Affordable Care Act

Curtains Open On Medicaid Managed Care In Florida

Jul 31, 2013
medicaid.gov

More than two years after Florida lawmakers passed a controversial plan to transform the Medicaid system, it's showtime.

As of Thursday, about 9,300 central Florida residents who need long-term care --- the vast majority of them seniors --- will become the first participants in a statewide move to enroll almost all Medicaid beneficiaries in HMOs and other types of managed-care plans.

A Philadelphia nurse has been charged with assisted suicide for allegedly providing her 93-year-old father with a lethal dose of morphine.

Authorities say Barbara Mancini, 57, told a hospice nurse and a police officer on Feb. 7 that she provided a vial of morphine to her father, Joe Yourshaw, to hasten his death.

Mancini and her attorneys acknowledge she handed the medication to her father, but maintain she never said she intended to help him end his life and was only trying to help her father ease his pain — an act they say is legally protected, even if it causes death.

Tammy Spencer did a double take when she read the address on her paper and looked at the house in front of her.

Spencer, a volunteer with the nonprofit Enroll America, was spending a hot and humid Saturday morning knocking on doors in Boca Raton, a mostly posh South Florida city, looking for people without health coverage. She wanted to let them know about new online insurance marketplaces that open for enrollment Oct. 1.

Who needs jocks when you've got Jennifer Hudson and Amy Poehler?

That seems to be the message coming out of the White House following a star-studded meeting yesterday led by White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Its mission: Figure out how to help promote the Affordable Care Act.

The online health insurance marketplaces can't open soon enough for Chris and Kristi Petersen. Enrolled in the Iowa high-risk insurance pool because insurers on the private market won't cover them, the couple pays more than $1,300 each month for a plan with a $2,500 annual deductible and a 20 percent copay for medical services. It's more than they can afford.

"At the end of this year, these exchanges are either going to have to offer some relief, or I'm just going to quit working and let the welfare take care of us," says Chris. "I'm fed up with it. I'm fed up with insurance."

This summer was supposed to be a time to reintroduce the public to the Affordable Care Act and teach people how to sign up for benefits this fall.

But that's not what's happening.

C. DiMattei

Palm Beach County wants your drugs.

Actually, the county only wants the medications taking up space in your bathroom cabinet, the ones that might end up in the wrong hands. 

At first glance, the receptacles cropping up all over Palm Beach County look like the donation bins that collect old clothes for charity.  But printed on the front of each drop-off box is the urgent instruction to “Deposit Your Unwanted Prescription Drugs Here!” 

It hasn't been a good week for the Affordable Care Act. After announcements by the administration of several delays of key portions of the law, Republicans returned to Capitol Hill and began piling on.

The biggest changes in health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act are set to begin less than three months from now. Oct. 1 is when people can start signing up for coverage in new state health exchanges. The policies would kick in on Jan. 1, 2014.

It can all be a little confusing, we agree. So two weeks ago, we asked what you wanted to know about the health law.

When the blood pressure drug Bystolic hit the market in 2008, it faced a crowded field of cheap generics.

So its maker, Forest Laboratories, launched a promotional assault on the group in the best position to determine Bystolic's success: those in control of prescription pads. It flooded the offices of health professionals with drug reps, and it hired doctors to persuade their peers to choose Bystolic — even though the drug hadn't proved more effective than competitors.

Who's going to be more successful at selling health insurance to young men this fall: NBA MVP LeBron James, NFL rookie of the year Robert Griffin III, or Mom? If officials at the Department of Health and Human Services get their way, all may be drafted.

Jessica Meszaros

South Florida’s diverse Hispanic community requires some extra attention when it comes to electronic health records.

Over the last few years, doctor’s offices, clinics and hospitals have been getting federal funding through the HITECH Act to go paperless.

That means more patients have access to their medical records online.

Wikipedia Commons

Once upon a time, nurses were not allowed to take blood pressure – only the doctor could do that. Times change.

  But they haven’t changed enough. For 19 years, nurse practitioners in Florida have tried to get the right to practice to the full extent of our education and capability, which includes prescribing scheduled substances. So far, our efforts have been fruitless.

Perhaps Florida Gov. Rick Scott's motto should be "never say never."

02/20/13 - Wednesday's Topical Currents examines the shortage of primary care doctors in today’s medical landscape and efforts to give more latitude to nurse care practitioners.  The upcoming Florida Legislative session will address the issue.  Increased Medicare costs and the Affordable Care Act figure into the picture to give qualified nurse practitioners more latitude in patient treatment.

Sammy Mack / WLRN

When Florida sued to overturn the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers targeted a piece of the law that would have forced Florida to make Medicaid available to more than a million uninsured Floridians.

The U. S. Supreme Court upheld most of the act but it made Medicaid expansion optional.

Now some Florida lawmakers who originally opposed Medicaid expansion are seriously considering that option.

digitalart / freedigitalphotos.net

Affordable Care Act issues are expected to dominate discussions of insurance in the Legislature in the weeks ahead but lawmakers will also take swipes at workers compensation, hurricane preparations and Citizens Property Insurance Corp when they return.

waterdotorg

On The Florida Roundup:  Saturday marks the third anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti.  How has it affected us in South Florida, home to the nation’s largest Haitian diaspora?   We take your calls on what you have seen in Haiti and what responsibility we have to this country less than 700 miles away.   Why has development been so slow after so many promises?

ernstl /Flickr

As state and federal lawmakers roll out and implement the health care reform law over the next few years,  millions of people living in the U.S. who didn't have health insurance will gain insurance. However, in a state like Florida, thousands of people won't be included in those changes-- and that is because they are undocumented.

How Florida Fails To Prepare Students For College

Dec 14, 2012
j.s. clark

 

On the Florida Roundup:  Florida has its new Education Commissioner, former Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett.  We’ll learn why Jeb Bush fans are thrilled and the teachers unions are not. NPR’s StateImpact Florida reporter Sarah Gonzalez will tell us why many of Florida’s high school graduates are not ready for college work.  And we hear from you on Florida’s growing need for remedial education and what the purpose of high school should be.  Tweet us @WLRN.  

Dan Grech

On the Florida Roundup :  Local leaders and scientists gather in Palm Beach county to discuss how sea-level rise is “sinking in” in South Florida.  Citizens Insurance is awash with complaints about its "incentive plan" to have private insurers take over some of its policies. Will you be paying for it, hurricane or not? 

Bob B. Brown

This week on The Florida Roundup:  Have state GOP leaders taken the election as a cue to change course? 

Pages