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

Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt Cancer Center is pairing with the state to see if making fruits and vegetables available to children in areas with limited access to them can decrease their risk of cancer.

AP

Officials say so far, 17 Burmese pythons have been caught during the hunt for the invasive species in Florida's wetlands.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the tally Tuesday.

Health Officials: 3 In Florida Have Zika Virus

Jan 20, 2016

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed three cases of Zika virus in Florida, including two in Miami-Dade County.

Senate Panel Backs Longer Stays At Surgical Centers

Jan 20, 2016

A Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill that would let patients stay overnight at ambulatory-surgical centers --- but backed away from allowing another type of facility where patients could recover for longer periods after surgery.

Bill Would Require Stricter Standards For Abortion Clinics

Jan 20, 2016

Abortion clinics would have to meet strict new licensing requirements under a bill being considered by the Florida Legislature.

'Balance Billing' Proposal Clears House Panel

Jan 20, 2016

In an issue watched closely by doctors, hospitals and insurers, a House panel Tuesday approved a proposal aimed at protecting patients from surprise charges when they need emergency care.

Insurance Customers Begin New Year With Delays

Jan 20, 2016

Thousands of health insurance consumers around the country have started the new year dealing with missing ID cards, billing errors and other problems tied to an enrollment surge at the end of 2015.

A final report from Gov. Rick Scott’s Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding is recommending that Floridians should be able to find out ahead of time what it will actually cost before going into the hospital for non-emergency treatment.

"We are alone. We have been abandoned by the state," says Marilia Lima, cradling her 2 1/2-month-old son, Arthur, against her chest.

Arthur is one of some 3,500 babies born with microcephaly, a birth defect that has been linked to Zika virus, since the virus was identified in Brazil in May. Although a definitive cause-and-effect relationship has not been proven, both Brazilian and international doctors believe there is indeed a connection.

Three decades ago, the treatment Michele Zumwalt received for severe headaches involved a shot of the opioid Demerol. Very quickly, Zumwalt says, she would get headaches if she didn't get her shot. Then she began having seizures, and her doctor considered stopping the medication.

"I didn't know I was addicted, but I just knew that it was like you were going to ask me to live in a world without oxygen," she says. "It was that scary."

Jan. 15 is the last day to sign up on HealthCare.gov for a plan that starts Feb. 1.  The deadline is key for avoiding tax penalties under the federal health law.

Negron Questions FDLE On Backlog Of Rape Kits

Jan 14, 2016

The powerful chairman of a Senate committee that oversees the criminal-justice budget said Wednesday that Florida's backlog of thousands of untested rape kits is one of his top priorities.

Florida’s 2016 Legislative Session kicked off this week, and this year, analysts do not think Medicaid expansion will be a hot-button issue.That’s bad news if you’re the head of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Department, which wants Florida to expand eligibility for the health care program for the poor.

The Florida Senate on Wednesday passed legislation expanding aid for students with intellectual disabilities and named the program for Senate President Andy Gardiner, who has made what he calls “people with unique abilities” the signature issue of his tenure as president.

If you think about growing medical marijuana, you probably picture pot growing in a field or maybe a green house. Instead, think prison, with a hint of laboratory.

House Speaker Backs KidCare For Legal Immigrants

Jan 13, 2016

To the surprise and delight of lawmakers who have long backed the proposal, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli on Tuesday called for eliminating a five-year waiting period for children of legal immigrants to be eligible for the state's KidCare health-insurance program.

Health Industry Regulatory Changes Sail In House

Jan 13, 2016

A House panel Tuesday quickly approved two high-profile bills that would revamp health-care regulations --- and are drawing opposition from at least parts of the hospital industry.

People who take certain popular medicines for heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux may want to proceed more cautiously, researchers reported Monday.

The drugs, known as proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), appear to significantly elevate the chances of developing chronic kidney disease, according to a study involving more than 250,000 people.

Florida’s nursing profession could see some new recruits.  A plan to let Florida join a multi-state licensure compact is working its way through the legislature.

Lawmakers Seek Changes In Children's Health Program Eligibility

Jan 12, 2016

After months of controversy, the Florida Department of Health on Monday resumed eligibility screening for the Children's Medical Services program, which serves kids with serious and chronic health conditions.

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