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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

Palm Beach County is the first county in Florida to ban conversion therapy for minors.

County commissioners voted 5-2 Tuesday to ban the controversial form of treatment that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation.

Opponents say the practice is pseudoscience dangerous to gay, lesbian and transgender youth. The American Psychiatric Association also opposes the practice and calls it unethical.

But supporters of conversion therapy argue the ban will infringe on free speech, religious freedom and parental rights.

The percentage of Florida’s population properly inoculated against the flu is far lower than federal health officials recommend, according to a new report.

The Sunshine State has the 12th lowest vaccination rate in the country.


Assisted Living Group Challenges Scott's Generator Rule

Dec 19, 2017

A statewide long-term care association has challenged a proposal by Gov. Rick Scott's administration to make permanent a controversial rule that requires assisted-living facilities to have generators and enough fuel to provide 96 hours of backup power.

Agencies Reissue Emergency Generator Rules

Dec 19, 2017

A pair of emergency rules requiring nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators and fuel supplies to keep temperatures at 80 degrees for at least 96 hours have been reissued by Gov. Rick Scott's administration, even though they were invalidated by a state administrative judge in October.

As the opioid epidemic swells the tide of abused and neglected children coming into the state foster-care system, a Florida judge is trying to find them a "forever" home, in time for the holidays.

Roughly one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, which is why screening for the disease is so important.

But some women can't afford a yearly mammogram.

A statewide program that screens for breast and cervical cancer has helped thousands of low income women between the ages of 50 and 64 with early detection. Only there isn’t enough money to make it through the year.

Two of Florida’s largest counties, Palm Beach and Broward, have started a process that could take opioid drug makers to court for their roles in the opioid crisis. 

Health leaders say they are alarmed about a report that officials at the nation's top public health agency are being told not to use certain words or phrases in official budget documents, including "fetus," ''transgender" and "science-based."

More than 300 passengers on a cruise ship that docked at Port Everglades fell ill with a stomach virus.

The political battle around Obamacare doesn’t seem to be factoring into Floridians' decisions to sign up. Florida leads the nation in Obamacare enrollment. And the state’s residents are once again signing up for the program at a record rate. That’s despite Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

Voters Could Decide Tobacco, ‘Certificate Of Need’ Issues

Dec 15, 2017

Floridians could wind up voting on two contentious health-care proposals that on Thursday drew closer to the 2018 ballot.

Floridians have two extra weeks to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act has had a profound impact on how money moves through Florida’s health care economy, according to a biennial market report out this week.

Report Points To Need To Address Physician Shortages

Dec 14, 2017

Florida hospitals have seen a 29 percent increase in the number of residency slots since 2013, but the state still faces physician workforce challenges, a report on graduate medical education released Wednesday shows.

Why Do People Hate Obamacare, Anyway?

Dec 13, 2017

The Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” has roiled America since the day it was signed into law in 2010. From the start, the public was almost evenly divided between those who supported it and those who opposed it.

Two Palm Beach prosecutors are calling on Congress to outlaw the kickbacks some patient brokers receive for connecting people with drug treatment.  They believe those incentives encourage relapse rather than recovery.

State Faces Shortfall In Children's Medical Program

Dec 12, 2017

A Medicaid program that pays health-care costs for some of the sickest children in the state has an estimated $25 million budget shortfall, a key lawmaker said Monday night.

Judge To Hear Arguments On Black Farmer Pot License

Dec 12, 2017

A Leon County circuit judge will hear arguments Thursday on a request for a temporary injunction to block the Florida Department of Health from carrying out part of a new law that calls for issuing a medical-marijuana license to a black farmer.

Florida Department of Health

Health officials say the United States could have a harsher than usual flu season, and is already showing influenza activity above the national baseline for the first time this season.

First responders run towards crashes, emergencies and catastrophes, not away from them. And for some, their experiences are leading to post traumatic stress disorder. But in Florida, first responders who develop PTSD on the job don’t get compensated, unless they have a physical injury as well. Now there are efforts at the statehouse to change that. A note to listeners, the following story includes frank discussion of death and suicide.

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