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

The House Health Quality Subcommittee met today to consider a bill that would allow registered nurse practitioners and physicians assistants to prescribe controlled substances.

Associated Press

Today is World AIDS Day, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida is first in the nation when it comes to newly diagnosed cases of HIV--the virus that can lead to AIDS.

Prison Health Firm Cancels Contract With State

7 hours ago

Saying a contract with the state is "too constraining," a company that provides health care to 75,000 Florida prison inmates gave notice Monday that it will end the agreement as of May 31.

Lawmakers are taking a look at a bill today that boosts medical tourism in Florida.

State investigators say there's no evidence Planned Parenthood in Florida purchased or sold human organs or tissue.

Kate and Scott Savett were trying to be responsible when they needed some medical care. They live about an hour north of Philadelphia with their dog, Frankie. Scott, 43, is a chemist and designs software for labs; Kate, 37, works in life insurance.

They buy their health insurance through Scott's job, and to keep their premiums affordable, they chose a high-deductible plan. They understood from the beginning that this would mean shopping carefully when they needed care, because costs can vary a lot among doctors and hospitals.

A Winter Garden nursery has been selected to grow medical marijuana for the Central Florida region.

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-FL 5th District, brought a campaign to put Florida Medicaid expansion on the ballot to Central Florida on Friday.

Many people have seen the ads on TV pushing this pill or that device. It's usually followed by "Ask your doctor if this medication is right for you."

But the American Medical Association says those ads contribute to rising drug costs and patient demands for inappropriate treatments and they're calling for a ban on what they call "direct-to-consumer" ads for prescription drugs and implantable devices.

Although the Department of Health has awarded licenses to grow cannabis, patients could still be waiting more than nine months for treatment.  But one of the nurseries is hoping to push that timeline forward.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is asking the Legislature to pass a $79.3 billion state budget next year.

At a news conference in Jacksonville Monday morning, Scott went over some of the highlights of his Florida First Budget.

One of those highlights is a substantial revision to how the state doles out money for indigent health care.

Today, the Florida Department of Health announced the five dispensing organizations approved to provide patients with intractable epilepsy and people with advanced cancer access to low-THC cannabis. The five approved organizations are:

Northwest Region – Hackney Nursery Company

Northeast Region – Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, LLC

Central Region – Knox Nursery, Inc.

Southwest Region – Alpha Foliage, Inc.  

Southeast Region – Costa Nursery Farms, LLC

UnitedHealthcare Warns Of Marketplace Exit

Nov 20, 2015

UnitedHealthGroup laid out a litany of reasons Thursday why it might stop selling individual health insurance through federal and state markets in 2017 — a move some see as an effort to compel the Obama administration to ease regulations and make good on promised payments.

House Eyes Health Care Deregulation Ideas

Nov 20, 2015

Touting the possibility of more choices for patients, a House committee Thursday began a renewed effort to revamp regulations in the health-care industry.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell stopped at Miami Dade College on Wednesday to drum up excitement around open enrollment for health insurance plans—though during her stop she was not keen on addressing some of the problems that have come out of Obamacare.

She began her tour of MDC in a computer lab on the second floor of the downtown campus where there’s a bank of computers dedicated just to helping students enroll in Obamacare.

Florida hospitals paid for $1.5 billion in health costs for uninsured and underinsured patients last year.

Florida senators continued moving forward Wednesday with a bill that would help the children of legal immigrants get low-cost health insurance coverage through the state's KidCare program.

House Panel Looks At Foster Care Options

Nov 19, 2015

With the rate of children coming into Florida's foster-care system slowly increasing, state lawmakers are studying how to improve the options of where the children go to live.

The Florida Legislature is moving ahead with a measure that will increase the number of children eligible for vouchers that pay for special education programs.

The third year of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is now under way, and this week on Florida Matters (Sunday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m.),  WUSF's Carson Cooper takes a look at some of the changes coming for health insurance in 2016 with Florida Covering Kids & Families Project Director Jodi Ray, Tampa health insurance agent Eric Brown and WUSF News Director and Health News Florida Editor Mary Shedden.