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

Appeals Court Overturns Sentence In Dementia Case

May 18, 2017

A state appeals court Wednesday overturned a sentence that would have allowed a woman to stay out prison after being convicted of taking $1.6 million from investment accounts of her dementia-suffering stepfather.

Feds: UnitedHealth Doctored Medicare Records

May 18, 2017

The Justice Department on Tuesday accused giant insurer UnitedHealth Group of overcharging the federal government by more than $1 billion through its Medicare Advantage plans.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says it’s frustrating that lawmakers couldn’t agree on how to implement medical marijuana. It’s up to the state department of health to figure out the rules for medical marijuana use after voters approved a constitutional amendment.

Putnam says he would prefer lawmakers to sort out the rules.

Local governments still have most of their powers intact -- despite efforts by lawmakers during the legislative session that ended last week in Tallahassee.

A South Florida drug treatment provider will spend the next 27.5 years behind bars for operating a multimillion-dollar health care fraud and sex trafficking scheme.

U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks handed down the sentence Wednesday at the Federal Courthouse in West Palm Beach. Kenneth “Kenny” Chatman, 47, of Boynton Beach, pleaded guilty in March to the charges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Villafaña said Chatman was a relatively small provider in the drug treatment industry, but he was, “the most dangerous.”

The Florida Supreme Court will weigh in on red light cameras after the Legislature decided not to pull the plug.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is tapping a former aide and water management district chief to head up the state’s environmental agency.

Florida Republican members of Congress are calling for former FBI director James Comey to testify about alleged White House interference into its Russia investigation. But Sen. Marco Rubio said people shouldn’t rush to judgment on media reports.

Red tied may have contributed to the deaths of 70 pelicans in St. Petersburg early this year, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

St. Petersburg officials are repairing about 2,000 manholes to make sure the city's sewage system is not overwhelmed during heavy rainfall.

Orlando topped the number of nuisance alligator complaints last year. 

Tobacco Companies Appeal $35M Sick Smoker Case

May 17, 2017

Two cigarette makers are asking the Florida Supreme Court to take up a case in which an appeals court said a longtime smoker and his wife should receive $35 million because of “intentional” wrongdoing in the past by the tobacco industry.

Lawmakers Back Payment In Death, Injury Cases

May 17, 2017

Saying the Florida Department of Children and Families didn't do its job, state lawmakers last month approved paying $3.75 million in a 2011 child-abuse case that drew national headlines.

Florida's lieutenant governor joined hunters paid by the state to stalk and shoot invasive Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

The war chest for Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam continues to swell as the leading GOP contender for governor wraps up his official first week of campaigning.

Progressive groups are keeping a close eye on the Constitution Revision Commission, and this week, they’re more worried than ever. It's the prestigious panel that meets every 20 years to put measures directly on the ballot.

While lawmakers weigh whether to call a special session for medical marijuana, dispensaries are pushing ahead.  One grower is preparing to open its first retail outlet.

Health Officials Look To Halt Smokable Marijuana

May 16, 2017

The Florida Department of Health on Monday ordered a medical-marijuana operator to stop selling a “whole flower” product sold for use in vaporizers but which can easily be smoked, saying the product is not permitted.

Judge Backs Heart Transplant Program

May 16, 2017

Nicklaus Children's Hospital in South Florida should be allowed to open a pediatric heart-transplant program, despite objections from state regulators and another hospital, an administrative law judge ruled Monday.

Rain Does Little To Dampen Fire Threats

May 16, 2017

Rain over the weekend helped slow the growth of wildfires in some parts of Florida, but other blazes continued to grow, especially in the southern part of the state.

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