NEW PORT RICHEY — Ray Clark is a part-time maintenance worker with neither health insurance nor any idea how he's supposed to buy it next year.
Online insurance exchanges? Nobody has ever talked to him about those.
"I haven't heard from anyone," said Clark, 50, who earns $8.50 an hour.
He may start hearing from someone soon.
With the online insurance program required by the Affordable Care Act set to go live on Oct. 1, Washington-based nonprofit Enroll America will begin its "Get Covered, America!" marketing campaign on Thursday. Community health centers in Tampa Bay should soon learn whether they will get millions in federal grants to assist residents. And insurance companies could soon start setting up shop near lower-income neighborhoods, where many residents may be buying insurance for the first time....
TAMPA — University of South Florida medical school dean Stephen Klasko has dropped his bid for a high-profile job at University of Nebraska.
Klasko, 59, did not specify why he was "regretfully withdrawing" from contention to be the next chancellor at University of Nebraska Medical Center. His decision came the same day he was questioned about a curious issue with his resumes:
He keeps changing the years he ran marathons....
TAMPA — On a morning in 2007, law enforcement agents burst into the headquarters of WellCare, seizing computers and documents in a massive fraud investigation.
On Monday, a federal jury delivered the 6-year-old case's most high-profile development: criminal convictions against the men who once led the managed health care company.
The men were acquitted of other charges, and the jury deadlocked on still others. But experts said the convictions in the case, which drew national interest, are significant, coming at a time of growing scrutiny of health care fraud....
TAMPA — The Florida Board of Medicine voted Friday to revoke the medical license of a Fort Lauderdale doctor accused of misrepresenting his credentials while serving as an expert witness in a malpractice case.
The doctor, Richard S. Dellerson, said he plans to appeal the decision.
The disciplinary action against Dellerson was the result of a more-than-five-year crusade by Scott Plantz, a former doctor at St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg. Plantz has a pending lawsuit against Dellerson, who testified against him in a malpractice lawsuit stemming from a 2007 case....
Finishing the iconic Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk last year was so important to breast cancer survivor Geri Bertolino, she wouldn't let even a serious knee injury stop her. The 57-year-old Sarasota woman hobbled across the finish line on crutches, joining the 1,300 walkers who completed the 60-mile trek to raise breast cancer funds and awareness.
Tuesday, she learned that the 3-Day, a fixture on the charity scene, is pulling out of Tampa Bay and six other U.S. cities in 2014, a victim of dwindling participation and funds....
SPRING HILL — In those first two years, her husband used chopsticks again. He also oiled door hinges, slow danced at a party, remembered his hairdresser's name. He rewatched When Harry Met Sally and blurted "I'll have what she's having!" before the woman in the diner did.
Mary Newport, who is a physician, didn't think she had found a cure to reverse her husband's early onset Alzheimer's disease. But she was convinced the coconut oil she had begun giving Steve in May 2008 had eased his symptoms....
TAMPA — University of South Florida medical school dean Stephen Klasko is one of four finalists to be the next chancellor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Omaha World-Herald has reported.
Klasko, 59, dean of the Morsani College of Medicine and CEO of the Health Sciences Center, had no comment Monday on the report, said USF Health spokeswoman Anne DeLotto Baier....
TAMPA — A little more than a year ago, Gov. Rick Scott warned Moffitt Cancer Center and two other Florida research institutions they would lose state funds if they tried to franchise their brand names.
Little came of that warning other than criticism for Scott.
Now he has signed legislation that could help other cancer hospitals burnish their own brand names.
Florida will start putting its own seal of approval — the "Cancer Center of Excellence Award" — on facilities that meet certain quality standards. The centers may use the designation in marketing materials for up to three years and also get a leg up on competing for state research funding....
TAMPA — The federal judge in the fraud trial of four former WellCare executives gave jurors an unusual set of instructions on Thursday afternoon:
Have a nice 10-day break.
Jurors, who have been deliberating for six days, have yet to reach verdicts in the complicated, nearly three-month-long criminal trial against the four men. Some jurors had already made vacation plans for Memorial Day week, so U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. allowed them to take off Friday and all of next week....
TAMPA — The fate of four former WellCare executives accused of defrauding the state Medicaid program of nearly $30 million now rests in the hands of a federal jury.
After a nearly 2 1/2-month trial, attorneys on Tuesday finished their closing statements in the high-profile criminal case against former chief executive officer Todd S. Farha; former chief financial officer Paul L. Behrens; former vice president William Kale; and former vice president Peter E. Clay....
ST. PETERSBURG — With only days left until the end of the legislative session, All Children's Hospital last month faced losing up to $18 million in Medicaid payments.
It was time to hit the panic button.
Hospital officials rallied community leaders with emails. The lobbying team hit up Tampa Bay legislators. A worried mom sent a state senator photographs of her daughter, a spinal surgery patient at All Children's....
ST. PETERSBURG — A local compounding pharmacy has agreed to recall all its sterile drugs after a recent inspection uncovered potential safety problems, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.
Federal health inspectors discovered "exposed rust" and "numerous splattered brownish stains" on equipment used to prepare injectable drugs and eye medications at the Compounding Shop, raising the possibility that the medications could be contaminated....
TAMPA — A federal jury has awarded more than $20 million in damages to eight former employees of a Largo travel company where male managers were accused of groping and sexually harassing female workers.
The total payout will be less because of a federal cap on damages.
Seven of the former employees are women who were victims of the harassment. One is a man who was fired after reporting the harassment, said St. Petersburg lawyer Patrice Pucci, who represented three of the plaintiffs....
TAMPA — Dr. Chad Farmer sees patients with very serious, even terminal conditions, such as cancer, emphysema and heart disease. Many ask this question when he walks through the door:
You're not from hospice, are you?
They ask because they aren't ready for hospice. They may equate it with death. They may not want to stop medical treatments meant to cure or prolong life, even if their suffering is intense....
ST. PETERSBURG — All Children's Hospital cares for a lot of children who are very sick and who rely on Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor. Those facts have helped make it a beloved institution. But now they're also helping to make it a potential target for a major cut in state funding.
All Children's Hospital would be the second biggest loser under a Florida Senate plan to change how hospitals are reimbursed for Medicaid care, according to a new analysis by the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida. Only Miami's Jackson Memorial stands to lose more than All Children's $18 million cut. Tampa General would lose $6.6 million, counting another trim created by a plan to reallocate a separate pot of federal money (See related information, 7B)....