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Robert Trigaux

Tampa Bay area hospitals, graded from A to D on patient safety, need to up their game


How did St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg fare in a national grading of patient safety? Read on.

Wake up and good morning. Tampa Bay area hospitals received report cards ranging from straight A's to a D this week from a national nonprofit organization that advocates for safer health care delivery. The latest national update to safety scores that track how well hospitals prevent medical errors like medication mix-ups, injuries, accidents and infections shows hospitals are making progress but have a long way to go "to reliably deliver safe health care," says The Leapfrog Group.

To be clear, this is not an overall grade on the quality of medical care or surgical skills of hospitals. But it is a grade that addresses how good or bad hospitals are in delivering the right medicine to patients and -- ever more important given infection problems at hospitals -- how clean they maintain their facilities. …

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Where does Florida stand as BP faces record oil spill penalty and U.S. output challenges Saudis?


Fouled beaches like this one in Pensacola in June 2010 after the giant BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may grow more common as the Gulf becomes an increasing target for oil exploration and drilling. Photo: Edmund Fountain, Tampa Bay Times.

Wake up and good morning. So two very different but very connected events are taking place this week. First comes a mind-bending report by the International Energy Agency claiming the United States will surge ahead of Saudi Arabia in oil output by 2020. Read more here from the Wall Street Journal.

The other big story this week is news that BP -- known best in Florida for its horrific oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that fouled gulf state and Florida Panhandle beaches and heavily damaged the state tourism industry -- is expected to pay a record criminal penalty and plead guilty to criminal misconduct in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Read more here from Reuters. A deal may be unveiled as early as today.

Talk about energy yin and yang. Not to mention a total scrambling of energy global politics in the making. …

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So why did Kelly Miller step down from Tampa's top tourism promotions job? Some clarity, please

kellymillertampabayco..jpgWake up and good morning. Now that a few weeks have gone by since Kelly Miller said he was stepping down after 11 months as CEO of Tampa Bay & Co. -- promoter of Tampa's visitors and convention business and an organization trying to create a business identity for this area -- we are no wiser in knowing why Miller left so abruptly.

Most of the initial coverage of Miller's departing says the same thing. He's leaving. He's citing unidentified personal reasons. And Jim Dean, a honcho at Busch Gardens and a board  member of Tampa Bay & Co., can't seem to toss enough departing gifts of goodwill as Miller exits the door. Here's the Tampa Bay Times story, the Tampa Tribune story and the Tampa Bay Business Journal story on that news event. And here's the actual press release from Tampa Bay & Co. announcing Miller's departure.

At the time, Miller said he was at a time in his life when he had to make some "tough personal choices" for his own well being and that of his family, which lead to his decision to step down. And that was that. …

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Failed bank in Lutz opens under new ownership as several Tampa Bay area banks still struggle


Shares of Home Bancshares of Conway, Ark., gained strength throughout the past year, helping it to acquire the failed Florida institution Heritage Bank in Lutz over the weekend. Home Bancshares is the parent of Centennial Bank.

Wake up and good morning. One of Tampa Bay's most troubled banks was finally laid to rest over the weekend by federal regulators and will be resurrected today as party of a stronger out-of-state banking company.

heritagebankwelceomlogocentennialbank.pngHeritage Bank of Lutz failed Friday and was sold by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) to Centennial Bank, an Arkansas bank based in Conway whose publicly traded parent is Home Bancshares. Heritage operated three branches (Lutz, Tampa, Wesley Chapel) which will open today as branches of Centennial. Heritage depositors automatically become Centennial customers. Centennial already operates five branches in the Orlando area and three south of Tampa Bay along the southwest coast, plus other locations in Florida. …

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Futurist Joel Kotkin targets gulf coast economy that includes Tampa Bay as rising economic powerhouse

joel-kotkin-2011-web.jpg"While the other two coasts struggle with economic stagnation and dysfunctional politics, the Third Coast -- the urbanized, broadly coastal region spanning the Gulf from Brownsville, Texas, to greater Tampa -- is emerging as a center of industry, innovation and economic growth." 

Wake up and good morning. Leave it to famed trend watcher and futurist Joel Kotkin to offer a fresh geographic and economic appraisal of the gulf coast region stretching from Texas east to Tampa Bay as a rising powerhouse.

"Over the past decade, Texas and Florida have ranked first and second among the states in net domestic immigration, combining for a gain of roughly 2 million people. Together, Houston and Tampa have gained more than 1.5 million people over the course of the decade."

Kotkin's insights appear in an interesting piece this week headlined The Third Coast in City Journal, which is part of the Wall Street Journal. Here's a link to the complete story. …

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Sandy's backlash: Will prices on reinsurance rise and send back-door premium hit to Floridians?


AP photo: Ana Andjelic

Wake up and good morning. Hurricane Sandy will be one of the costliest storms ever. So, of course, the debate's already under way:

Will Superstorm Sandy's mugging of the Northeast mean higher insurance rates for Florida?

The issue is not over the ability of frontline insurers to pay up. They apparently are swimming in capital since there have been few big storm payouts this year. But, as this South Florida Sun Sentinel story points out, the reinsurance companies that are on the hook for Sandy are pretty much the same ones that backstop insurers in Florida. So the threat is rate pressure essentially coming to Floridians via the back door: reinsurance.

Reinsurance makes up as much as 40 percent of premiums for some small insurers that have limited capital to cover potential losses from a disaster, the Sun Sentinel reports. …

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