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

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he "absolutely" intends to sign the medical marijuana bill passed Friday by the state Legislature.


A report released Thursday shows Zika had about the same impact on birth defects in Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories as it did in other places hit by the epidemic.

Florida lawmakers ended a special session Friday without taking up a Senate bill that would have pumped more Medicaid money into the state's hospitals.

The Florida Legislature's passage of a bill to enact the state's constitutional amendment expanding the use of medical marijuana has ended one chapter in the battle over setting up regulations for the nascent industry. But pro-pot supporters say it doesn't go far enough.

Legislation to enact Florida's medical marijuana constitutional amendment is headed to the desk of Gov. Rick Scott.

The Senate and House approved the bill during Friday's final day of the special session. The House passed it 108-9 before the Senate voted 29-6.

Both chambers reached agreement on Wednesday that there would be a cap of 25 dispensaries per medical marijuana treatment center and that there wouldn't be a sales tax. The bill still bans smoking despite amendment supporters saying it is written into the language.

With more than 11,000 miles of rivers, coastlines, and waterways, new U.S. Coast Guard data shows Florida leads the nation in boating accidents and boating deaths, a trend that has been growing in Florida and nationwide since 2013.

A new report by the American Civil Liberties Union is raising questions about the state’s handling of last summer’s toxic algae blooms in South Florida. 

Despite recent efforts by Congress to improve the performance of the Veterans Administration, some Tallahassee vets and even a local caregiver say their situation hasn’t improved.

A Florida lawmaker is hoping the state legislature will take up a refiled gun control bill during this week’s special session.

The pesticide widely used to fight Zika-carrying mosquitoes in Florida and across the nation has been linked to deficits in motor functions in Chinese babies, according to a new study.

As of March 13, 2017, Florida has a death penalty again.

Though the sentence is law again in Florida, many inmates continue to live on Death Row without knowing if they will ultimately die by the state’s hand or not.

Supreme Court Rejects Medical Malpractice Caps

Jun 9, 2017

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a law limiting pain-and-suffering damages in medical malpractice cases is unconstitutional, rejecting a controversial change that the Legislature and then-Gov. Jeb Bush approved in 2003.

Legislature Set To Pass Marijuana Compromise

Jun 9, 2017

House and Senate leaders might be divided on issues that forced them to return to the Capitol this week, but they're in agreement about marijuana.

Florida scientists have developed a new test for Zika that would produce results in less than an hour.

And the test can detect the Zika virus in the blood of humans or mosquitoes.

President Donald Trump’s plan to slash billions of dollars from Medicaid would hit small town America hardest, especially in Florida, according to a new Georgetown study.

No more than 20 medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to open in unincorporated parts of Hillsborough County under new rules passed by commissioners on Wednesday.

Health News Florida partner station WMFE in Orlando has produced an in-depth series for the one-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The following is an excerpt from that series.

Medical Records Case Goes To U.S. Supreme Court

Jun 8, 2017

Arguing that a Florida Supreme Court ruling “undermines” a federal patient-safety law, a Jacksonville hospital system is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a legal battle about the disclosure of medical records.

Legislature Moves Forward With Medical Marijuana Deal

Jun 8, 2017

After failing to reach agreement during a regular session that ended last month, Florida legislative leaders have struck a deal to put into effect a voter-approved constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana for patients with debilitating illnesses.

Senate Seeks To Bolster Hospital Funding

Jun 8, 2017

On the opening day of a special legislative session, Florida senators Wednesday began moving forward with a proposal to send more money to hospitals for treating Medicaid patients.

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