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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

Foster Homes Overwhelmed By Opioid Epidemic

Feb 16, 2018

Florida foster care providers are struggling to keep up with the number of children entering the system as a result of opioid-related deaths. 

After being delayed twice a proposal restricting physician prescribing powers for opioids is once again moving in the senate. It’s part of a wide-ranging proposal to address overdose deaths, which have jumped in Florida and across the nation in recent years.

Lawmakers Look To Ban Abortion Procedure

Feb 16, 2018

The Florida Legislature is looking to impose new restrictions on abortion. A measure that would ban a common procedure passed a divided House committee Thursday.

House Panel Sides With Doctors On Insurance Claims

Feb 15, 2018

A bill that would restrict the ability of health insurers and HMOs to retroactively deny claims passed the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, scoring a victory for physicians.

Senate Panel Backs School Mental Health Initiative

Feb 15, 2018

Shortly before a mass shooting at a Broward County high school, a Senate committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that could dedicate more funding to Florida schools for mental health services.

Proposed Deal Could End Trauma Battles

Feb 15, 2018

Legal wrangling over new trauma centers and which hospitals should be allowed to operate them could come to an end under a proposal moving through the Legislature.

Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Dana Young, R-Tampa, said Wednesday the Senate, House and major players in the hospital industry have reached agreement on how to revamp the state’s 26-year old trauma rules.

“We have a deal,” Young told members of the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee.

Most child marriages in Florida would be banned — though not for 16- and 17-year-olds when there's a pregnancy — under a bill overwhelmingly approved by the House on Wednesday.

Tuesday in Tallahassee was a day for love and awareness. Governor Rick Scott marked the day as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day. Advocates took it as their cue to ask for their legislative priorities this Valentines Day.

A number of child welfare bills are continuing to move in the Florida Legislature.

Florida lawmakers want first responders to get workers’ compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder. But the House bill would only give them a year to file a claim. 

Wood storks, roseate spoonbills, ibises and egrets are among the many birds that fly, paddle and wade through the Everglades.

They draw visitors, particularly photographers, to the ecosystem. But the Everglades' birds are important for another reason: The health of wading bird communities says a lot about progress on Everglades restoration.

CHRISTINE CABALO VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The city of Sarasota is planning to file a lawsuit against a number of major pharmaceutical companies to recover damages from the opioid crisis. City Commissioners have voted to retain two attorneys to file the lawsuit. 

Survey: Florida Lags In Healthiest Cities

Feb 13, 2018

Florida cities have some perks when it comes to healthy living, but overall they don’t make the cut when it comes to a newly published list of healthiest cities in the United States.

Shelly Baer was working with an organization that supports people with disabilities when somebody suggested making a fundraising calendar: nudes of women with disabilities.

Remember those billboards on the highway imploring drivers to "choose life"? Florida lawmakers want to fund them with taxpayer dollars. A bill that would cement contracts with pro-life pregnancy centers is heading to the Governor’s desk.

Using Baker Act On Minors Comes Under Scrutiny

Feb 12, 2018

Between summer 2015 and 2016, kids under the age of 18 in Florida were subjected to an involuntary psychiatric exam 32,000 times – almost a 50 percent increase over five years.

Court Rules Against Insurer In 'PIP' Payment Dispute

Feb 12, 2018

Pointing to “numerous conflicting decisions” by lower courts, a divided state appeals court ruled Friday against Progressive Select Insurance Co. in a dispute about how much should be paid to a hospital for treating a man injured in an auto accident.

State Appeals Abortion Waiting Period Ruling

Feb 12, 2018

The state is appealing a Leon County circuit judge’s ruling that blocked a 2015 law aimed at requiring women to wait 24 hours before having abortions.

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office filed a notice late Thursday that it will appeal the Jan. 9 ruling by Circuit Judge Terry Lewis, according to the Leon County courts website. The notice, as is common, does not detail the arguments the state will make to the 1st District Court of Appeal.

A bill to permanently fund anti-abortion pregnancy centers is heading to Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Bill Calls For Reporting Birth 'Adverse' Incidents

Feb 9, 2018

Physicians, certified advanced registered nurse midwives and licensed midwives who attend at-home births or deliveries in birthing centers would be required to report to the state “adverse” medical incidents, under a bill the Senate considered Thursday.

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