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

Seven babies have been born in Florida with birth defects linked to the Zika virus.

Scott Signs ‘Nonviable Birth’ Certificate Bill

Jun 1, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday signed five bills, including a measure that would allow families to request certificates of “nonviable birth” after miscarriages.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

On a typical spring day, when it hasn't rained in a while, about 7 million gallons of raw sewage flows into St. Petersburg's southwest water treatment plant.

Florida health officials have confirmed seven cases of H3N2 canine influenza in the state.

Cases Focus On Workers’ Comp Payment Disputes

May 31, 2017

Ambulatory-surgical centers and a major player in the hospital industry are challenging a state proposal that could affect payment disputes in the workers' compensation insurance system.

State Focuses On Renewed Zika Threat

May 31, 2017

Florida's largely dry conditions, which might appear to be more conducive to wildfires, shouldn't be seen as a reason to reduce vigilance in preventing the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

President Donald Trump has called the House-passed health care bill a "great plan," but a new poll finds that three out of four Americans do not believe it fulfills most of his promises.

Fentanyl Trafficking Bill Goes To Scott

May 31, 2017

A bill that would impose minimum mandatory sentences for people who traffic in the synthetic drug fentanyl was sent Tuesday to Gov. Rick Scott.

color:#181818">A stalemate between UnitedHealthcare — one of the largest health insurance companies in the country — and Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospitals could affect thousands of families across the Tampa Bay region, the Tampa Bay Times reported.


FL-Based Medicare Plans Pay $32M To Settle Charges

May 31, 2017

Two Tampa-based Medicare Advantage health plans have agreed to pay nearly $32 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged they exaggerated how sick patients were and took other steps to overbill the government health plan for the elderly.

Activists statewide are urging U.S. Senator Marco Rubio reject a controversial healthcare overhaul approved earlier this month by the House.  They showed up Tuesday at the Republican’s offices throughout the state.

Momentum is building for an unusual, do-it-yourself special session on medical marijuana, although the legislator behind it admits he faces long odds.

UF Health Jacksonville doctors and the hospital’s CEO say more money is needed to deal with babies born addicted to opioids — that was the message to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) when he visited the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit Tuesday.


One day in February, Salvatore Pelegrino, a cancer patient at the Veterans Administration hospital in Miami, was peeling an apple at a table on a patio outside the hospital when a police officer approached and confiscated his knife. Pelegrino, who uses a walker and breathes with the help of an oxygen tank, was handcuffed and detained at a facility on the hospital campus, then issued a ticket for carrying a knife with a blade longer than 3 inches.

“How would you like to deal with [the ticket], sir?” the judge asked Pelegrino in court, in April.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include information on how Sanofi Pasteur was chosen as the company to license the Zika vaccine.

The U.S. Army is planning to grant an exclusive license to the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. to manufacture and sell a Zika vaccine the Army developed last year.

And that has Rebekah Gee, Louisiana's secretary of health, worried about paying for it.

Consumer Advocates Wary Of New Marketplace Rules For Brokers

May 30, 2017

Signing up for coverage on the health insurance marketplace should be easier for some people this fall because new federal rules will allow brokers and insurers to handle the entire enrollment process online, from soup to nuts. Some consumer advocates are concerned, though, that customers going this route won’t get the comprehensive, impartial plan information they need to make the best decision due to the financial self-interest of insurers and brokers.

Florida voters overwhelmingly passed medical marijuana last election. Now what?

An investigation into a suspected "cancer cluster" at the site of two demolished schools will involve an independent review of environmental testing dating back decades and a request by health authorities to see patient medical records.

New research shows the Zika virus was likely in the state earlier than health officials had previously thought—and had arrived in the state on multiple occasions.

A small team of paramedics  is quietly transforming community health in Manatee County, scheduling house calls and building relationships with patients who would otherwise be frequent visitors to emergency rooms and regularly calling 911.

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