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

Nursing home workers were on strike last Thursday at 19 nursing homes across Florida.

Scott Signs Key Health Bills, Vetoes Dental Measure

Apr 15, 2016

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday signed a series of health-care bills, including a measure that supporters say will help shield patients from getting hit with surprise tabs after going to hospital emergency rooms.

Florida Life Insurance Law Lands On '60 Minutes'

Apr 14, 2016

State Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said Wednesday that a new Florida life-insurance law will be part of a report Sunday on the CBS show "60 Minutes."

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said places where Zika virus is being caught locally should not accept blood donations until there’s a test.

And just like that, the island commonwealth of Puerto Rico was in a pinch, needing to look elsewhere. Orlando-based OneBlood was one of three blood bank networks in the U.S. helping out.

Florida hospitals continue to have some of the highest Caesarean delivery rates in the country, according to a new analysis out from Consumer Reports.

“People might find differences in nearby hospitals, so they really have to look at a map and at the rates and see what stories the numbers are telling,” said Doris Peter, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center.

Justices Will Not Hear Challenge To UF Gun Policy

Apr 13, 2016

In a victory for the University of Florida, the state Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up a dispute about whether guns should be allowed in university housing.

Hospital Chain Ends Long-Running Tax Dispute With Florida

Apr 13, 2016

A major hospital chain is settling a long-running tax dispute with the state of Florida.

Records show HCA Holdings, the parent company of the Nashville-based HCA, signed an agreement with Florida officials in late March to drop three lawsuits. The lawsuits relate to disputes over how much in corporate income taxes HCA paid to the state.

The more researchers learn about the Zika virus, the scarier it appears, federal health officials say, as they urge more money for mosquito control and development of vaccines and treatments.

Justices Approve NRA Brief In Open-Carry Case

Apr 11, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court on Friday said the National Rifle Association can file a friend-of-the-court brief in a case challenging the constitutionality of a state law that bars people from openly carrying guns.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Responds To Coffee Shop Showdown

Apr 11, 2016

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, responding to a viral video showing him being cursed at by an activist at a coffee shop, has brewed the frothy fracas into a full-force Floridian feud.

Poor people who reside in expensive, well-educated cities such as San Francisco tend to live longer than low-income people in less affluent places, according to a study of more than a billion Social Security and tax records.

A Florida doctor held criminally negligent in the fiery deaths of a child and his grandmother in a hyperbaric chamber has lost his medical license, seven years after the tragedy made international headlines.

The Florida Board of Medicine revoked the medical license of Dr. George Daviglus and those of four other physicians on Friday at a disciplinary hearing in Altamonte Springs. 

Gov. Rick Scott has a few more days left to sign a bill that would create a statewide telehealth advisory council, but health care providers aren't waiting.

New cases of the virus that causes AIDS are becoming less frequent throughout the United States.

But not in Florida.

Statewide, HIV infections have been increasing in recent years, with Miami-Dade and Broward counties topping the list. But a new law might help stem the tide of those new cases. For the first time, Florida has a needle-exchange program for intravenous drug users.

The construction of the Florida Holocaust Memorial is one step closer to becoming reality. That's among 20 bills Governor Rick Scott signed into law Wednesday.

Food Stamp Recipients Face Work Requirement

Apr 7, 2016

About 300,000 Floridians who qualified for food stamps now face a work requirement that went into effect Jan. 1 -- and the possibility of at least temporarily losing benefits if they don't meet the guidelines.

Supreme Court Weighs Workers Comp Battle

Apr 7, 2016

Florida Supreme Court justices Wednesday tried to sift through arguments about the constitutionality of the state's workers-compensation insurance system --- and whether they should decide the issue.

For decades, Cassandra Steptoe felt like she couldn't talk about her HIV diagnosis with anyone.

"I couldn't forgive myself for getting HIV," says Steptoe, who spent much of her early adult life in and out of jail for shoplifting and burglaries linked to her IV drug use. "But someone told me a long time ago, if you are looking for a reason to feel shame, you can always find it. I learned to look for something else: forgiveness."

Settlement Reached In Battle Over Children’s Health Care

Apr 6, 2016

After a court fight that lasted more than a decade, the state and groups representing pediatricians and dentists have settled a class-action lawsuit about care provided to children in Florida's Medicaid program.

The settlement, released Tuesday, came about 15 months after a federal judge found that Florida's history of low reimbursement payments to doctors led to a lack of access to care for many poor children. But the agreement also came after the state argued that an overhaul of the Medicaid system had effectively made the case moot.

State Urges Justices To Reject Abortion Case Appeal

Apr 6, 2016

Attorney General Pam Bondi's office is urging the Florida Supreme Court to turn down an appeal in a legal battle over a 2015 law that requires women to wait 24 hours before having abortions.

A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal in February overturned a temporary injunction that had blocked the law from taking effect.

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