health care

The biggest changes in health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act are set to begin less than three months from now. Oct. 1 is when people can start signing up for coverage in new state health exchanges. The policies would kick in on Jan. 1, 2014.

It can all be a little confusing, we agree. So two weeks ago, we asked what you wanted to know about the health law.

Health Exchange Outreach Targets Latinos

Jun 25, 2013

Andrea Velandia, 29, is just the sort of person the architects of the new health insurance marketplaces had in mind when they were thinking about future customers.

She's young, in good health, uninsured and Latino.

"We're very healthy. We don't have many issues," she says of her family. For the most part, she and her husband avoid the health system. "It's very expensive to go to the doctor to get a regular checkup," she says. "And you only have an option to go to the emergency room, which is even more expensive."

When the blood pressure drug Bystolic hit the market in 2008, it faced a crowded field of cheap generics.

So its maker, Forest Laboratories, launched a promotional assault on the group in the best position to determine Bystolic's success: those in control of prescription pads. It flooded the offices of health professionals with drug reps, and it hired doctors to persuade their peers to choose Bystolic — even though the drug hadn't proved more effective than competitors.

Who's going to be more successful at selling health insurance to young men this fall: NBA MVP LeBron James, NFL rookie of the year Robert Griffin III, or Mom? If officials at the Department of Health and Human Services get their way, all may be drafted.

This weekend marks 100 days until people can begin signing up for new health insurance coverage under the federal health care law. It also marks another milestone: the launch of an enormous public relations effort to find people eligible for new coverage and urge them to sign up when the time comes.

But like everything else about the health law, even this seemingly innocuous effort has been touched by controversy.

Jessica Meszaros

South Florida’s diverse Hispanic community requires some extra attention when it comes to electronic health records.

Over the last few years, doctor’s offices, clinics and hospitals have been getting federal funding through the HITECH Act to go paperless.

That means more patients have access to their medical records online.

One recent morning, Evelyne Lois Such was sitting at her kitchen table in Denver when the phone rang. Such, who's 86, didn't recognize the phone number or the deep voice on the other end of the line.

"He asked, 'Are you a senior?' and I said yes, and he said, 'Well, we are sending out all new Medicare cards, and I want to make sure I have all your statistics just correct,' " Such recalls.

In the mid ‘70s, I had recently left the Army and started working as an emergency physician at a hospital in Huntsville, Alabama. It was a Wednesday, church night, and I was working the evening shift.

A woman in her thirties was brought in with a bullet wound in her leg. She told us that her boy friend had shot her during an argument. The wound didn't look serious; bleeding was minimal. It appeared to have been caused by a 32- or 38-caliber hand gun. I placed her in a room, ordered an X-ray, and sat at the physician desk to write up the chart.

Once upon a time, nurses were not allowed to take blood pressure – only the doctor could do that. Times change.

  But they haven’t changed enough. For 19 years, nurse practitioners in Florida have tried to get the right to practice to the full extent of our education and capability, which includes prescribing scheduled substances. So far, our efforts have been fruitless.

Twitter @MiamiHealthcare

After nearly 43 years, John Dorschner has left The Miami Herald, and he will be sorely missed around here.

John's wry manner, and his considerable chops, both in reporting and in voice, have made him the perfect newspaper-to-radio journalist since we began the WLRN-Miami Herald News cooperation a decade ago.

Jan. 22, 2013, marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

But the conventional wisdom that the court's 7-2 decision marked the beginning of a contentious battle that still rages today is not the case, according to those on both sides of the dispute.

vitasamb2001 / freedigitalphotos.net

In another step toward transforming Medicaid into a statewide managed-care system, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration said Tuesday it has chosen five health plans to provide coverage to seniors who need long-term care.

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