Florida

Florida Spine Surgeon and Device Company Owner Charged in Kickback Scheme

A Florida orthopedic surgeon and designer of costly spinal surgery implants was arrested Tuesday and charged with paying millions of dollars in kickbacks and bribes to surgeons who agreed to use his company’s devices. Dr. Kingsley R. Chin, 57, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is the founder, chief executive officer and owner of SpineFrontier, a device …

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States Pull Back on Covid Data Even Amid Delta Surge

Two state government websites in Georgia recently stopped posting updates on covid-19 cases in prisons and long-term care facilities, just as the dangerous delta variant was taking hold. Data has been disappearing recently in other states as well. Florida, for example, now reports covid cases, deaths and hospitalizations once a week, instead of daily, as …

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Hot Spots Where Covid Vaccination Lags Push Experimental Antibody Treatment

For months, Joelle Ruppert was among the millions of Americans who are covid vaccine holdouts. Her reluctance, she said, was not so much that she opposed the new vaccines but that she never felt “compelled” by the evidence supporting their experimental use. Nonetheless, after she fell ill with covid last month, Ruppert, a Florida preschool …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Booster Time

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. As covid-19 cases in the U.S. continue to rise, the Biden administration is countering with new strategies. The latest efforts include preparing for vaccine boosters starting this …

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Science Shows Mask-Wearing Is Largely Safe for Children

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is one of a handful of Republican governors trying to block school districts from requiring masks in the classroom.  Under DeSantis’ direction, the state health department adopted a rule that lets families opt out of locally ordered school mask mandates. The State Board of Education approved another rule that allows parents to secure vouchers for their …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Senate Acts

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Senate has set the stage for a busy fall that will include debate on a broad array of health issues, such as prescription drug prices, Medicare …

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DeSantis’ Executive Order Is Misleading About Lack of Scientific Support for Masking in Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent guidance on students and masking “lacks a well-grounded scientific justification.” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a July 30 executive order On July 30, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order stating that schools couldn’t mandate that their students wear masks, and that it should be up …

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Déjà Vu? Consumers Scramble for Covid Tests in Hard-Hit Areas

Andrea Mosterman, an associate professor of history at the University of New Orleans, was already dismayed that she had to wait three days to secure a covid-19 test at a Walgreens near her home after being in contact with someone who had tested positive. But on Sunday, when she showed up at the pharmacy drive-thru, …

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Hospital ‘Trauma Centers’ Charge Enormous Fees to Treat Minor Injuries and Send People Home

The care was ordinary. A hospital in Modesto, California, treated a 30-year-old man for shoulder and back pain after a car accident. He went home in less than three hours. The bill was extraordinary. Sutter Health Memorial Medical Center charged $44,914 including an $8,928 “trauma alert” fee, billed for summoning the hospital’s top surgical specialists …

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In Alleged Health Care ‘Money Grab,’ Nation’s Largest Hospital Chain Cashes In on Trauma Centers

After falling from a ladder and cutting his arm, Ed Knight said, he found himself at Richmond, Virginia’s Chippenham Hospital surrounded by nearly a dozen doctors, nurses and technicians — its crack “trauma team” charged with saving the most badly hurt victims of accidents and assaults. But Knight’s wound, while requiring about 30 stitches, wasn’t …

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Trying to Avoid Racist Health Care, Black Women Seek Out Black Obstetricians

In South Florida, when people want to find a Black physician, they often contact Adrienne Hibbert through her website, Black Doctors of South Florida. This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR, WLRN and KHN. It can be republished for free. “There are a lot of Black networks that are behind the scenes,” …

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Censorship or Misinformation? DeSantis and YouTube Spar Over Covid Roundtable Takedown.

In early April, YouTube took down a video featuring Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and a group of controversial scientists at a March 18 coronavirus roundtable. The online video platform, owned by Google, cited as its rationale that the video contained false statements about the efficacy of children’s mask-wearing. This story also ran on PolitiFact. It …

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Covid Spawns ‘Completely New Category’ of Organ Transplants

In a year when covid-19 shattered the pleas of so many who prayed for miracles, a Georgia man with two new lungs is among the fortunate. Mark Buchanan, of Roopville, received a double-lung transplant in October, nearly three months after covid left him hospitalized and sedated, first on a ventilator and then on the last-resort …

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DeSantis Advances Questionable Link Between Lockdowns and Despair

The result of lockdowns “has been the destruction of millions of lives across America as well as increased deaths from suicide, substance abuse and despair without any corresponding benefit in covid mortality.” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Feb. 2, 2020 For months, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has boasted about his state’s “open for business” strategy in …

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Door to Door in Miami’s Little Havana to Build Trust in Testing, Vaccination

This story is part of a partnership that includes NPR, WLRN and KHN. It can be republished for free. Little Havana is a neighborhood in Miami that, until the pandemic, was known for its active street life along Calle Ocho, including live music venues, ventanitas serving Cuban coffee and a historic park where men gather to play dominoes. …

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Hospitals’ Rocky Rollout of Covid Vaccine Sparks Questions of Fairness

Use Our Content It can be republished for free. Last week, after finishing inoculations of some front-line hospital staff, Jupiter Medical Center was left with 40 doses of precious covid vaccine. So, officials offered shots to the South Florida hospital’s board of directors and their spouses over age 65. But that decision sparked outrage among …

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States threaten to crackdown on providers amid Covid-19 vaccine distribution

In an effort to ensure the efficient and orderly distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine, governors from New York, California and Florida are warning that they will take action against providers who are conducting vaccinations too slowly or healthcare workers who undercut priority guidelines.

Florida’s New Hospital Industry Head Ran Medicaid in State and Fought Expansion

With its choice of a new leader, the Florida Hospital Association has signaled that seeking legislative approval to expand Medicaid to nearly 850,000 uninsured adults won’t be among its top priorities. In October, Mary Mayhew became the association’s CEO. Mayhew, who led the state’s Medicaid agency since 2019, has been a vocal critic of the …

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Workers Who Lost Jobs Due to COVID May Need Help Getting Coverage This Fall

Michelina Moen lost her job and health insurance in April. Only weeks earlier she had begun to feel ill and not her usual energetic self — in what she describes as a textbook case of “really bad timing.” The Orlando, Florida, resident sought treatment in May. After a series of tests, doctors told Moen she …

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Longtime Health Advocate Donna Shalala Loses House Reelection Race

Rep. Donna E. Shalala of Florida, the first-term Democratic member of Congress and former Health and Human Services secretary in the Clinton administration, lost her campaign for reelection Tuesday. Shalala’s loss to Maria Elvira Salazar — a Republican and former television journalist who compared Democratic policy proposals to leftist oppression in countries like Cuba while …

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How a clinical command center helped Tampa General Hospital save $40M

The Florida-based hospital worked with GE Healthcare to open a command center last year to manage clinical care operations. According to the hospital, the center has helped it save $40 million and manage patient flow and bed capacity amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Florida Fails to Attract Bidders for Canada Drug Importation Program

Florida’s plan to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada — designed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and endorsed by President Donald Trump — has tasted its first bitter pill. No private firms bid on Florida’s $30 million contract to set up and operate a drug importation program. Bids were due at the end of September. The …

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KHN on the Air This Week

KHN senior correspondent Sarah Jane Tribble appeared on Newsy’s “Morning Rush” on Thursday to discuss rural hospital closures and KHN’s brand-new “Where It Hurts” podcast. Click here to watch Tribble on Newsy Tribble hosts “No Mercy,” the first season of “Where It Hurts.” Click here to listen to Chapter One. KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie …

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Florida’s Cautionary Tale: How Gutting and Muzzling Public Health Fueled COVID Fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On a sweltering July morning, Rose Wilson struggled to breathe as she sat in her bed, the light from her computer illuminating her face and the oxygen tubes in her nose. Wilson, a retiree who worked as a public health department nurse supervisor in Duval County for 35 years, had just been …

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DeSantis Says COVID Is a Lower Risk for School-Aged Kids Than Flu

Even as his state is a hotbed for COVID-19, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been pushing schools to reopen so parents have the choice of sending children back to the classroom or keeping them home to learn virtually. The Republican governor has said children without any underlying health conditions would benefit from in-person learning and …

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Trabajadores agrícolas en alto riesgo de contraer coronavirus y sin protección federal

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee.- Es una época de mucho trabajo para las granjas productoras de tomate en esta parte del estado. Estas plantaciones cuentan con cientos de trabajadores, la mayoría latinos. Algunos viven allí. Otros son migrantes que viajan de granja en granja, para recoger las cosechas de verano. Otros vienen de México o Centroamérica con visas …

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As Crisis Grows, Farms Try to Balance Health of Field Workers and Food Supply

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It’s a busy time for the tomato-producing farms in this part of the state. Farms have staffed up with hundreds of workers, most of whom are Latino. Some live locally. Others are migrant workers who travel from farm to farm, chasing the summer growing seasons. Still others come from Mexico or Central …

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States Search for Ways to Deal With COVID-19 Testing Backlogs

HELENA, Montana — States frustrated by private laboratories’ increasingly long turnarounds for COVID-19 test results are scrambling to find ways to salvage their testing programs. Montana said Wednesday that it is dropping Quest Diagnostics, one of the nation’s largest diagnostic testing companies. The Secaucus, New Jersey-based company had done all the state’s surveillance COVID-19 testing …

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