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

As a mother, Anya Staton says her primary instinct is to feed her children.

So when her oldest son developed an eating disorder she knew he needed help -- help she didn't know how to give. 

And care the family's insurance company, through Florida's Medicaid program, denied the boy needed.

A proposed constitutional amendment to allow medical use of marijuana will be back on the ballot in November and organizers said Wednesday that growing public support and a larger voter turnout in a presidential election year should help pass the measure that narrowly failed in 2014.

An Alachua County nursey filed a lawsuit Wednesday to prevent any delays in the cultivation and dispensing of medical marijuana in northeast Florida.

More veterans could soon be able to access an alternative court system. Prisons are often called Florida’s largest mental health system – as many as 125,000 adults with mental illness or substance abuse disorders are booked into Florida jails each year.

The Florida Legislature is moving forward with a bill that could restrict abortion access. But similar measures have been struck down in other states.

A confirmation hearing for state Surgeon General John Armstrong was delayed Tuesday, with the chairman of the Senate Health Policy Committee saying the panel simply didn't have time to get to the nomination.

Florida Prisons Sued Over Treatment Of Disabled Inmates

Jan 27, 2016

A group representing disabled inmates has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Florida prison officials of discriminating against prisoners who are deaf, blind or confined to wheelchairs, in violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised interest in a British company that has developed a genetically modified mosquito. Oxitec has produced a genetically engineered line of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the mosquito that carries dengue fever and chikungunya. Those tropical diseases have become common in Latin America and are now showing up in Florida.

Aedes aegypti also carries Zika, a disease whose symptoms include fever, like dengue. It has also been linked to a birth defect, microcephaly in children born to women infected with Zika.

A House committee passed a bill Monday that would ban nearly all abortions in Florida, but even backers of the bill say its chances of passage, or of surviving a court challenge if it became law, likely are slim.

A measure to help Florida get rid of its backlog of thousands of untested rape kits passed its first Senate panel Monday.

House Panel Approves Tweaks To Pot Law

Jan 26, 2016

A House panel gave approval Monday to a bill that would tweak the state's low-THC cannabis law.

Medical Records Fight Lands In Appeals Court

Jan 26, 2016

A long-running dispute about the cost of patient medical records has gone to a state appeals court.

Judge Raises Red Flag About Pot Licenses But Can't Stop Them

Jan 25, 2016

Florida health officials lack the authority to issue final licenses to the state's first medical marijuana businesses, but an administrative law judge can't do anything to stop them, according to an order issued Friday.

Miami Doctor Suspended; Video Shows Attack On Uber Driver

Jan 25, 2016

A doctor at a Miami hospital is on administrative leave after a video surfaced on YouTube showing her hitting and screaming profanities at an Uber driver.

Justices Will Hear Arguments In April In Workers Comp Fight

Jan 25, 2016

Florida Supreme Court justices will hear arguments April 6 in a closely watched challenge to Florida's workers-compensation insurance system.

Steve Miller has some customers on offer. Millions of them in fact.

The chief medical officer at Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the U.S., has been essentially auctioning off his 80 million customers to the drug companies that will give him the best deal.

"Who wants my market share?" Miller says. "Whoever will give me the best price, I will reward you with an enormous amount of market share."

Federal officials say more than 1.6 million Floridians have signed up for Obamacare or had their coverage automatically renewed since last November.

Justices Agree To Take Up 'PIP' Fee Dispute

Jan 21, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to take up an appeal by Allstate Insurance Co. in a dispute about fees paid to health providers who treat patients injured in auto accidents. Justices issued an order saying they will hear the case, which comes after the 4th District Court of Appeal ruled in August in favor of medical providers.

Transparency, 'Telehealth' Bills Moving In House

Jan 21, 2016

Continuing to look for different approaches to health care, a House committee Wednesday approved bills that would require more transparency about medical costs and seek to expand the use of "telehealth."

Last year, lawmakers in Tallahassee fought over how to fund health care for uninsured Floridians. Now two new reports say county leaders are the ones who really need to be concerned.

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