11:57 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Gov. Rick Scott To Sue Feds Over Hospital Funding, Medicaid Expansion

An undated photo of Gov. Rick Scott.
Credit Flickr/Creative Commons

Republican Gov. Rick Scott plans to sue the federal government for allegedly coercing Florida to expand Medicaid, his office said Thursday.

"It is appalling that President Obama would cut off federal healthcare dollars to Florida in an effort to force our state further into Obamacare," Scott said in a statement.

The announcement is but the latest round in an ongoing spat between Scott and the feds.

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Health Care
4:57 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Nurse Practitioners Get Small Victory Toward Expanded Powers In Florida

A bill that passed a second Senate committee clarifies that nurse practitioners have the authority to order controlled substances and drug supplies in the hospital.
Credit jb19791128/flickr

Several bills working their way through the Florida Legislature would give nurse practitioners the ability to prescribe stronger medications and clarify other duties.

A second Senate committee has approved a bill that spells out the ability of highly trained nurses, known as practitioners, to order controlled substances in the hospital.

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2:43 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Miami-Dade Enrolls 400,000 In Obamacare, More Than 43 States

Milton Vazquez, Florida spokesman for nonprofit organization Enroll America, and Denise López Martinez, an Enroll America volunteer, attend an Obamacare sign up event at Hialeah Hospital on Feb. 15, the end the final day of open enrollment this year.
Credit Chabeli Herrera / Miami Herald

  With special enrollment all but concluded in this year’s Affordable Care Act health insurance sign up period, Miami-Dade County has claimed nearly 400,000 enrollments, more than any county in Florida and 43 entire states, according to federal data.

The state is a record breaker, too, leading nationwide enrollment with 1.6 million sign ups, surpassing expert projections for 2015.

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Health Care
3:20 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Practitioners Not Waiting for Telemedicine Laws

All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg is about to complete its installation of high-resolution telemedicine cameras in the neonatal critical care units at five area hospitals.
All Children's Hospital

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 10:24 am

It was 1964. The New York World's Fair.

And a young Tony Napolitano saw his first video phone at the Bell Telephone pavilion. The boy marveled that people could connect visually from remote locations.

Fast forward to 2015. Napolitano, now a pediatric neonatologist, is about to make this connection an ordinary part of practicing medicine at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.

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Medicaid Expansion
11:35 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Want To Partner With Florida To Lower Health Care Costs

Patrick Conway, chief medical officer for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, speaking with Donna Shalala, president of University of Miami at the university's annual health care conference this year.
Credit Gort Productions

The Florida Legislature is debating on whether to expand Medicaid. About two weeks ago, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that would expand health care coverage to about 800,000 low-income Floridians using billions in federal dollars.

And the U.S. Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services would have to grant the state a waiver to get the federal funds.

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11:30 am
Tue March 24, 2015

UM Health Care Conference Highlighted "Disruptive Innovation"


The University of Miami School of Business hosted its yearly health care conference Monday. The main topic of discussion was “disruptive innovation,” which organizer and professor Steven Ullmann says means "to disrupt how we do health care provision in this country."

Ullmann says the health care system now is fragmented, and that makes it expensive.

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12:51 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Running Beyond Marathons: Obstacle Races In South Florida

The finish line, like the starting line, will greet runners with the Battle Frog.

Millions of runners are searching for a new challenge. They want something with more danger and fun than a traditional marathon event.

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Health Care
10:12 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Florida Considers 24-hour Waiting Period For Abortions

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 10:14 am

  Woman seeking abortions would have to wait 24 hours under a bill now advancing in the Florida Legislature.

A House committee on Thursday approved the bill after hearing passionate testimony.

The measure sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan would require a woman seeking an abortion to talk in person to the physician performing the abortion at least 24 hours ahead of time.

Sullivan said she was sponsoring the bill (HB 633) to make sure women were not rushed into seeking an abortion.

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4:13 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Scott Drops Welfare Drug Testing Challenge

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 9:13 am

After spending at least $300,000 of taxpayer money on legal expenses, Gov. Rick Scott is abandoning his fight to force welfare applicants to undergo mandatory drug tests.

A federal appeals court ruled in December that the state’s mandatory, suspicion-less drug testing of applicants in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program is an unconstitutional violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.

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Health Care
11:04 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Child Dies, FL Admits Fault, Millions Owed

Matthew and Mark Robinson

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 2:46 pm

Matthew Robinson loved to have eggs for dinner.
But they were out the evening of November 4, 2010. So the 10-year-old and his brother Mark walked out of their Kissimmee apartment and headed across the street to the Kangaroo convenience store.

While crossing the street to come home, a city bus made a left turn into the crosswalk and hit the two boys.

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3:00 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Despite Training Hospitals, South Florida Will Still Face Doctor Shortage

Credit Timmy Gunz / Creative Commons/Flickr

Getting an appointment with a doctor may get a lot harder over the next ten years, according to a study out this week.

The report, commissioned by the Teaching Hospital Council of Florida and the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, says Florida is facing a troubling shortage of specialist doctors - to the tune of almost 7,000. Even though South Florida has a number of teaching hospitals, the survey finds the region will still feel the crunch, especially in Palm Beach County.

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12:38 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

As Heroin Abuse Rises In Orange County, So Does Death Toll

Credit Luca Serazzi / Flickr CC -

  This story was produced by member station WMFE in Orlando.

After raising four kids as a stay-at-home mom and helping run a successful business, Cindy Culpepper decided to try something new. She started bar tending at a friend’s club in Winter Park. On the nights that drew young crowds, she remembers finding small plastic bags scattered on the bathroom floors.

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Health Care
7:41 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Some in FL Get Extra Week on

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 9:23 am

Federal health officials are granting a special enrollment period for consumers who unsuccessfully tried to buy health insurance before Sunday's deadline and were sidelined by long wait times or computer glitches.

Some consumers who tried to pick a health plan through or its call centers were unable to complete their application because of the high volume of callers or technical problems with income verification. If you were in line by Feb. 15, health officials are giving you until Feb. 22 to complete your application.

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Health Care
6:09 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Miami's Importance To Obamacare

South Florida is home to the highest number of people signing up for Obamacare.

With just one week before the open enrollment period ends, more than 660,000 people in South Florida have gotten health insurance plans through

Almost one out of every two Floridians enrolling are from the Miami - Ft. Lauderdale - Palm Beach region. It's more than the next two metropolitan areas combined, making South Florida prime territory for the Affordable Care Act.

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Health Care
11:31 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Florida Senate Bill Would Allow Non-Doctors To Prescribe "Controlled Substances"

THE NURSE PRACTITIONER WILL SEE YOU NOW NPs and physician assistants may soon have the same prescribing authority as doctors.
Credit Doug McIntosh/Flickr

Florida legislators this year may expand the prescribing authority of physician assistants and nurse practitioners to include controlled substances. The move responds to Florida's reported doctor shortage and its developing flood of patients with new Obamacare health policies.

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