Tagged Articles

Miami 142 articles

Erectile dysfunction drugs may treat some cancers, increase risk for others

Erectile dysfunction drugs, such as the widely prescribed Viagra, are being studied as possible treatments for throat and neck cancers despite research that has linked the erectile dysfunction drug to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Researchers and physicians at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center say that the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis could provide tumor-fighting benefits for throat and neck cancers based on data from a small, controlled study. The study involved 35 patients at the hospital who were treated with moderate doses of Cialis. They found that the men who were ... Read More

Whistleblower accuses largest U.S. hospital operator of fraud

A former employee of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the largest publicly traded hospital system in the nation, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the company, alleging it subjected patients to medically unnecessary heart surgeries and submitted false claims to the federal government for reimbursement. Christopher Gentile, who served as the professional liability claims director for an HCA subsidiary in Tennessee, filed the whistleblower lawsuit in February 2012 in a Miami, Fla., federal court. The lawsuit was unsealed on Monday. Mr. Gentile accuses two HCA hospitals in Florida of performing high-risk, invasive and medically unneeded cardiology procedures on patients so it ... Read More

Breast reduction third most common cosmetic surgery for men

In 2013, nearly 23,000 procedures – including liposuction and mastectomies – were performed on men to remove enlarged breast tissue, a condition known as gynecomastia. The procedure is the third most common cosmetic surgery performed for men behind rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) and blepharoplasty (eye lift). Gynecomastia can be embarrassing leaving lingering emotional scars. It can also be painful, causing breasts to become swollen and tender. In some cases, the breasts can lactate. The condition may go away after a few months or years, or symptoms may persist for a lifetime, in which case surgical intervention may be considered. “Surgical treatment ... Read More

Whistleblowers allege Florida prison officials tortured, killed inmates

Four investigators from the Florida Department of Corrections have filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the state in a Florida federal court, accusing it of allowing, and in some cases officially sanctioning, horrific brutality, gang violence, drug and contraband smuggling, sexual favors, and other forms of corruption within the Dade Correctional Institution and other state prisons. The four whistleblowers also accuse the state of retaliating against them for attempting to expose the wrongdoing. Whistleblower Aubrey Land investigated the death of Randall Jordan-Aparo, a 27-year-old inmate at Franklin Correctional Institution who was serving an 18-month sentence for credit card fraud and drug ... Read More

Miami charter bus driver faces manslaughter charges for deadly 2012 crash

The driver of a commercial bus that crashed into an overpass at Miami International Airport last December, killing three passengers and injuring dozens more, was arrested Nov. 27 after being charged with three counts of vehicular homicide and reckless driving. The driver, 48-year-old Ramon Ferreiro, maintains his innocence and told investigators that he became confused while transporting 32 passengers to a Jehovah’s Witness assembly in West Palm Beach. Passengers aboard the 1999 Van Hool charter bus, which was owned and operated by Miami Bus Service Corp, told police they warned Mr. Ferreiro he was going the wrong way, but he ... Read More

Construction worker’s death results in penalties for Florida company

MIAMI, Fla. – A South Florida masonry company received a $77,000 fine for safety violations that led to a worker falling to his death at a Miami construction site, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said. An OSHA investigation triggered by the worker’s death in May resulted in Pompano Beach-based Coastal Masonry being hit with one willful and serious safety violation. According to the agency, the worker was helping to build interior and exterior walls for a multilevel condominium building on Brickell Bay Drive in Miami when he fell 70 feet while attempting to straighten a piece of ... Read More

City of Columbia, S.C., agrees to $750-million plan to clean up raw sewage pollution

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The city of Columbia, S.C., has reached a proposed settlement with the U.S. government to overhaul its aging and deteriorated sewer system at an estimated cost of $750 million. The proposal comes after environmental regulators determined the city violated the Clean Water Act and allowed overflows of untreated raw sewage to flow into streams and waterways in low-income and minority neighborhoods. The agreement will also require Columbia to spend $1 million in supplementary environmental cleanup projects to restore streams, reduce flooding, and improve water quality in the neighborhoods affected by the raw sewage releases. Columbia is the ... Read More

U.S. takes over whistleblower lawsuit against Florida home health care company

The U.S. Justice Department has intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit against A Plus Home Health Care, Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and its owner Tracy Nemerofsky. The lawsuit accuses the company and its owner of defrauding Medicare by creating fake positions for the spouses of affiliated physicians as a way of providing kickbacks in exchange for Medicare patient referrals. According to the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami, the South Florida home health care provider started paying the wives of seven or more doctors and the boyfriend of another physician for performing little or no work. As a result, the company’s ... Read More

New treatment for pelvic organ prolapse less risky than transvaginal mesh

Women who suffer from common pelvic floor disorders such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI) can experience uncomfortable or embarrassing symptoms including pain and incontinence. Unfortunately, in 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the most popular surgical procedure used to treat the condition – a process in which surgical mesh is inserted through the vagina to hold up prolapsed organs – was associated with a large number of complications. Problems involved the mesh eroding in tissue causing infections, pain, disability, and hemorrhaging. Some women had to undergo repeated surgeries to remove the mesh, and some ... Read More

Four Florida hospital execs convicted for their roles in giant Medicare fraud scheme

A federal jury has convicted four South Florida individuals on multiple criminal charges for their participation in designing and conducting a scheme to defraud Medicare of millions of dollars. The U.S. Justice Department said that four executives with Hollywood Pavillion, a mental-health hospital in Hollywood, Fla., participated in a $70-million scheme to defraud Medicare by bribing, falsifying documents, and submitting false claims to the government health care program. “The defendants convicted today participated in a massive scheme that attempted to defraud the United States of approximately $70 million by taking advantage of Medicare beneficiaries,” Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General Raman ... Read More