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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

Gov. Rick Scott directed agencies Tuesday to begin the process of approving permanent rules that would require nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to add generators that can power air-conditioning systems.

The Everglades' python problem is not news to most Southwest Floridians, but what may be is the effects the overabundance of the invasive species may soon have on humans well outside of the Everglades.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott got an update from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials in Clewiston, Monday about the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee.  Scott’s visit came just a day after water levels in the lake surpassed 17 ft.

A Florida lawmaker is calling on the state to overhaul regulations for nursing homes. The push comes after 14 patients died from overheating due to a power outage at an assisted living facility.

Florida’s law enforcement, emergency and mental health workers are struggling to cope with a rising tide of opioid overdoses.  Lawmakers are looking for solutions ahead of the coming year’s legislative session.

State lawmakers are pushing to ban fracking in the sunshine state.  A similar effort last year failed, but Sen. Dana Young (R-Tampa) believes this year will be different.

An additional 44,000 Bright Futures students would have their scholarships expanded under a bill approved Monday by the Senate Education Committee.

The legislation (SB 4), sponsored by Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, would increase scholarship coverage for “medallion scholars” in state universities from the current $77 per credit hour to $159, or roughly 75 percent of the cost of tuition and fees.

A Florida State University study links declining bumble bee populations with climate change.

The researchers examined three bumble bee species in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and found warmer temperatures are affecting flowers, the animals’ food source.

Lead investigator Jane Ogilvie considers the findings a warning for other places like Florida, where she says the issue is not as well-studied.

“There could be subtle changes in how flowers are distributed in a place like Florida that could have these knock-on effects on pollinators.”

A Senate Republican on Tuesday proposed a measure that would create a President Ronald Reagan specialty license plate.

Lawmakers Seek To Streamline KidCare

Oct 10, 2017

A Florida Senate committee approved a bill Monday that would streamline a state children's health insurance program, even though Congress has yet to reauthorize funding for the program.

Two women who lived at a Florida nursing home that lost air conditioning during Hurricane Irma have died, bringing to 14 the number of fatalities linked to the home.


'Bump Stock' Ban Proposed In Florida

Oct 10, 2017

Little more than a week after a massacre in Las Vegas, a Florida state senator Monday proposed banning devices — known as “bump stocks” — that can be used to increase the rate of firing bullets from semi-automatic weapons.

AHCA Eyes Hospitals For Budget Cuts

Oct 10, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott's administration continues to target hospitals for potential Medicaid spending reductions in the coming year.

Florida Hospital has purchased about 100 acres along Interstate 4 in Lakeland where it plans to build a freestanding emergency room and eventually a 200-bed hospital.

A bill aimed at teaching Florida students about the dangers of human trafficking passed its first Senate panel Monday.

This year, the flu season is expected to be among one of the worst to hit the United States.   

The medical marijuana company Surterra Therapeutics is urging state health regulators to take steps to allow edible cannabis treatments.  But the roll out for those rules could still be far off on the horizon.

As Florida continues to work to combat human trafficking, some experts say working to make sure everyone recognizes the signs is important. But, equally important is going after the so-called “johns” themselves.

Veterans Health Program Proposed

Oct 9, 2017

Saying Florida has the “infrastructure and capacity to serve the health care needs of our veteran community,” a Republican senator Friday proposed a program that would allow veterans to tap into the state Medicaid managed-care system as an alternative to the federal Veterans Health Administration system.

Bill Seeks Priority For Nursing Home Power Restoration

Oct 9, 2017

A House Republican on Friday proposed a measure that seeks to ensure power restoration for nursing homes and hospitals is a priority after hurricanes and other emergencies.

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