Health Care

In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Neal Browning receives a shot in the first-stage safety study of a potential vaccine for COVID-19 at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

About 75,000 people have been given at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine in Duval County.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

One-in-6 people in Northeast Florida already work in the health or life sciences industries, and United Health Group — which includes United Health insurance — is looking to add more.

Wikimedia Commons

Clinical trials can allow doctors to test potentially life-saving medicines, but they depend on brave patients’ participation.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Update 10:03 a.m.: Reggie Brown''s office has rescheduled the forum for August 4, 2018. In a short news release Thursday morning, the office said more details are forthcoming. Check back for more updates.

At Jacksonville City Hall Thursday, Councilman Reggie Brown said Duval County is suffering from a “literacy health crisis,” saying not enough people know and understand health facts and are able to implement them in their daily lives.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

The future of spinal injury therapy is now and in Jacksonville. Brooks Rehabilitation hospital announced Friday that it’s the first in the country to offer a new kind of robotic treatment.

Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic has begun building what it’s calling a destination medical facility in Jacksonville.

The new treatment center is being partially funded with a $20 million grant from a South Florida foundation.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Congress has passed a funding measure that keeps the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) going through March — the program insures hundreds of thousands of kids in Florida.

But without a permanent solution in place by the end of January, many families could see their coverage lapse and Governor Rick Scott won’t say whether they should be worried.


Dr. Farouk / Flickr Creative Commons

After years of failed attempts to expand Medicaid insurance coverage in Florida, one recently-formed group is pushing for something more — single payer.

Normally that means complete government control of health insurance.

But the drive for a package of constitutional amendments is focusing on a strategy that keeps private insurance intact.


Wikimedia Commons

A bill that would create a Florida system parallel to the existing federal Veterans Health Administration passed its first committee hearing Tuesday.

It would allow veterans to opt into the state’s Medicaid system in addition to or even instead of the VA.


Bill Bortzfield / WJCT

Thursday on First Coast Connect, we spoke with Ramon Day and Dr. Shyam Payani with Floridians Advocating for Insurance Reform, or FAIR. They want a Constitutional Amendment placed on the November 2020 ballot to implement a single-payer health system in Florida (01:08).       

We were told the results of a poll asking local residents their thoughts on the future of the St. Johns River with Dr. Quint White and Dr. Ray Oldakowski from Jacksonville University (29:22).

We heard about a move in the Duval County School District to get rid of traditional school lockers with district IT executive director Jim Culbert (36:56).  

Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council Executive Director Christina Parrish told us about this weekend’s Porchfest and Kerry Speckman previewed this month’s upcoming events (46:00).  

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Former President Bill Clinton Tuesday took a tour of Orange Park Medical Center’s facilities and heard from community leaders about how Northeast Florida is dealing with the opioid crisis and addiction in general.


UF Health / Facebook

UF Health Jacksonville jumped 33 spots in an annual ranking of academic medical centers, according to hospital officials.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

As a statewide panel of health care experts finalizes recommendations for a telemedicine regulatory framework in Florida, Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) is sponsoring a measure incorporating a number of their initial findings.


Managed Care Extension, LIP Money Approved

Aug 4, 2017
Kaiser Health News

Dealing with two major issues in Florida's health-care system, federal officials Thursday approved a five-year extension of a statewide Medicaid managed care program and finalized a $1.5 billion pot of funding to help with charity care.

Today on “First Coast Connect,” with the Senate’s failure last week to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, we discussed what might be the future of health care reform with Big Bang Health CEO Chris Fey (01:18). Washington Post reporter Dan Zak (27:14) told us about his book on nuclear weapons, and Katrina O’Dell (41:37) told us about this week’s Youth Block Party to educate young people about HIV and AIDS. 


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

In Jacksonville Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott said Congress should “do their job” and repeal the Affordable Care Act. But he said lawmakers must first craft something to replace it.


  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we took a look at Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s proposed budget with Nate Monroe from the Florida Times-Union, Claire Goforth, editor of Folio Weekly, and A.G. Gancarski (01:03) from Florida Politics. Dr. Shahriar Nabizadeh (22:19) told us what he believes ails the health care system as Washington lawmakers continue to debate repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. We heard about this weekend’s celebrity basketball game to help homeless students from Florida Blue’s Darnell Smith (38:39). Eco Relics co-founder Annie Murphy, Jenni Edwards with Norsk Tiny Houses and Sarah Boren (45:23), director of policy and programs with U.S. Green Building Council of Florida, talked about the first LEED-certified tiny home being built in Jacksonville. 

    

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

A health care replacement plan is expected to be up for a vote in the U.S. Senate after the July 4 holiday.

In Jacksonville Friday, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) had some strong words for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans after the plan failed to go up for a vote last week.

Wikimedia Commons

A George Washington University and Commonwealth Fund report suggests Florida’s economy stands to lose big if Congress passes the current version of a measure repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Researchers estimate the Sunshine State could lose more than 80,000, two-thirds in the healthcare sector.


  Wednesday on “First Coast Connect,” we discussed an upcoming conference on the future of healthcare with Duval County Medical Society CEO Bryan Campbell and president Dr. Sunil Joshi (00:58). We heard about ways to prevent childhood drownings with Winston Family YMCA Aquatics Director Cindi Partee and Murphco of Florida Vice President Josh Harrison (29:47), who nearly drowned when he was a child. We spoke with best-selling author Issac Lidsky (37:46) and we met Stanton Preparatory School students Ashlie Malone, Arvind Sommi, Walker Miller and Haley Lee (45:03), who placed in the top 10 of the recent national Academic Worldquest.  


NPR

The Republican health care bill under consideration in the House of Representatives would change health coverage for a lot of people.

Tom Varco / Wikimedia Commons

Florida patients could soon have access to more information about the average costs of their prescription drugs.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Eight female activists from Jacksonville are calling on state and federal officials to keep the Affordable Care Act intact. That’s as Republicans in Washington are talking about repealing and replacing the health care law.


The Office of Governor Rick Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott is hoping a better working relationship with Washington, D.C. will bring about a solution to the state’s ongoing battle over health care funding.


County Health Rankings

The healthiest county in Florida is St. Johns, while Duval lags way behind.

That’s according to a study released last week measuring the overall health in almost every county in the United States.

The report, produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, breaks down the numbers into two categories: health factors and health outcomes. Both lists show St. Johns County is the healthiest in Florida.

Wikimedia Commons

Duval County’s overall health outcomes have deteriorated over the last year. That’s according to a new national survey of county health care.

But some factors included in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report may be out of the health departments’ hands.


doctor holding stethescope
Alex Proimos via Flickr

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has made health-care cost transparency a priority this year, and a Northeast Florida lawmaker is sponsoring a version of Scott’s vision.

Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) has filed a bill would make average prices for common hospital procedures easily accessible to patients.


The U.S. Attorney’s Office in this region has accepted more than $30 million from several Jacksonville compounding pharmacies, to settle allegations they engaged in kickbacks and fraud while selling unnecessary drugs to active military personnel. Jason Mehta, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, joins us with more.


stacks of money
Jericho / Wikimedia Commons

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is proposing more than $673 million in tax cuts for next year’s state budget. But that’s about $20 million more than the state’s expected surplus. And a $400 million  shortfall is looming in health care funding as a result of losing federal money for indigent health care.

Florida Senate

The federal government is standing firm in its decision not to increase funding for indigent health care in Florida next year.

State health officials hoped the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would pony up more than $304 million in matching funds for a program called the Low Income Pool, down from a half billion this year.

One Jacksonville Senator isn't worried about the decrease in funds. At least for now.


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