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Category archives for: Health Care Business

Mega Health Bill Favoring Nurse Practitioners, Trauma Centers and Drs. Without State License Clears House Panel

| April 10, 2014

The bill would protect private for-profit trauma centers, allow for independent practice for nurse practitioners and allow out-of-state doctors to participate in telehealth without a Florida license. The Florida Medical Association opposes the latter two.

Obamacare Tally: Florida Subsidies Average $3,000, But Some Families Complain of Costly Exclusion

| April 1, 2014

And yet only one in four Floridians who qualifies for a subsidy had enrolled in a plan by March 1, leaving 1 million eligible residents uninsured. A mother describes how the law’s employee-insurance provision barred her family from subsidies.

Lawmaker Files Bill Favoring Trauma Centers Run by HCA, Gov. Scott’s Former Company

| February 27, 2014

The proposal, opposed by numerous Florida hospitals, would help the HCA health-care chain keep trauma centers open and could short-circuit a debate about how the Florida Department of Health determines where new trauma centers should be allowed to open.

Senate President Says No to More Authority and Prescription Power For Nurse Practitioners

| February 26, 2014

A House bill would give advanced-practice nurses more authority, including prescribing of controlled substances, and set up a pathway to independent practice, not supervised by physicians. But Senate President Don Gaetz opposes it.

In Major Shift, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Now Urges Fix, Not Repeal, of Obamacare

| February 1, 2014

In 2010, the Chamber got behind a major business lawsuit to fight it at the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, in a striking about-face, the chamber says the Affordable Care Act is here to stay and should be worked on, not repealed.

Hendry County, With Highest Uninsured Rate in Florida, Sees Little Impact From Obamacare

| January 27, 2014

Thirty-five percent of Hendry County’s 33,000 residents under 65 lack health insurance, but nearly a month after the health law’s expansion of coverage began, local health officials say little has changed for most uninsured residents.

Obamacare’s Popularity Overwhelms Florida Blue as System Crashes, Costing Enrollees

| January 20, 2014

Many who signed up and paid Florida Blue for their new plan between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 say the insurer has lost them in its computer system.  Now, when they go to the doctor or try to get a prescription filled, they have to pay the bill themselves or cancel.

Florida Hospital Flagler CEO: State Must Extend Medicaid to Working Poor

| January 4, 2014

The Florida Legislature still has the opportunity this year to draw down $51 billion in federal dollars already sent to Washington to help pay the cost of health insurance for those who cannot afford it, argues Floridfa Hospital Flagler CEO Ken Mattison.

Despite Florida’s Resistance, A New Era Of Health Insurance Begins for Millions

| January 3, 2014

Thousands of previously uninsured Floridians woke up Wednesday morning with peace of mind for the first time in years. More than half of Florida’s nearly 4 million uninsured are projected to qualify for coverage through the Marketplace. Another million would qualify if the Florida Legislature would permit it.

Obamacare Dilemma:
High Deductibles vs. “Huge Fear”

| December 26, 2013

Going without insurance “is like gambling,” says a 43-year-old social worker. But the high deductibles of Affordable Care Act plans make them a hard sell, as the plans sold on the exchange are not as generous as employer-sponsored insurance.

Yes, That Too: Your Employee-Provided Health Insurance Costs Are Going Up in 2014

| December 23, 2013

The new year will likely bring higher deductibles and co-payments, penalties for not joining wellness programs and smaller employer contributions toward family coverage, but Obamacare isn’t entirely to blame: it is only accelerating pre-existing conditions.

Longing For Stormin’ Norman: How Obama’s Smugness Is Crippling His Leadership

| December 12, 2013

There are leaders out there. The Obama administration administration has let us down by failing to find them. As a result, the task Barack Obama has left himself is to convince us that the Affordable Care Act is a winner, not a clunker.

Another Obamacare Surprise: Married Couples Not Eligible For Subsidies Given Single Filers

| December 5, 2013

For middle class married couples who don’t have children, the subsidy cutoff is $62,000. If one spouse makes $30,000 and the other $40,000, they are ineligible for a subsidy when combined. But if they were just living together, each would be eligible for a subsidy.

With 3 Weeks To Go, Consumers Fear Ending Up Without Health Coverage On New Year’s

| December 2, 2013

The next three weeks are critical for consumers keen on getting health coverage as soon as the health law allows it on Jan. 1. People who desire coverage by then need to sign up in the new marketplaces no later than Dec. 23. Consumers can still enroll up to the end of March, but their coverage will begin later.

Republicans Fret as Motor Voter Law
Meets Obamacare

| November 20, 2013

Twenty years ago, Congress passed a controversial law requiring states to allow people to register to vote when they applied for driver’s licenses or social services. That same law is bringing voter registration to the health insurance marketplaces, and again, it is expected to result in legal fights as Republicans fear it will drive up Democratic registrations.

Only 3,600 Floridians Enroll in Affordable Care Act’s First Month; Obama Accepts Blame But Questions Abound

| November 14, 2013

Only 3,571 people have successfully enrolled in a private insurance plan in Florida in the first month of the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace. The target was 33,400, resulting in a success rate of just 11 percent, though 3.8 million Floridians are without health insurance.

Popular and Consumer-Driven Provisions Fuel Sticker Shock of Obamacare Premiums

| November 7, 2013

When setting premiums for next year, insurers baked in bigger-than-usual adjustments, driven in large part by a game-changing rule: They can no longer reject people with medical problems. It’s the double-edged sword of Obamacare–a crucial provision that comes with sticker shock for some.

School District, County’s Largest Employer, Starts Health Clinic Experiment With Florida Hospital Flagler

| October 30, 2013

The $288,000 annual contract with Florida Hospital Flagler’s Prompt Care Clinic will allow 1,400 of the school district’s 1,700 employees to seek out primary care at no cost, but with some restrictions. The district hopes it will lower the annual increases in premiums that employees and taxpayers have been bearing.

Too Young for Medicare, Too Old for Medicaid, and Neglected By Affordable Health Act

| October 30, 2013

While most of the uninsured will be able to get subsidized health coverage Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act, the poorest adults under 65 will be out of luck in many states, including Florida. Many are women in their 50s and 60s, too old to have children still at home so they can’t qualify for Medicaid. But they’re not yet 65 so they don’t qualify for Medicare, either.

A Confederacy of Choices: Marketplace Plans Vary Widely In Costs, In Counties And Across U.S.

| October 5, 2013

Consumers shopping in the new health insurance marketplaces will face a bewildering array of competing plans in some counties and sparse options in other places, with people in some areas of the country having to pay much more for the identical level of coverage than consumers elsewhere.

Flagler Democrats Will Demonstrate For Obamacare in Front of Health Department Tuesday

| September 30, 2013

The noon demonstration by the Flagler County Democratic Club marks the first day of Obamacare’s insurance exchanges, and protests Florida’s sustained opposition, and various obstacles, to the law, including the prohibition against use of local health departments to make it easier for the uninsured to get coverage.

Death Toll From Preventable Hospital Mistakes Ranges Between 210,000 and 440,000

| September 23, 2013

A new study finds that preventable hospital mistakes that lead to patients’ death are far higher than previous estimates, making medical errors the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease, which is the first, and cancer, which is second.

Resisting Obamacare, Florida Becomes National Aberration as Scott Battles Sebelius

| September 19, 2013

Florida officials are callous and secretive, willing to keep information from citizens that could save their lives, according to the Obama administration’s top health official., while Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials are ramping up their attack on the federal online Marketplace and the “Navigators” who will help the uninsured use it to enroll in a health plan for 2014.

Flagler Health Department Chief Defends Ban on Navigators, Citing Privacy and Logistics

| September 16, 2013

Flagler County Health Department Director Patrick Johnson defended the state’s controversial ban from DOH property against outreach workers called Navigators, who help uninsured people sign up for subsidized health coverage under Obamacare–a law Florida officials have actively and chronically obstructed.

Florida Groups Helping Uninsured Are Getting “Intimidating” Letters from GOP Lawmakers

| September 9, 2013

Eight groups that are hiring and training “navigators” to help uninsured Floridians enroll in Obamacare have been sent letters by 15 GOP members of a U.S. House committee seeking information on their activities — a letter the Obama administration called a “blatant and shameful attempt to intimidate.”

Insurance Commissioner’s Blurry Prediction of Rate Increases Under Obamacare Contradicted

| September 2, 2013

RAND study findings stand in stark contrast to the widely publicized predictions of Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty that the individual market would see rate increases of 30 to 40 percent for next year.

“Junk Health Insurance,” Favored by Retailers and Restaurants, Will Survive Obamacare

| August 26, 2013

Reform was supposed to do away with bare-bones health plans that could leave consumers who become seriously ill on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs. It won’t, as plans with limited benefits may continue to be offered by some large businesses, especially those with low-paid workers such as restaurant chains and retailers.

Rallying Cry at Heckles-Free Tampa Town Hall as Vote Approaches: “Defund Obamacare”

| August 22, 2013

Heritage Action for America, part of the hard-right Heritage Foundation, is hopscotching across the South, firing up the anti-Obamacare troops during Congress’ August recess, with a vote on defunding Obamacare scheduled for immediately after Labor Day.

Florida Cabinet Hypes Identity Thievery of Affordable Health Act “Navigators”

| August 21, 2013

There is no danger that so-called “navigators” will steal people’s identities or feed information into a giant federal database, said Greg Mellowe, policy director for the consumer group Florida CHAIN. The group is one of the non-profits that will get a share of federal grant money for the “navigator” program.

Family Insurance Premiums Rise 4% for 2nd Year, Still More Than Double Inflation Rate

| August 20, 2013

With average family plan premium topping $16,000 for the first time, with workers paying on average $4,565, workers will feel an increased pinch: More than a third have annual deductibles of at least $1,000 before insurance kicks in, while wages continue to grow far more slowly than health insurance costs.

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