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.

Sarasota Police Department

A former psychiatric technician at a Sarasota mental health hospital has been convicted on six counts of lewd or lascivious battery and one count of lewd or lascivious molestation of juvenile female patients, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.

The Florida Department of Health employee who oversaw directors and administrators at county health department statewide is being replaced, Politico Florida reports. DOH interim director Celeste Philip has named Paul Myers to replace Kim Barnhill, who is on administrative leave, according to Politico Florida

The embattled chairman of the Broward Health Board of Directors resigned Thursday, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

Broward Health

The chairman of the board at the embattled Broward Health Hospital District is challenging Gov. Rick Scott's decision to suspend him from the post, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

The Florida Department of Health is pushing back against the Tampa Bay Times for criticizing a revision in the number of the new HIV cases in the state.

Florida Department of Health

Former Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong has been given a job within the Department of Health, Politico Florida reports.

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.

Google Earth

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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