October 1, 2020
Half of Floridians delayed or skipped medical care because of high cost


Florida Trend Health Care

Half of Floridians delayed or skipped medical care because of high cost

| 9/17/2019

Half of Floridians delayed or skipped medical care because of high cost

More than half of Floridians delay or skip medical care, struggle to pay their medical bills or are uninsured because health care is too expensive for them, according to a new survey. “The survey results are a good reminder that [health care] is a serious source of distress for Floridians,” said Anne Swerlick, a senior health policy analyst and attorney at the Florida Policy Institute. “And it’s valuable for overall public education, because the public needs to keep putting pressure on their legislators to act to help solve this problem. It’s not going away.” [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida bill would address concerns about vaping and health

State Rep. Jackie Toledo almost got a vaping restriction bill through the last legislative session. This year, with mounting concern and several deaths linked to electronic cigarettes, the Tampa Republican thinks she will have more success. “We have a really good shot at getting this done,” Toledo said, after a news conference outside Tampa General Hospital on Thursday. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida health care executive faces sentencing in $1B Medicare fraud

A Florida health care executive is facing sentencing following his conviction on 20 criminal charges in what prosecutors described as a $1 billion Medicare fraud scheme. A Miami federal judge Thursday is set to sentence 50-year-old Philip Esformes in one of the biggest such cases in U.S. history. Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year prison term, while Esformes’ lawyers as asking for a lenient sentence. [Source: AP]

Florida insurers must refund $107 million to customers

The premiums that some private insurers charged over the past three years were too high, so now they will have to return some of that money -- a total of $1.3 billion -- to their customers, according to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Florida insurers, including health and life insurance companies, are paying $107 million in rebates. Almost $21 million of the total is being refunded to individuals and the rest to employers that have small and large group plans. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

In need of an upgrade, Moffitt Cancer Center seeks millions more from state cigarette tax

For the past two years, leaders at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute have quietly asked state legislators for more money to help expand their hospital and research campus in Tampa. Their request never gained traction, so this year they plan a more assertive approach. [Source: ]


› Air Force members at MacDill pausing to talk about mental health amid national increase in suicides
Airmen at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa are taking a break from their normal duties Friday. Instead, they will reflect on mental health. U.S. Air Force leadership mandated that all bases around the country take what’s known as a “resiliency tactical pause” because of a dramatic increase in suicides.

› Judge says Health First uses 'scorched earth' tactics to control local medical market
Seven oncologists filed a lawsuit in March 2017 against Parrish Medical Center for not renewing their medical privileges after the doctors failed to provide Parrish with patient data. The physicians lost. But there's more at play, according to the federal judge who presided over the case.

› The new CEO is a former nurse. Sharon Hayes predicts a turnaround at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg.
Sharon Hayes has worked as a hospital executive for nearly 15 years, but she still finds herself writing “registered nurse” in the occupation box on all her paperwork. That’s because being a nurse is still at the heart of everything she does, she says. Especially now, in her new role as chief executive of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, the long-treasured hospital that lately finds itself in need of critical care.

› Mother gets OK to represent child in Medicaid case
Weighing restrictions on the “unlicensed practice of law,” a South Florida appeals court has said a mother can represent her disabled daughter in a dispute with the state Agency for Health Care Administration about Medicaid benefits. The mother, identified only by the initials V.R., represented her 13-year-old daughter in an administrative hearing at the Agency for Health Care Administration.

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