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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

A second industry group has filed a legal challenge against an effort by Gov. Rick Scott's administration to require nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to quickly install generators that can power air-conditioning systems.

State To Miss Deadline For Marijuana Licenses

Oct 2, 2017

Health officials won't be able to meet a legislatively mandated Tuesday deadline to hand out five new medical-marijuana licenses, the head of the state's Office of Medical Marijuana Use said Friday.

Insurance Chief Pushes Patient Billing Change

Oct 2, 2017

Nothing is going to slow down Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier from asking the Florida Legislature to prevent insured patients from being hit with high out-of-pocket costs for emergency medical transportation.

The C130's four propeller engines scream as it lifts off from MacDill Air Force base in Tampa.

The plane is loaded with pallets of medical supplies bound for St. Croix, nine days after the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Humanitarian flights to the islands of St. Croix and Puerto Rico are continuing in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Crews based at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa on Friday loaded a cargo plane with supplies and headed for St. Croix, where patients from island hospitals were picked up and taken to a Columbia, South Carolina hospital

Hospitals Challenge ‘Transparency’ Rules

Sep 29, 2017

State hospitals are battling back against a pair of proposed “transparency” rules requiring hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to provide information to patients and prospective patients about potential costs of treatment.

Embattled Nursing Home To Subpoena FPL Records

Sep 28, 2017

Fighting state decisions to place a moratorium on patient admissions and suspend Medicaid funding, a Broward County nursing home plans to subpoena records from Florida Power & Light related to an air-conditioning outage that has been linked to the deaths of nursing-home residents, according to a court document filed this week.

Pharmaceutical Industry Backs 7-Day Limit On Opioids

Sep 28, 2017

As Gov. Rick Scott and legislative leaders start to move forward with plans to address the state's opioid epidemic, a major pharmaceutical-industry group said Wednesday it would support a seven-day limit on initial prescriptions of pain medications.

Nursing Home Generator Requirements Challenged

Sep 28, 2017

Pointing to “impossible” timeframes, an industry group has filed a legal challenge to new requirements by Gov. Rick Scott's administration that nursing homes and assisted-living facilities quickly install generators to power air-conditioning systems.

When Hurricane Irma slammed into the U.S. Virgin Islands, Alvin Joseph was home in St. Thomas with his wife, his oldest granddaughter and four of his great-grandkids.

As the wind howled, Joseph and his wife went into the little boys’ bedroom to get a mattress and box spring for protection.

“The ceiling tiles had already disappeared out of the roof and we could see the sky,” says Joseph. “By the time we left out of the bedroom to go back in the living room—whoosh—roof was gone.”

Health insurance rates on the Obamacare marketplace in Florida will increase by an average of 45 percent in 2018.

Republicans officially pulled the plug on their last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday.

"We don't have the votes," said Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., after a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans. "And since we don't have the votes, we've made the decision to postpone the vote." Cassidy, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., put together the proposal they hoped could pass the Senate.

Floridians are concerned that not enough is being done to care for and protect the state’s growing elderly population, according to a survey from the University of South Florida and Nielsen released Tuesday.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday several proposals and $50 million in funding to help address Florida's looming opioid crisis.

A new legislative proposal could require Florida schools to distribute free or reduce-price meal applications to all students, not just those in need. The bill applies to schools in the national school lunch program or the breakfast program.

Health Insurance Panel Eyes Transportation Costs

Sep 26, 2017

A state insurance advisory panel on Tuesday will finalize its legislative recommendations for the upcoming session and will consider, among other things, a proposal to ban emergency medical transportation providers from hitting insured customers with out-of-pocket medical bills.

A proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would cost Florida $9.7 billion in federal funding over six years, according to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Rows of brightly colored chairs are set up on the little patch of grass outside FANM, the Haitian Women of Miami, a non-profit group that helps low-income families.

People sit in the Miami heat--some with toddlers in their laps--waiting to fill out FEMA applications and see what other kinds of help they can get in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Top Republicans are adding money to their staggering effort to repeal the Obama health care law and say they're pushing toward a climactic Senate face-off this week. Yet their path to succeeding in their last-gasp effort has grown narrower, perhaps impossible.

Marijuana Law Challenged Over Black Farmer License

Sep 25, 2017

A lawsuit filed Friday challenges the constitutionality of part of a new state law that requires a coveted medical-marijuana license to go to a black farmer.

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