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

Gov. Rick Scott added a fifth Florida county to a public health emergency declaration over the Zika virus on Thursday, and asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for training and other assistance.

Broward joins Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Lee and Santa Rosa counties as where cases of the mosquito-borne illness have been found. All of the cases are travel related.

  Gov. Rick Scott has declared a health emergency in five Florida counties with a dozen confirmed cases of the travel-acquired Zika virus: Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Lee and Santa Rosa.

Long before this most recent outbreak, mosquito control officers across Florida have been on the front lines, trying to keep at bay diseases such as Zika, chikungunya and dengue. 

Mario Stevenson is a respected virus expert. He heads the infectious diseases division at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. He’s done pioneering research on HIV.

But until last year he’d barely registered Zika.

“Four months ago,” Stevenson told me, “I thought Zika was an Italian football player.”

Hundreds of activities are planned around the globe Thursday in recognition of World Cancer Day, but for Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong, the international "holiday" is personal.

The full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will take up a challenge to a controversial 2011 Florida law that restricts doctors from asking questions and recording information about patients' gun ownership.

Six new cases of travel-related Zika were confirmed this week in Florida.

That’s according to the Florida Department of Health, which reported the cases to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.  That brings the number of Florida cases to nine total, none of them in pregnant women. All are believed to be contracted by someone traveling outside of Florida.

House Aims To Approve Open-Carry Bill

Feb 3, 2016

The Florida House is expected to vote Wednesday to allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to openly carry sidearms in most public places.

 

And in preparing the bill late Tuesday for a final vote, the House voted 72-43 to tack on an amendment that would let lawmakers with concealed-carry licenses pack heat during legislative meetings and on the House floor.

Abortion Restrictions Pass House Panel After Debate

Feb 3, 2016

After a passionate debate, a House panel on Tuesday approved a wide-ranging bill that would place more regulations on abortion clinics and address issues such as the sale or donation of fetal tissue.

Three Florida nurseries filed a lawsuit Tuesday asking for an injunction to delay the state's medical marijuana process in three of five state regions.

McCrory's Sunny Hill Nursery, San Felasco Nurseries and Tornello Landscape's 3 Boys Farm filed the suit in Leon County Circuit Court against Florida's Department of Health and the nurseries approved to cultivate medical marijuana.

As lawmakers grapple with healthcare costs, they’re taking another look at rules governing where health care centers can be built. Those rules are called certificate of need. A scaled-down version of a bill addressing certificate of need is in play, but it’s not without controversy.

A Florida House panel has approved a measure that would let consumers purchase health insurance across state lines. But not everyone is on board with the idea.

Rose Radiology Centers Inc. has agreed to pay $8.71 million to resolve claims of false billing and kickbacks revealed in two whistleblower lawsuits, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Orlando attorney John Morgan says this will be his last push to bring medical marijuana up for a vote if the constitutional amendment fails at the polls in November. There are now enough signatures to get it on the ballot.

An Alabama family is planning to sue Walt Disney World after they say a snake fell on an 8-year-old boy and bit him, leading to a fatal heart attack in his great-grandmother.

KidCare For Legal Immigrants Keeps Moving In House

Feb 1, 2016

The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee late last week unanimously approved a bill (HB 89), filed by Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, that would eliminate a five-year waiting period for the children of legal immigrants to be eligible for the state's KidCare health-insurance program.

'Transparency' Backed in Senate Amid Questions

Feb 1, 2016

A Senate budget panel last week approved a bill that seeks to increase transparency about health-care costs, but the measure drew pointed questions from some lawmakers.

Senate To Take Up High-Profile Health Issues

Feb 1, 2016

With House Republican leaders pushing for a wide range of regulatory changes in the health-care industry, a Senate committee will wade into some of the key issues this week.

As a mother, Anya Staton says her primary instinct is to feed her children.

So when her oldest son developed an eating disorder she knew he needed help -- help she didn't know how to give. 

And care the family's insurance company, through Florida's Medicaid program, denied the boy needed.

A proposed constitutional amendment to allow medical use of marijuana will be back on the ballot in November and organizers said Wednesday that growing public support and a larger voter turnout in a presidential election year should help pass the measure that narrowly failed in 2014.

An Alachua County nursey filed a lawsuit Wednesday to prevent any delays in the cultivation and dispensing of medical marijuana in northeast Florida.

Pages