Julio Ochoa

Health News Florida Editor

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.

He comes to WUSF from The Tampa Tribune, where he began as a website producer for TBO.com and served in several editing roles, eventually becoming the newspaper’s deputy metro editor. 

Julio was born and raised in St. Petersburg, and received a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. He earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and worked at a paper in Greeley, Colo., before returning to Florida as a reporter and as breaking news editor for the Naples Daily News.

Contact Julio at 813-974-8633, on Twitter at @julioochoa or email julioochoa@wusf.org.

Suncoast Community Health Centers

Community health centers that serve poor patients around Florida are worried that new restrictions on state and federal funding could hurt their ability to provide charity care.

healthcare.gov

Consumers who want to enroll in Obamacare for 2018 will have less help and a shorter time to do it.

Tampa General Hospital

Florida hospitals recently learned that an agreement between the state and federal governments will provide them with up to $1.5 billion to cover care for people who can’t pay.

But local governments will have to put up $559 million in matching funds before hospitals can access all of that money.

The National Resident Matching Program

Michael Smith graduated from a Caribbean medical school in 2014 with a degree and a mountain of debt.

He wants to start paying it off, but first he needs a medical license. The only way to get that is by completing his final years of medical training at a residency program in the United States.

Oxitec

The state's first sexually-transmitted case of Zika virus in 2017 has been confirmed in Pinellas County.

Google Maps

A state investigation into St. Petersburg's sewage spills places much of the blame on the decision to close the Albert Whitted wastewater treatment facility.

About 50,000 gallons of partially-treated sewage overflowed Wednesday from a water treatment plant in south St. Petersburg.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

The St. Petersburg Free Clinic’s health center has a new home and it’s twice as big.

The clinic outgrew its space in downtown St. Petersburg and was experiencing a backlog of appointments and longer wait times.

With everyone age 65 and older eligible for Medicare, seniors may be the last group that comes to mind when there's talk of Medicaid spending reductions.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Changes to Medicaid in Republican proposals for health care reform could cause insurance rates to go up for everyone, according to Rep. Kathy Castor.

healthcare.gov

Six companies filed to sell health insurance in Florida next year on the Obamacare exchanges with an average rate increase of 17.8 percent, state officials said.

However, if the state approves the rate increase, it would likely be offset by an increase in federal subsidies. That means consumers wouldn’t have to pay much more for their premiums.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage spilled onto Pinellas County streets and into waterways after last year's tropical storms. A task force set up to address the issue provided an update on their progress on Thursday in Seminole.

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

The 2016 presidential election generated a lot of stress. But for those in ethnic and religious groups in the middle of the debate, the stress could be affecting their health.  

Florida Blue

Florida Blue will file its proposed rates for the Affordable Care Act marketplace this week and officials warn they could increase by 20 percent if the federal government stops funding the cost sharing measures that are included in Obamacare.

Florida is the second worst state in the nation at providing home- and community-based health care options for seniors and the disabled, a new report says.

COURTESY OF NICODEMO FIORENTINO

Of the three medications that treat opioid addiction, one got more attention in the Florida Legislature this year.

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Florida has made significant improvements in providing for its children, a recent study shows.

Ozlem Yaren

Florida scientists have developed a new test for Zika that would produce results in less than an hour.

And the test can detect the Zika virus in the blood of humans or mosquitoes.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

No more than 20 medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to open in unincorporated parts of Hillsborough County under new rules passed by commissioners on Wednesday.

Tampa General Hospital has hired the CEO of Jupiter Medical Center to become its next president and CEO, officials announced on Monday.

A federal investigation into St. Petersburg’s sewage releases has been closed.

On a typical spring day, when it hasn't rained in a while, about 7 million gallons of raw sewage flows into St. Petersburg's southwest water treatment plant.

Wikimedia Commons

Jane Morse needed to fill a prescription that was going to cost her about $300. She's on Medicare but doesn't have a prescription drug plan so she's learned to shop around.

AARP

The AARP has been outspoken in its opposition to the American Health Care Act, which was passed by the House earlier this month.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

More than $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid are wrapped into the health care reform bill that Senators are now considering.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Hillsborough commissioners will consider placing a cap on the number of medical marijuana dispensaries that can open in unincorporated parts of the county.

St. Petersburg officials are repairing about 2,000 manholes to make sure the city's sewage system is not overwhelmed during heavy rainfall.

City of St. Petersburg

Red tied may have contributed to the deaths of 70 pelicans in St. Petersburg early this year, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The Republican health care proposal passed by the U.S. House last week would cut $800 billion from Medicaid over the next decade.

Tampa General Hospital

The state budget includes deep cuts to hospitals that serve the poor and lawmakers are betting on federal money to help offset the losses.

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