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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

More than a week after President Donald Trump declared a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic; Florida lawmakers are considering implementing one of his federal recommendations on the state level.

Sunshine State leaders will decide whether to expand the use of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program during next year’s legislative session.

But one Jacksonville doctor says that measure is treating the wrong addiction crisis.


With the 2018 legislative session around the corner, Florida lawmakers as well as child welfare stakeholders are starting to dive into how to address the huge turnover of the state’s child protective investigators. Their job is to look into cases called into the state’s child abuse hotline.

The governor and state lawmakers are proposing new prescription limits to fight opioid abuse.  But they also want to require physicians use a long-standing drug monitoring database—raising the question, why wasn’t it mandatory to begin with?

House Tax Bill Would Scrap Deduction For Medical Expenses

Nov 3, 2017

The tax bill unveiled by Republicans in the House on Thursday would not, as had been rumored, eliminate the tax penalty for failure to have health insurance. But it would eliminate a decades-old deduction for people with very high medical costs.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to spend millions to hire more child protective investigators and boost money spent on services for children adopted from foster care.


Fate Of Generator Requirement Unclear In Legislature

Nov 3, 2017

Though Gov. Rick Scott wants to require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators and enough fuel to cool their buildings for 96 hours, legislative leaders on Thursday didn't publicly commit to supporting such a mandate.

Latvala Wants To Avoid More Hospital Cuts

Nov 3, 2017

The Florida Legislature during the 2017 session agreed to a $521 million cut in Medicaid funding for hospitals as part of its $83 billion-plus budget.

A federal Food and Drug Administration advisory committee Wednesday recommended approval of a new injectable treatment for opioid addiction.

One Jacksonville addiction specialist participated in the drug trial that the panel examined data from.


U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is urging the Department of Agriculture to extend the deadline for Floridians to apply for emergency food benefits in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Amid a legal battle about the issue, a Senate Democrat on Thursday filed a proposal that would undo a ban on patients smoking medical marijuana.

It’s been a month since the deadly shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and injured hundreds more, and a group of trauma researchers is calling for better attention to the health impacts of firearms.

Complaints from Floridians hit with surprise bills after a ride in an ambulance have the state’s insurance consumer advocate looking for answers.  First responders are pointing at insurers.

Supreme Court Sides With Plaintiffs On Malpractice Records

Nov 1, 2017

Warning of attempts to “whittle away” at a 2004 constitutional amendment, the Florida Supreme Court has rejected arguments by hospitals that they should be shielded from turning over records to plaintiffs in medical-malpractice cases.

Two groups representing nursing homes and assisted living facilities want a Florida appeals court to block the actions of the administration of Gov. Rick Scott.

The 2018 annual open-enrollment period for coverage on the health insurance marketplaces starts Wednesday. But if you don’t take care of lingering issues from your past coverage, they may come back to haunt you when you try to sign up this fall.

Unpaid Premiums

New rules will allow some insurers to require you to pay any back premiums you owe for the 12 months prior to the effective date of your new coverage.

Uncertainty Surrounds Generator Rules Amid Appeal

Oct 31, 2017

Long-term care providers are receiving conflicting messages about whether they have to comply with a Tuesday deadline in a state attempt to require emergency generators, but an administrative law judge says he doesn't have the power to help clear up questions.

Latinos, who just a year ago were highly sought customers for the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace plans may not get the same hard sell this year.

Bills aimed at fixing a glitch in a Florida law have cleared their first legislative committees in the House and Senate. The two measures could get more pro bono attorneys to help kids with special needs.

For the past six years, Dr. Marisabel Olivera has had hundreds of kids bring shopping bags filled with Halloween candy into her office, Journey Kids Dental, in Fort Lauderdale.

Florida health officials are under fire for the slow implementation of the latest medical marijuana law.  State lawmakers are rejecting the department's excuses.

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