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

Eight people face charges after authorities say they received $157 million in fraudulent insurance claims as part of a scheme involving prescription compounding pharmacies in Pasco County and the Miami area.

Between Oct. 2012 and Dec. 2015 the suspects are accused of submitting $633 million in fraudulent reimbursement claims for prescription compounded medication to Medicare, Tricare and private insurance companies, authorities said.

In a 124-page ruling, a federal appeals court Thursday upheld the convictions of four former WellCare Health Plans executives in a case that stemmed from allegations of defrauding Florida's Medicaid program.

The number of locally-acquired Zika cases keeps rising in South Florida, and that means hard conversations between doctors and patients who want to get pregnant.

Laly Santiago-Leon (Lolly Santiago Loom) lost her cousin Luis Wilson Leon (Louis Wilson Loom) and his boyfriend Jean Mendez Perez in the Pulse nightclub shooting.

The Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws, keeping the drug for now, at least, in the most restrictive category for U.S. law enforcement purposes.

For 20-year-old Patience Carter and her two best friends, that Saturday night of dancing at Pulse night club was literally the best night of her life. And then the shooting started.

Carter immediately dropped to the floor and started scooting backwards. Suddenly, she found herself outside.

“And I didn’t even realize it until I was outside with my hands on the grass and Akyra hovered over me, and I see the sky behind her head, and I’m like: Where’s Tiara?” Carter said.

Negron To Pursue Money To Buy Everglades Land

Aug 10, 2016

Lawmakers will be asked next year to approve bonding a big chunk of environmental preservation money to support the incoming Senate president's desire to buy sugar farmland for water storage in the Everglades south of Lake Okeechobee.

Seminole Tribe Challenges Water Standards

Aug 10, 2016

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has filed a legal challenge against controversial new state water-quality standards, arguing they don't adequately take into account the amount of fish and other wildlife eaten by tribal members.

Pasco County Commissioners met Tuesday in Dade City to discuss an extension on a county-wide ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.

Commissioners say the ban is needed until the county gets on the same page with law enforcement and land development coding.

Florida's governor has announced four new cases of Zika virus infection that health officials believe were spread by mosquitoes in a Miami neighborhood.

When tennis star Maria Sharapova admitted in March to having taken the heart drug meldonium, the public got a rare glimpse of a common practice that's often called "legal doping."

Late last fall, Dr. Christine Curry was at a faculty meeting with her colleagues when the conversation turned to new reports linking the Zika virus to a surge in microcephaly in infants in Brazil.

"I think it’s fair to say that most obstetricians had never heard of this virus a year ago," said Curry, who is an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital.

When students head back to school in South Florida, they’ll get supplies they don't typically see.

The state will deliver mosquito repellent to school districts, colleges and universities in hopes of stopping the spread of Zika.

Hillary Clinton will call on Congress to return to Washington and pass emergency funding for the Zika response during a visit to a Miami neighborhood dealing with the first U.S. outbreak of the disease.

Judge Likely To Recommend Seventh Pot License

Aug 9, 2016

An administrative law judge paved the way for another nursery to get a medical-marijuana license, striking a blow against the Florida Department of Health during a contentious hearing Monday.

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The blood bank that serves Sarasota and Manatee Counties now is joining other blood banks in testing donors for the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects such as microcephaly.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a field trial to release genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys.

A businessman accused of orchestrating a $1 billion Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme in South Florida will be staying in jail until his trial.

The gunman who killed 49 patrons at a gay nightclub in Orlando was hit by at least eight bullets as he died in a shoot-out with a SWAT team.

Zika Cases Climb As Scott Reassures Lawmakers

Aug 8, 2016

With Florida's Zika cases climbing to 422 on Friday, including another locally transmitted case, Gov. Rick Scott held a rare conference call with state lawmakers to outline continued efforts to limit the outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease that can cause birth defects.

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