health

Health
2:53 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Deadline Approaches To Sign Up For Health Insurance Marketplace

Credit 401(k)2012 / Flickr Creative Commons

As the Feb 15 deadline nears to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace, official reports show more than a million Floridians have signed up  with an overwhelming majority qualifying for tax credits.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is highlighting the affordability of the Affordable Health Care Act while last minute stragglers weigh their  options.

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Politics
10:53 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Medical Marijuana Rulemaking Continues

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 1:01 pm

Florida is getting closer to allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana.

But first, rules for how to grow the non-euphoric strain of the drug have to be hashed out — and that’s what a committee will be discussing over the next two days in Tallahassee.

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Medicaid
10:25 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Medicaid Expansion Touted as Good for Business

The Cover the Bay conference featured from left: Jamie Harden, Lou Ann Watson, Bruce Rueben, Anne Drake McMullen and Jay Wolfson
Brian Blanco

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 4:01 pm

Jamie Harden knows firsthand how Florida Legislative leaders feel about Medicaid expansion.  

Last year, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce asked him to join BayCare Health System President Steve Mason at a meeting with legislators and lobby to expand the state’s health insurance program for the poor.

Harden, a Tampa sign company president, said it didn’t go well.

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Health
7:36 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Concussion Fears Starting to Reach Younger South Florida Athletes

High school students across Florida must take part in a program called IMPACT. This is an effort by state officials to try and curb the growing problem of concussions in high school sports.
Credit Luis Hernandez / WLRN

There used to be a time when athletes would get knocked in the head, fall to the ground, struggle to get back on their feet and wobble around before regaining their bearings.

It used to be called "getting a ding." Athletes were encouraged to just "walk it off."

That still happens in many sports, from the youth levels all the way to the pros. But over the past few years, recreational leagues, schools and athletic associations have gotten more serious about these head injuries.

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Measles
3:19 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Miami-Dade Superintendent: Get Your Shots (Even Flu)

Superintedent Alberto Carvalho says he's concerned about measles cases spreading across the country and is tracking vaccination rates.
Credit John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Miami-Dade County school leaders say they are concerned about a measles outbreak spreading across the country, and they urge parents to vaccinate their children.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says vaccinations work, and the district is tracking whether students get their required shots. Carvalho says 98 percent of Miami-Dade students have been vaccinated or are getting the shots now.

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Health Care
6:53 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Florida Measles Cases Stem From Travelers

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 3:58 pm

Four cases of measles have been identified in Florida in the past two weeks, all of which involve travelers.

Two of the cases diagnosed involved international travelers, and the infected people had unknown or no measles vaccine, State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong said in a statement.

The Florida Department of Health reports that so far, no state residents have so far been diagnosed with measles, a disease that is experiencing the second-biggest outbreak in the nation in at least 15 years.

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Health Care
6:52 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

GOP Not Slowing FL Obamacare Enrollment

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 9:00 am

When Florida workers promoting President Barack Obama's health care marketplace want instant feedback, they go to an online "heat map." The map turns darker green where they've seen the most people and shows bright red dots for areas where enrollment is high.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Missing Microbes: Overuse of Antibiotics with Dr. Martin Blaser

02/03/15 - Antibiotics ushered in a “golden age” of medical marvels.  They often cure life-threatening diseases.  Listen for Tuesday’s Topical Currents, when we discuss the effects of antibiotics—and other factors—which contribute to the loss of the body’s useful bacteria. We’ll chat with Dr. Martin Blaser, who directs the Human Microbiome Program at NYU.

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Health Care
5:15 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

The Sunshine Economy: Obamacare In South Florida

Sunshine Life & Health Advisors kiosk at Mall of the Americas in Miami awaits Affordable Care Act sign-ups on Jan. 28, 2015
Tom Hudson

Odalys Arevalo works out of a shopping mall but she doesn't sell clothes or electronics or jewelry. She sells health insurance. And when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, she and her team of 600 brokers sell a lot of it.

Arevalo is co-founder of Sunshine Life and Health Advisors. The idea for the company began in a coffee shop. Operations started with a single mall kiosk and now the firm has eight outlets, including a 24,000 square feet "store" at the Mall of the Americas in Miami-Dade County.

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Health Care
6:34 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Billions Of Dollars At Stake In Medicaid Expansion Choice

TO EXPAND OR NOT Florida and the individual counties would suffer or prosper, according to the decision. For Florida, the difference between the two is $7 billion.
Credit Florida Legal Services

State health policy experts said Thursday prospects for expanding Medicaid in the Legislature this year remain dim because of unwillingness in the leadership and possibly fatal flaws in the two leading proposals. And those experts warn another refusal could come with a stunning economic cost for Florida.

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Politics
12:15 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

GOP Lawmaker Files Medical Marijuana Bill

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:42 am

There's a new push to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, and a Republican lawmaker is leading the charge.

Though a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana failed in November, Republican lawmaker state Sen. Jeff Brandes has filed a bill to make medical marijuana legal for Florida residents.

"Amendment Two really was kind of a take-it-or-leave-it offer," said Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. 

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News
10:56 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

State Rep. Kristin Jacobs Files Bill Banning Kratom

Federal officials say kratom acts like a stimulant at low doses and a sedative at high doses.
Credit kratomonline.org

Last year, debates over legalizing marijuana dominated Florida’s legislative session. But during the Legislative session 2015, a different substance could be taking center stage as a freshman state representative from Broward County takes on the feel-good herb called kratom.

Under a bill filed by Kristin Jacobs, kratom would become what’s known as a “Schedule 1” controlled substance. That puts it in the same category as bath salts and other street drugs that have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.

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Race & Business
10:58 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

The Sunshine Economy: Magic And Mike (Fernandez)

Health care billionaire Mike Fernandez and Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Johnson became a strategic partner with the Fernandez-owned health insurance firm Simply Healthcare.
Credit Mike Fernandez / Courtesy

  

By the looks of this photograph, one would think Mike Fernandez and Earvin "Magic" Johnson have known each other for years. When they greeted each other before their interview on the Sunshine Economy, they embraced in a bear hug, the 6-foot-9-inch former NBA point guard more than a head taller than the billionaire health care entrepreneur. Fernandez even gave Johnson a kiss on the cheek. This was not a boardroom greeting, but the two have known each other only since 2012.

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Health Care
5:44 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Nearly 1.2M in FL Pick Marketplace Plans

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 9:26 am

Federal health officials say 1,190,922 Floridians have signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace since this year’s open enrollment period started.

That figure announced Wednesday is by far the most in any state using the federal health care marketplace and includes first-time enrollees and some who are renewing their insurance this year.

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Health Care
5:42 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

HPV Experts: Vaccine Needs a Makeover

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 2:51 pm

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. It can also cause cancer.

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