Health News Florida

Health News Florida
1:58 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

GOP Lawmaker Files Medical Marijuana Bill

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:42 am

There's a new push to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, and a Republican lawmaker is leading the charge.

Though a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana failed in November, Republican lawmaker state Sen. Jeff Brandes has filed a bill to make medical marijuana legal for Florida residents.

"Amendment Two really was kind of a take-it-or-leave-it offer," said Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. 

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Health News Florida
10:12 am
Mon January 26, 2015

GMO Mosquitoes May Be Set Loose in Keys

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 8:55 am

Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases.

Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood.

“This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease,” said Michael Doyle, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, which is waiting to hear if the Food and Drug Administration will allow the experiment.

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Health News Florida
7:56 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Agency Backs Off Cuts to Child-Intervention Program

Wikimedia Commons

The state Department of Health on Friday backed off a plan to cut millions of dollars from an early-intervention program that serves babies and toddlers with developmental disabilities and delays.

The department last week notified the state's 15 Early Steps offices that $4.2 million would be cut from the program's budget effective immediately -- in the middle of the fiscal year. A department official told the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday that the cuts had originated in Washington.

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Health News Florida
7:42 am
Sat January 24, 2015

AHCA Plans to Close Three Field Offices

Elizabeth Dudek
Credit Agency for Health Care Administration

With Florida now enrolling most Medicaid beneficiaries in managed-care plans, the Agency for Health Care Administration plans to close three field offices this summer, Secretary Liz Dudek told lawmakers Thursday.

The agency last year closed field offices in Tallahassee and Ocala and plans additional closures of offices in West Palm Beach, Panama City and Alachua.

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Health News Florida
12:14 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Heroin ODs Spike After Pill Mill Crackdown

Kelly Steele, Orange County Drug Court

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:27 pm

Bill Gettle has been on the brink of death from a heroin overdose more than once.

Three years ago he overdosed and had to be revived with a reversal drug called Narcan.

“I didn’t really care,” Gettle said. “I was using amounts I knew I’d seen other people die from. In my early 20s, I lost more than one friend to overdose.”

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Health News Florida
12:14 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Shot Can Rescue Opiod Overdose Victims

University of Washington Health

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 12:07 pm

For more than 40 years, there’s been a drug that can stop a heroin overdose in its tracks, if someone gives the drug in time. 

 

And it turns out that the same drug works for patients who overdose on prescription painkillers such as morphine or OxyContin --drugs called opiods because they mimic the action of opium.

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Health News Florida
9:20 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Nearly 1.3M Enroll in FL on HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:13 am

 The Obama administration is moving closer to its goal of 9.1 million people signed up for private coverage under the president's health care law.

Florida leads the federal marketplace states, with 1,270,995 people enrolled. Texas has nearly 920,000.

The Health and Human Services Department says at least 400,000 people signed up last week. That brought total enrollment in the 37 states served by HealthCare.gov to more than 7.1 million.

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Health News Florida
8:37 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Prison Health Care Brings Back Old Worries

Credit Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

For more than 20 years, the state of Florida and lawyers representing prisoners wrangled over inmates' health care, resulting in nearly a decade of federal-court oversight of health services in the Department of Corrections.

Now, lawyers who represented prisoners in the mid-1970s say conditions may be worse today than they were when attorneys for Michael Costello, an inmate at Florida State Prison, convinced a federal judge that inadequate health care amounted to a violation of Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

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Health News Florida
8:44 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Tax Preparers Get Ready To Be Bearers Of Bad News About Health Law

Lou Graham prepares taxes in Connecticut and is ready to answer client questions about the Affordable Care Act.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 4:17 pm

Are you thinking about tax day yet? Your friendly neighborhood tax preparer is. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen declared this tax season one of the most complicated ever, partly because this is the first year that the Affordable Care Act will show up on your tax form.

Tax preparers from coast to coast are trying to get ready. Sue Ellen Smith manages an H&R Block office in San Francisco, and she is expecting things to get busy soon.

"This year taxes and health care intersect in a brand-new way," Smith says.

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Health News Florida
8:24 am
Wed January 21, 2015

New Prisons Chief Wants More Money, Oversight

Credit Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

In her first appearance before the Legislature since taking the helm of the Florida Department of Corrections two weeks ago, a candid Secretary Julie Jones painted a picture of an understaffed agency embattled by a crumbling infrastructure, skyrocketing numbers of mentally ill prisoners and private health-care vendors who aren't living up to their contract requirements.

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Health News Florida
12:09 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Fl. Boy's Circumcision Spurs Lengthy Legal Battle

In this Jan. 10, 2015, Jennifer Blanchard, 34, of Miami, protests in Boynton Beach, over the case of a little boy whose parents have been fighting over whether to circumcise him. Judges have ruled in favor of the boy's father, who wants his son to undergo the procedure
Credit AP Photo/Matt Sedensky

An estranged Florida couple's fight over whether to circumcise their son has become a rallying cry for those who denounce the procedure as barbaric.

The dispute between Heather Hironimus, the mother opposing circumcision, and Dennis Nebus, the father favoring it, has sparked a prolonged court battle, protests and the rapt attention of a movement of self-proclaimed "intactivists."

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Health News Florida
8:10 am
Sat January 17, 2015

Nurseries, Others to Decide Medical Marijuana Rules

Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Five nurseries will be part of a 12-member panel announced Friday to hammer out rules on who can grow medical marijuana and how it will be distributed to patients.

The rule makers selected by the state Office of Compassionate Use will meet the first week of February in Tallahassee to set up the regulatory structure for the five nurseries eventually selected to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana in Florida.

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Health News Florida
2:58 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Moffitt Looking at Expansion Options

The hospital Moffitt Cancer Center officials are considering expanding is at the far left.
Credit Moffitt Cancer Center

It's in the very early stages, but officials with the Moffitt Cancer Center are looking at expanding or rebuilding their main hospital.

According to Moffitt Chief Operating Officer Jack Kolosky, nothing has been decided yet, but they know they need to do something to address hospital overcrowding.

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Health News Florida
10:58 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Draft Pot Rule Fleshes Out Requirements For Growers

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 6:57 am

A panel comprised of the director of the state Office of Compassionate Use, an accountant and a member of the Drug Policy Advisory Council would pick five nurseries to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana under a revamped rule released Thursday by the Florida Department of Health.

The selection committee would take the place of a lottery system initially proposed by the agency but nixed by an administrative law judge last year and is one of a number of changes included in the 10-page draft rule.

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Health News Florida
8:00 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Ruling Targets Non-Lawyers Providing Medicaid Advice

The Florida Supreme Court issued a ruling Thursday that took aim at non-lawyers who are paid to help people get Medicaid benefits -- including seniors who need Medicaid coverage for nursing-home care.

The Supreme Court approved a proposal that said some of the services provided by so-called Medicaid planners constitute the improper "unlicensed practice of law." The proposal came from a Florida Bar committee, which worked on the issue for months and concluded a need to "protect the public from harm."

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