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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

Time is one of the biggest factors in treating strokes — and a group of South Florida researchers say they’ve found a way to buy stroke patients more time.

If a person has a stroke, the sooner they get treatment, the better their odds are of surviving and of healing without permanent disability. Generally, the thinking has been that patients have a window of no more than six hours for a clot-removal surgery to be effective.

But people don’t always know when they’ve had a stroke — like if it happens while they’re sleeping. And that complicates treatment options. 

Florida lawmakers are trying to establish a pilot program to help newborns exposed to addictive drugs while in their mother’s womb.

As opioid abuse rises across the state some lawmakers are pushing to clear the way for more needle exchange programs.  Many physicians whole-heartedly support the strategy as a way to reduce the harm of drug abuse.

A revived bill that wades into the abortion debate has passed its first Florida Senate Committee, but not without opposition.

The effort to put emergency money for food into the pockets and bank accounts of South Florida meant waiting in  lines and in court this week.

D-SNAP is the government program for disaster food assistance. The federal government program returned to the region for three days this week after overwhelming demand last month led to long lines and police shutting down some distribution sites over public safety concerns. 

After years of failed attempts to expand Medicaid insurance coverage in Florida, one recently-formed group is pushing for something more — single payer.

Normally that means complete government control of health insurance.

But the drive for a package of constitutional amendments is focusing on a strategy that keeps private insurance intact.


Fact Check: Trump On Veterans' Health Care

Nov 13, 2017

Veterans Day prompted President Donald Trump and his administration to take stock of what's been done to fix health care for those in uniform. They claimed more progress than has been made.

A Florida doctor has been ordered to serve four years in prison and pay $2.1 million in restitution for his part in a multimillion-dollar health care fraud and money laundering scheme.

Florida regulators are approving a 9.5 percent drop in insurance rates charged to the state's business owners to cover their employees.

Some Nursing Homes Erroneously Targeted On Power Rules

Nov 13, 2017

Six nursing homes were erroneously included in an announcement Wednesday by Gov. Rick Scott's administration that 23 nursing homes had not complied with an edict about having generators to keep residents safe.

Supreme Court Tosses Out Medical Malpractice Changes

Nov 13, 2017

Saying that changes approved by lawmakers “have gashed Florida's constitutional right to privacy,” a sharply divided Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected parts of a controversial 2013 medical-malpractice law.

Lawmakers Eye Hurricane Health Care Issues

Nov 13, 2017

Though she's concerned that emergency rules requiring nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators and 96 hours of fuel supplies were vague, a leading House Republican said Thursday that state health-care agencies should move ahead with implementing a pair of permanent rules.

Opioid Crisis Taking Its Toll On Florida Children

Nov 9, 2017

More than 4,000 babies were born addicted to opioids in Florida last year, an increase of over 1,000 percent from a decade ago.

State regulators say 21 nursing homes are not following new rules put in place after residents died in a South Florida nursing home.

Next week, the federal government will be able to fine – and possibly shut down – nearly all health care facilities that aren’t ready for a disaster.

After Hurricane Harvey flooded her city of Houston in August, Dr. Jennifer McQuade planned to donate socks to those affected. Instead, surprised by the lack of medical care at a nearby shelter, McQuade, an oncologist, became the unofficial leader of a group of physicians and mothers providing emergency aid at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. She triaged patients, solicited donations and recruited more doctors to join.

Florida is scheduled to execute an inmate on Wednesday who was convicted of slashing one man's throat and fatally shooting another six times in 1991.

A Senate panel on Tuesday narrowly approved a bill that would place into law a program that seeks to dissuade women from having abortions.

Senate Moves Again On Health Insurance Changes

Nov 8, 2017

Physicians would have greater leeway in prescribing medications to patients, and insurance companies would have less time to approve prior-authorization requests under a bill unanimously approved by a Senate panel Tuesday.

A bill giving a tax exemption on diapers and feminine hygiene products has cleared its first Florida Senate committee.

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