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

State HMO Contracts Spur Challenges

May 24, 2017

An administrative law judge will hear arguments next month as three health insurers challenge the way state officials want to divvy up contracts for HMO coverage for state employees.

Agriculture Commissioner, and Republican candidate for governor, Adam Putnam is adding his voice to the chorus calling for a medical marijuana special session.

When a child dies, it affects a whole community. That's why every other month, people from hospitals, law enforcement and health departments review cases of criminal or accidental deaths of kids. It's called the Child Death Review. Monday, the group focused on accidental deaths in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties, because it says those deaths go up as school gets out for summer. 

This week is National Safe Boating Week, and with Florida wildlife officials expecting increased turnout on the water for the Memorial Day weekend, they’re hoping boaters will wear life jackets.

Florida officials are urging residents to take precautions and comply with burn bans as forecasts predict even drier conditions going into the spring and summer.

Would the House Republican health care bill impact insurance provided by employers? And why don't people without insurance just go to an emergency room for regular care? Here are answers to those and other recent questions from readers.

Will employer-based health care be affected by the new Republican plan?

The University of North Florida is gearing up to host more than 200 medical professionals for the inaugural Future of Health Care conference.

The incoming president of the nation’s largest doctors’ group will kick off the event with a keynote address Monday.


Hospitals Appeal Ruling On Outpatient Payments

May 23, 2017

Dozens of hospitals across the state have appealed an administrative law judge's decision in a dispute about reimbursement rates for outpatient care of Medicaid beneficiaries.

Justices Won’t Hear Death Penalty Unanimity Case

May 23, 2017

Bolstering a state law requiring unanimous jury recommendations in death penalty cases, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider an appeal by Attorney General Pam Bondi on the issue.

A new report from Florida medical examiners finds fentanyl caused more deaths than any other drug in Florida last year.

Uncertainty over the future of health care is growing deeper for millions of Americans who buy their own policies.

  Saturday is "Lionfish Awareness and Removal Day" in Florida. Lionfish are an invasive species off Florida's coasts. People in southwest Florida are studying the fish's impact and others are helping to keep the invasive species' population under control. 

A brood of salt marsh mosquitoes borne from high tides along Southwest Florida’s coastal mangroves descended on Collier County this week, unleashing a “horrendous” torrent of insects that experts say is the worst they’ve seen in a decade.

Elections experts say Florida lawmakers dropped the ball when it comes to improving voter security.

After a gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community worked to translate grief into political action. Even though attempts to pass civil rights protections in the statehouse failed again this year, LGBTQ activists are claiming a victory.

Two Florida lawmakers are already looking ahead to next year’s legislative session to revive a bipartisan effort to reform the state’s claims bill process. It allows those who sue a government agency over things like injuries or negligence to receive the rest of the money awarded to them—a process that can often take years.

Hurricane Andrew caused close to $100 million dollars in property damage in the Miami-Dade County school district alone. Roofs were gone, books were soaked, whole schools had to be leveled and rebuilt. But, says Michael Fox, Director of Risk Management for the district, the damage was almost completely covered. “Whatever was not insured, we received grants from the Department of Education to supplement whatever the loss was.”

More than $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid are wrapped into the health care reform bill that Senators are now considering.

Appeals Court Deals Blow To Tobacco Companies

May 22, 2017

More than a decade after the Florida Supreme Court opened the floodgates for lawsuits against tobacco companies, an Atlanta-based appeals court this week rejected arguments that could have helped shield cigarette makers in legal battles about smoking-related illnesses and deaths.

Local officials are raising concerns about drug use at hurricane shelters, saying they aren't equipped to care for addicts, unaccompanied minors and others with other medical needs.

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