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

Florida Supreme Court Justices Try To Sort Out Death Penalty Law

Jun 8, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments in a case focused on whether the state's new death penalty law is constitutional, and, if so, whether it applies to cases already in the pipeline when the law passed in March.

When the sewer system in St. Petersburg became overwhelmed by rain from Tropical Storm Colin the city had to pump sewage into Tampa Bay.

St. Pete Beach had the same problem and pumped sewage into Boca Ciega Bay.

color:#333333">Keeping guns away from those with serious mental illness could help reduce gun suicides.


Florida Stores Help Consumers Buy Imported Drugs Despite Federal Ban

Jun 7, 2016

A hardy market for imported low-cost prescription drugs has taken root in Florida, nourished by older Americans and tolerant regulators.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection says an algal bloom in the St. Lucie River near the southern part of the Indian River Lagoon is not toxic.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio says that if Congress does not act now on Zika prevention funding, lawmakers may have to return to Washington later for an emergency vote.

One of the most enduring images of Muhammad Ali is him lighting the torch, his arm shaking, at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. It was a telltale sign of his Parkinson's disease, and he didn't try to hide it.

New Pot Law Won't Help Losing Nursery Get License

Jun 3, 2016

A new law won't help a nursery whose score was a fraction of a percent less than the winner of a highly sought-after medical marijuana license in Central Florida, an administrative law judge ruled Friday.

A medical research organization that has received more than $350 million in public and private incentives says its Orlando facility's long-term outlook is in doubt because federal research funding isn't keeping pace with costs, and that's why it asked the University of Florida to take over, according to a letter its leaders sent to Gov. Rick Scott's office this week.

Florida will experience a "disaster" with the Zika virus if federal authorities don't immediately provide money to help battle the virus, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday.

Medical bills can be incredibly confusing and difficult to read.

But do you have a better idea?

No, seriously, do you?

The U.N. health agency says sexual transmission of Zika is more common than first thought. It is updating its advice to women who have been in areas hit by the virus, telling them to wait even longer to conceive.

Demand for long-term care is expected to increase as the nation ages, but the majority of Americans 40 and older lack confidence in their ability to pay for it.

Health News Florida has been reporting that Florida’s health insurance companies are asking for double-digit rate increases.

Federal officials are all but certain there will be a Zika outbreak in the continental U.S. this summer.

The mosquito-borne virus continues to spread in Central and South America and the Caribbean. It’s linked to severe birth defects and other serious side effects.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, spoke with WLRN about what this all means for Floridians:

What Floridians can expect:

Lake Nona Medical City’s first class of health care tech startups is underway.

The Health Box Studio program will help grow 11 companies through the end of June, when they will make a pitch for investor money. Products range from software to artificial intelligence to a smart pill box.

Jessica Houston is with Guide Well, Florida Blue’s Parent, which has hosted the HealthBox in other parts of the state.

“We had studios across Florida, in Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami,” Houston said. “This is the first time we’re hosting the studio in Lake Nona.”

Workers Comp Rates Could Jump After Court Ruling

May 31, 2016

After a Florida Supreme Court ruling last month that struck down a limit on attorney's fees, workers-compensation insurance rates could go up 17.1 percent, according to a proposal submitted Friday to state regulators.

Three unvaccinated horses in Central Florida have caught eastern equine encephalitis.

color:#333333">A central Florida lab can now test mosquitoes for the Zika virus.

color:#333333">County workers at Mosquito Control departments across the state can now send mosquitoes to the Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Kissimmee. Once there, the insects are tested for Zika and its viral cousins, Dengue and chickungunya. 


Supreme Court Urged To Block Abortion Waiting Period

May 27, 2016
Focusing heavily on a right to privacy, abortion-rights advocates have filed an initial brief urging the Florida Supreme Court to block a 2015 law that seeks to require women to wait 24 hours before having abortions.

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