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

A bill requiring autism awareness training for law enforcement officers is now heading to the House floor.

Supreme Court Ruling Defines ‘Sexual Intercourse’

Mar 20, 2017

In a case stemming from a law that requires HIV-infected people to inform potential sexual partners about the disease, the Florida Supreme Court this week said a legal definition of "sexual intercourse" goes beyond relations between men and women.

Tampa General Cleared In Malpractice Dispute

Mar 20, 2017

The Florida Supreme Court on Friday declined to take up a dispute about whether Tampa General Hospital could be held liable in a medical-malpractice lawsuit.

Congressman Vern Buchanan was greeted with a huge turnout — and chants, boos and cheers — during a town hall meeting.

Florida is among one of the nation's top states in recovering money from health care providers suspected of Medicaid fraud.

Florida is reeling from an opioid epidemic that spans young and old, rural and urban. State lawmakers are once again trying to reduce overdose deaths and prevent addiction.

Prosecutor’s Stance On Death Penalty Stuns Legislators

Mar 17, 2017

Days after Gov. Rick Scott signed a law effectively putting the state's death penalty back on track, a newly elected Central Florida prosecutor stunned legislators Thursday by announcing she will not pursue death sentences for any capital cases during her time in office.


Three patients at a Florida clinic went blind after receiving eye injections of stem cells derived from their own abdominal fat, according to a report Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Michael Botticelli served as President Obama's director of National Drug Control Policy, and pushed Congress to pass a funding measure last year making more money available for the treatment of opioid addiction.

Now he's concerned that the proposed Republican health plan will reduce access to health services for people with addiction.

House lawmakers are wrangling over whether to allow optometrists to perform procedures traditionally reserved for ophthalmologists.  The long-standing fight is tied up in questions of access and professional scope. 

In 2011, the Florida legislature passed a measure to convert Medicaid insurance into a managed care system. But Republican lawmakers now want to take the program away from “big businesses” and change it into a block grant system. But Medicaid providers said if that happens low income families will lose access to health care.

Mass shootings in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale have brought conversations about gun rights and restrictions front and center this legislative session. 

A Florida Senate Panel has voted down a plan to allow recovery care centers in Florida. The facilities provide nursing care for people recently discharged from hospitals or those in need of post-operative care.

A former chief judge says the number of future death penalty recommendations will likely drop now that a unanimous jury recommendation is required.

Lawmakers Support Medical Marijuana Research

Mar 15, 2017

A House budget panel Tuesday approved a proposal that would send $2.462 million to the University of Florida for research about issues such as the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating patients.

Gov. Scott Remains Silent On GOP Health Plan

Mar 15, 2017

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who urged President Donald Trump to move quickly on a health care plan, is sidestepping questions on a Republican health care bill that has set off an intense reaction in Washington.

Workers’ Comp Bill Passes First Test In House

Mar 15, 2017

After a fierce debate about attorney fees, a House panel Tuesday moved forward with a proposal that would make key changes in the workers' compensation insurance system.

When the Congressional Budget Office on Monday announced that the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would lead to 24 million people losing insurance coverage, Tom Price cried foul.

Price, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said the estimate that 14 million people would lose insurance in a year, and another 10 million over the following nine years, was "virtually impossible."

After battling for years over how to make healthcare more accessible and affordable, Florida lawmakers landed on a compromise. Instead of expanding Medicaid to cover more people, they decided during last year’s session to attack the cost of care directly, creating a database to make procedure pricing transparent.

UPDATED 3/24/2017 4:45 PM

Republican leaders in the U.S. House have pulled the American Health Care Act from the floor after failing to round up enough votes within their own caucus.

Had the bill passed, Americans would have no longer been required to buy health insurance, and it would have eliminated the current subsidies that are used to bring down the cost of premiums.

NPR and dozens of member stations collected public statements from members of Congress to help the public understand where lawmakers stood on this issue.

Pages