health

Drug Maker Oversight
10:20 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Meningitis Outbreak Shows Gaps in Regulation

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 1:56 pm

When the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak exploded into headlines two months ago, Florida health officials responded quickly, tracking the contaminated drug lots and finding potential victims. At least 25 in Florida were sickened, and three died.

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Affordable Care Act
3:10 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Why The Health Care Law Might Leave Florida's Undocumented In A Lurch

Undocumented workers in Florida won't benefit from all health care reform measures.
Credit 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.

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Hospital Regulation
2:35 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Court Slaps State Over Trauma Center Sites

Wrong Rule: A court held the state used an outdated rule to permit trauma centers where they might not be needed.

A state appeals court on Friday said the Florida Department of Health used an invalid rule to approve new trauma centers in Pasco, Manatee and Clay counties, handing a victory to nearby hospitals that have waged a long-running battle against the facilities.

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Tobacco
10:00 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Obama Gives Smokers A Break On Health Insurance... If They Try To Quit

President Obama is giving people who smoke a break on an impending law that would make them pay more for health insurance than non smokers.
Credit Dale Moore /Flickr

President Obama announced last week that his administration would back off on a part of the health care reform law (which is currently being rolled out in full force) that would have allowed insurers in  small group markets to charge smokers a 50-percent higher premium than nonsmokers.

The catch: smokers have to prove they are trying to quit.

Kaiser Health News reports,

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Health Care Law
12:32 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Rick Scott Says He's Going To Work With Feds On Health Care

Gov. Scott says he will implement the Affordable Care Act in Florida.
Credit Gage Skidmore /Flickr

Gov. Rick Scott-- the man who spent his own money traveling the country in an effort to stop health care reform-- has announced he is actually going to work with the federal government to implement the health care reform law in Florida.

Since the 2010 health care law was passed, Florida officials and Scott have dragged their feet in implementing the health care law here. They have even turned away millions of dollars allocated through the law that would go to programs that help low-income women and children.

However, things have since changed.

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Health Care Reform Law
10:30 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Florida Officials May Be Getting Serious About Health Care Reform Law

Gov. Rick Scott has to start implementing health care reform in Florida.
Credit Gage Skidmore /Flickr

Last week, Floridians voted down Amendment 1 -- an amendment that basically added anti-health care reform language into our state Constitution. Specifically, the amendment would have made it illegal to implement the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act in Florida.

However, many experts said that even if it did pass, Florida's Amendment 1 simply could not overrule a federal law, which was also upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Newscast
7:34 am
Tue November 13, 2012

NEWSCAST: What Happens Next With The Affordable Care Act In Florida

Gov. Rick Scott does not support the Affordable Care Act
flgov.com

Florida is considering its options while refusing to implement the Affordable Care Act.

Governor Rick Scott has been a harsh critic of the health care reform law. Under Scott’s administration, Florida lead the Supreme Court case against it.

But the Supreme Court upheld most of the Affordable Care Act and last week, Florida voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have banned the individual mandate. That leaves Scott in a tough spot for someone who would rather not implement the law.

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Affordable Care Act
3:34 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Explained: What Health Insurance Exchanges Might Look Like In Florida

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said last week the state could design its own health insurance exchange required under President Obama's health care law. But resistance in the Republican-controlled General Assembly may cause the state to hand that power off to the federal government.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 1:33 pm

Last week's election may have settled the fate of the federal Affordable Care Act, but its implementation after months of uncertainty has caught many of the players unprepared.

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Earned Sick Pay
3:28 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Why A Law Requiring Earned Sick Pay In Miami-Dade Might Be Possible

Miami activists want county commissioners to pass an ordinance requiring earned paid sick time.
Doug Geisler /Flickr

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Health Policy
7:04 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Meningitis From Tainted Drugs Puts Patients, Doctors In Quandary

Matthew Spencer receives intravenous infusions of a potent antifungal drug at home twice a day for an indefinite period to treat a suspected case of fungal infection linked to a contaminated steroid drug that came from New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 10:58 am

Two weeks after Matthew Spencer got a spinal injection for his chronic back pain, he felt "not quite right." Nothing too specific: worsening headache, nausea.

Then he saw a TV report on a recall of contaminated steroid medication used for back pain.

"I thought, well, I don't know if I had that medicine or not, but maybe I'd better go check it out," Spencer says.

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Potential Cancer Cluster
4:06 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Health Officials: No Cancer Cluster In Miami-Dade

Long-time Broadmoor resident Juan Heredia says he built this playground for his two granddaughters but won’t let them play outside anymore because of black dust he says is emitted from the recycling facility on the other side of this fence.
Photo by Kenny Malone

The Florida Department of Health said today there is not a cancer cluster just east of Hialeah, in a neighborhood often referred to as Broadmoor.

On July 19th, 2012 a resident from the Broadmoor area, Vanessa Shelton, went before the Miami-Dade County Commission during a public hearing about a nearby metal recycling facility.

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Meningitis Outbreak
10:24 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Federal Investigators Search Pharmacy Linked To Meningitis Outbreak

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 7:42 pm

"The top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts on Tuesday said federal agents raided the New England Compounding Center, the pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak that has killed 15 people and sickened more than 200 others," Reuters writes.

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Meningitis Death
7:23 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Miami-Dade Teen's Meningitis Death Triggers Public Health Alert

Mom texted her family, 'Ask about meningitis.' Hours later, her son was dead.
Credit Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

Questions arise after the sudden death of 18-year-old Christopher Valdes. Are there more bacterial meningitis cases in Miami-Dade County? And was this one misdiagnosed? Even after a specific plea to consider meningitis, doctors sent him home with painkillers and nausea pills. A few hours later, he was dead.  Christopher's father tells the Miami Herald, "I feel they were negligent."

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TB Outbreak
9:43 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Despite CDC Appeals, Politics Thwarted Tuberculosis Information Campaign

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacteria that causes the disease.
Credit MicrobeWorld

Records and emails collected by The Palm Beach Post depict state officials as too absorbed with political goals to warn the public about a tuberculosis outbreak.

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Young Caregivers
4:24 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

WATCH: Youth Caregivers Fight To Finish School

YouTube Screenshot

Seventeen-year-old Jimmy Braat has three passions in life: playing music, photography, and being a caregiver to his grandma.

"It's all I'm good at!" he laughs. He started taking care of his great grandmother at age 9.

"My mom was always at work so it was kind of my role I guess," Jimmy says," She passed away at 92 when I was 13. So now, I take care of my grandmother."

Jimmy is three years behind in school and now participates in an online school program called hospital homebound.

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