Affordable Care Act

Health Care
6:44 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Curtains Open On Medicaid Managed Care In Florida

Credit 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.

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Health Care
4:06 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Nurse Charged With Assisting In Her Father's Death

Barbara Mancini with her father, Joe Yourshaw.
Barbara Mancini via Compassion & Choices

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:22 pm

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.

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Health Care
4:56 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Canvassers For Health Coverage Find Few Takers In Boca Raton

Volunteer Tammy Spencer goes door to door in Boca Raton., Fla., on July 27 to spread the word on the state's health exchange.
Phil Galewitz Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 4:19 pm

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.

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Health Care
5:11 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Obama Turns To Comedians To Promote Health Coverage

Comedian Sarah Silverman helped get out the vote for Obama in 2008 and 2012.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 4:19 pm

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.

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Health Care
3:32 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Time To Get Out Of The High-Risk Health Insurance Pool?

High-deductible "last resort" health plans have been the only option for some folks with pre-existing conditions. No more.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 3:16 pm

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."

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Health Care
7:28 am
Fri July 19, 2013

White House Muddles Obamacare Messaging — Again

President Obama walks off the stage after speaking about the Affordable Care Act during an event in the East Room of the White House on Thursday. Obama argued that the law is holding insurance companies accountable and putting money back into the pockets of consumers.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 6:13 am

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.

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Health Care
11:21 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Palm Beach County Expands Drug Take-Back Program

Twenty-two drop boxes like this one give Palm Beach County residents places to safely dispose of their old prescription medications.
Credit 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!” 

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Health Care
8:39 am
Fri July 12, 2013

Messy Rollout Of Health Law Echoes Medicare Drug Expansion

Back in 2006, President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt talked with reporters during a trip to Florida, where Bush spoke to volunteers helping seniors sign up for the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Mike Stocker AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 5:13 am

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.

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Health Care
6:41 am
Mon July 1, 2013

You Ask, We Answer: Demystifying The Affordable Care Act

Families soon will be able to sign up for new health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act. In Washington, D.C., Dr. Cheryl Focht of Mary's Center performs a checkup of Jayson Gonzalez, 16, while his mother, Elizabeth Lopez, looks on.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 10:25 am

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.

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Health Care
10:45 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Top Medicare Prescribers Rake In Speaking Fees From Drugmakers

How does the doctor decide what to write on the prescription pad?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 5:38 pm

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.

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Health Care
4:17 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Could LeBron And RGIII Help Sell The Affordable Care Act?

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III already promotes Subway sandwiches. Will health insurance be next?
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 5:26 pm

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.

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Health
6:00 am
Tue June 18, 2013

How Electronic Medical Records Might Breathe Life Into 'Neutral Spanish'

Lorena Roldan's dermatologist uses the Modernizing Medicine app. The app enables doctors to to pin point patient progress based on the image of real human body.
Credit 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.

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Community Contributor
2:01 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Unlike Most States, Florida Forbids Nurse Practitioners From Prescribing Some Drugs

Florida law restricts nurse practitioners from prescribing all kinds of medicine.
Credit 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.

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Florida Medicaid Expansion
6:30 am
Thu February 21, 2013

In Reversal, Florida Gov. Scott Agrees To Medicaid Expansion

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, long a foe of the administration's health overhaul, reversed course and agree to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid in the state.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 7:25 am

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

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Shortage of Primary Care Doctors

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.

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