Health News Florida

Since 2006, Health News Florida has provided in-depth journalism on health policy issues in our state.

Health News Florida is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at http://health.wusf.usf.edu

As the only insurer to offer plans in the Affordable Care Act marketplace in all of Florida's 67 counties, Florida Blue is keeping a close eye on proposed changes from Donald Trump's administration.

Court Orders Disability Hearing For Death Row Inmate

Dec 2, 2016

A divided Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a lower court to hold a hearing about whether a Death Row inmate has an intellectual disability that would prevent him from being executed.

Court Overturns Probation, Treatment For Drug Offender

Dec 2, 2016

A state appeals court Thursday overturned a circuit judge's decision to commit a drug offender to a treatment program and place her on probation instead of sending her to prison.

There's less than a week left in the Annual Election Period for Floridians enrolled in Medicare to change their plans.

Federal health officials say more than a half million Floridians have picked a health care plan through Obamacare since open enrollment began at the start of November.


Miami-Dade Reports 4 More Local Zika Cases

Dec 1, 2016

State health officials said Wednesday they have found four more locally transmitted cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in Miami-Dade County, while two "travel-related" cases were reported in the Orlando area.

Supreme Court Ready To Hear Malpractice Case

Dec 1, 2016

More than three years after a legislative battle about the issue, the Florida Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments next week about a medical-malpractice law that spurred debate over access to health information and patients' privacy rights.

Court Rejects $18.5M Award In Smoker’s Death

Dec 1, 2016

A South Florida appeals court Wednesday said an $18.5 million damages award against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was excessive in a lawsuit filed by the daughter of a woman who died of lung cancer.

A blood treatment that was popular 75 years ago but faded away when antibiotics came along may be making a comeback with the increasing popularity of “integrative medicine.”

Just when they thought they had dodged a bullet, it looks like Florida businesses will be hit with a major increase in workers compensation rates after all.

The man leading the fight against unscrupulous sober homes has a message for state legislators.

“When the appropriations process comes up, please keep us in mind,” said Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg at a meeting with the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation in Boca Raton Tuesday.

Aronberg leads the county’s Sober Home Task Force - created in July 2016 with a $275,000 appropriation from the state legislature.

State Reports 7 New Zika Cases

Nov 30, 2016

State health officials said Tuesday that seven more Zika cases have been reported in Florida, bringing the overall number of cases in the state to 1,213.

Bill Seeks Repeal Of Florida’s ‘Tampon Tax’

Nov 30, 2016

Following the lead of other states, a South Florida House member filed a proposal Tuesday to create a sales-tax exemption for feminine hygiene products.

Tampa General CEO Steps Down

Nov 30, 2016

Tampa General Hospital president and CEO Jim Burkhart abruptly resigned Tuesday, officials said.

The hospital released few details about Burkhart's resignation. His name and biography have been removed from the hospital's website. 

Burkhart came to Tampa General nearly four years ago from Shands Jacksonville Medical Center where he was president and CEO.

“We appreciate all that Jim has done during his time here,” John Brabson, Tampa General’s board chairman, said in a release.

Promising new treatments are providing hope that a cure for some forms of cancer may be within reach.

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center are using one form of immunotherapy and awaiting FDA approval for another. 

A Southwest Florida research company said it has developed a medication to combat Zika. The pill is meant to treat people who’ve already contracted the mosquito-borne virus. 

Florida Supreme Court Asked To Hear Malpractice Case

Nov 29, 2016

The estate of a woman who died during surgery in 2009 has asked the Florida Supreme Court to take up a medical-malpractice dispute that focuses on whether Tampa General Hospital could be held liable.

Rep. Metz Diagnosed With Parkinson’s

Nov 29, 2016

State Rep. Larry Metz, a House committee chairman who is seeking an appointment to the Florida Supreme Court, disclosed Monday that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Sherry Riggs didn't stay awake to find out who the next president would be. Her heart literally couldn't take it.

Riggs, a 55-year-old barber, has been ordered to avoid stress after a heart attack and bypass surgery last month. Last year, she had a stent put in, paid for by insurance she purchased under President Barack Obama's health overhaul.

Business Groups Challenge Pollution Notification Rule

Nov 28, 2016

Five major business groups have challenged a plan by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to impose new requirements for notifying the public when pollution incidents occur.

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