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

An appeals court ruled Friday that state universities are allowed to ban students from having guns in their dorm rooms.

New Panel Eyes Changes To Children's Medical Services

Nov 2, 2015

State Department of Health officials Friday hosted the first meeting of a panel aimed at easing Florida's transition to Medicaid managed care for children who need specialized medical services.

More than $100 million in budget cuts at Florida’s state mental have created an environment where patients are being injured by one another, hurting themselves, and in some cases, attacking the workers assigned to protect and treat then, a joint investigation from the Tampa Bay Times and Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.

A Florida judge has dismissed a civil case against Valencia College’s ultrasound technician program. Three students alleged they were “browbeaten” to volunteer for transvaginal ultrasounds.


Open enrollment on started Sunday, and federal health officials expect the third year of open enrollment to be more challenging than in previous years.

Ten million people still don't have health insurance two years after the Affordable Care Act went into effect.

Some never bought a policy. But 20 percent went to the trouble of signing up on, or one of the state insurance exchanges, and even made payments. Then, those 2 million people let their insurance lapse.

NPR asked visitors to our Facebook page to tell us why.

  In July 2014, Ellen Engelson's leg broke spontaneously, weakened from radiation treatments years before.

She lives in Key West,  so she went to the emergency room at the only hospital within 50 miles. But because her leg needed specialized care, she had to get to a hospital on the mainland.

Twenty years ago, and just days before Halloween, Janette Fennell and her husband returned home from a night out with friends, only to find an unpleasant surprise waiting for them. When they pulled into the garage of their San Francisco home, two armed men appeared, forced the couple into the trunk of their car — then drove away.

And the last that Janette knew, their 9-month-old son, Alex, was still sitting in his car seat.

Seniors enrolling in Medicare are facing a tough decision when it comes to which plans they should sign up for.

More than 67,000 Florida children gained health insurance coverage last year with the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to a report released Wednesday by Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute.

There is a seven-county stretch in North Central Florida -- an area larger than Puerto Rico -- where every county health department has gotten out of prenatal care.

Since then, the rate of women getting in to see a doctor in the first trimester has dropped in all seven  counties.

Getting to a trauma center quickly can be critical, and in the Florida Keys, there are no trauma centers.

That leaves you the option of being airlifted out.   And that can cost you nothing -- or tens of thousands of dollars. 

But Monroe County is trying to make sure patients have the chance to choose that first financial option. 

Court Backs Hospital On Shielding Medical Documents

Oct 29, 2015

More than a decade after Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment expanding access to records in medical-malpractice cases, an appeals court Wednesday sided with a Jacksonville hospital system in a battle about whether federal law shields some documents from disclosure.

 An Orlando drug maker plans to lay off as many as 400 workers in January. Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation is consolidating services to South Carolina.

Insurance Chief Raises Possibility Of Flushing No-Fault

Oct 29, 2015

The state insurance commissioner said Wednesday the time might be right to end Florida's "no-fault" auto insurance system, but lawmakers aren't expected to focus on such a change during the 2016 legislative session.

Americans from across the political spectrum are worried about the cost of prescription drugs for serious diseases, following weeks of news coverage about companies hiking prices for critical medicines.

A majority of Floridians believe that the state is not providing good medical care to people with disabilities, according to the annual Sunshine State Survey results released Tuesday.

Susan MacManus, the survey director and University of South Florida political scientist,  said concerns over health care for the state’s most vulnerable received some of the most negative findings.

The Florida Department of Health wants Sarasota County to privatize its prenatal care in the next three years. And that has its southern neighbors worried – after all, when Charlotte County privatized health care, residents started leaving the county for care.

Senate Bill Would Overhaul Foster-Care Placements

Oct 28, 2015

A bill aimed at reducing instability for foster children has started to move forward in the Florida Senate and would require the child-welfare system to match kids with their best placement options --- rather than, as critics charge, the first beds that are handy.

The mother of a girl found dead in a freezer was accused of beating her five children for years in a home that at times was filled with rats and roaches, according to documents released today.