Rural hospitals wary of Florida's budget proposal
Rural Hospitals are having trouble providing health care to their patients, and officials say the Florida Legislature’s budget plan isn’t likely to help. Nearly half of rural patients rely on government plans like Medicare and Medicaid. Last year, Florida’s Legislature cut $521 million from Medicaid funding—$11.4 million affected rural community hospitals. Full story from WFSU, here.
The last thing regional economic development leaders want to see is a company as big and important as WellCare Health Plans, the second largest publicly traded company in the bay area by market value, move its headquarters someplace else. Turns out, that’s the last thing WellCare wants, too. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida’s House of Representatives has ratified a rule requiring nursing homes to have backup power sources. The House unanimously approved the measure, which now heads to the state Senate. [Source: AP]
BayCare Health System and Publix Super Markets are pairing up in the fast-changing area of telemedicine. Their product: convenience, as in going to the doctor while you shop for groceries. What started as an experiment late last year at a handful of Publix stores will be expanding to nearly two dozen more locations in the coming months. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
A final agreement on overhauling the approval of trauma centers is drawing near. The House and Senate on Friday took up trauma bills — HB 1165 and SB 1876, respectively — and prepared them for possible votes this week. [Source: WLRN]
› New cancer center opens in southwest Orlando [WMFE]
The first phase of a new cancer center has opened at Dr. Phillip’s Hospital. It will serve more than 400 new patients a year in the Southwest Orlando area. Oncologists were moved to the campus to treat patients while phase two is ongoing.
› Pilot program at Naval Hospital Jacksonville allows virtual visits for patients [Florida Times-Union]
Some patients at Naval Hospital Jacksonville are getting the medical attention they need without stepping foot in a doctor’s office. Instead of missing work and fighting traffic to see a physician, they can now have face-to-face meetings with doctors through their phones, tablets and computers.
› LifeBridge 10000 developing cancer therapy with electric fields [Orlando Sentinel]
LB10000 can target multiple cancers at once instead of one cancer at a time. The device received a full U.S. patent in December. It is patent-pending in 36 other countries.
› Centene to buy doctor practice in lucrative Florida Medicare market [Forbes]
Tapping into a booming population of seniors, Centene said it will buy Community Medical Group, a provider of medical care that allows the insurer to tap into more than 70,000 customers in Miami-Dade County, Florida.