s largest psychiatric hospital is being sued over a patient who committed suicide in 2014, after an employee failed to check on him, the Naples Daily News reports. Neither the employee nor the hospital have filed responses to the lawsuit in court.

Baptist Health

Baptist Health South Florida lost $94.2 million for the fiscal year that ended in September, the South Florida Business Journal reports. The non-profit health system was hurt by losses on investments and higher costs for supplies, malpractice and insurance, according to the Business Journal.

Wikimedia Commons

Florida is spending more than $50 million a year getting defendants charged with nonviolent crimes declared competent for trial and not providing these same people significant mental health treatment, according to an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times and Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Seven hospitals in Florida have agreed to pay the federal government about $9 million to settle allegations they submitted false claims to Medicare for a minimally-invasive procedure commonly used to treat spinal fractures from osteoporosis, a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice says.

A Fort Myers-based integrated cancer care services provider accused of billing for tests that were not needed will pay nearly $20 million to the federal government to settle allegations from a whistleblower that it violated the False Claims Act, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Florida Department of Health wants to change the way it oversees pediatric cardiac surgery, despite pleas from families of children with heart ailments, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Osceola County Sheriff's Office

A Kissimmee doctor has been arrested for inappropriately touching a female patient during two office visits, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

A 20-year-old woman told the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office that Dr. Basharat Hussain conducted an exam without a nurse in the room during a visit last Monday and did not wear gloves, according to the Sentinel.

WellCare Health Plans

Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans Inc. announced Monday it is terminating Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Steven Goldberg, according to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

 

According to the Miami Herald, Baptist Health South Florida is enjoying tax exempt-status and raking in millions as it makes its network unavailable to many low- and middle-income patients.

A screening system for the state's Children's Medical Services program has resulted in the removal of 9,000 poor and disabled children from the program, the Miami Herald reports.

In recent months, hospital systems in Florida have paid out hundreds of millions of dollars to settle allegations of illegally compensating physicians. According to Modern Healthcare, those huge settlements are catching the attention of other potential whistleblowers.

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A jury convicted Delray Beach physician Dr. Barry Schultz last week on 55 counts of distributing narcotics to pain clinic patients, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Florida Department of Children and Families

The 2010 death of a 23-year-old man at the North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center in Gainesville can be blamed on worker stress and staff shortages, the facility’s former administrator told the Tampa Bay Times and Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Park Royal Hospital

New depositions and court records suggest that staff at Park Royal Hospital in Fort Myers may have lied to police and lawyers about their screening of the job application of a man who admitted  sexually assaulting mentally-ill patients in 2013, according to court records reviewed by the Naples Daily News.

Gov. Rick Scott is recommending a health care price transparency bill that would limit how much hospitals charge patients, Politico reports.

Students at the abruptly closed Dade Medical College campuses were told Monday that they could be getting training from teachers at another program, possibly from another for-profit school, the Miami Herald reports.

Florida Department of Children and Families

More than $100 million in budget cuts at Florida’s state mental have created an environment where patients are being injured by one another, hurting themselves, and in some cases, attacking the workers assigned to protect and treat then, a joint investigation from the Tampa Bay Times and Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.

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