LISTEN LIVE

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

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.

At a time when the FBI is scrutinizing Tallahassee’s community redevelopment agency, state lawmakers want to reform the groups across Florida. The FBI is currently looking into any wrongdoing stemming from development deals by Tallahassee’s CRA. But the capital city’s agency is not the only one suspected of misusing public money meant to combat blight and slums. 

On the first day of make-up registration for disaster food assistance, lines were long, while lawyers who were suing over how the program has been rolled out hashed things out in court.

A bill that would create a Florida system parallel to the existing federal Veterans Health Administration passed its first committee hearing Tuesday.

It would allow veterans to opt into the state’s Medicaid system in addition to or even instead of the VA.


Florida’s largest health insurance company will stop covering OxyContin, the brand name for prescription opioid, beginning Jan. 1, Miami Herald reported.


Murder Conviction Upheld In Shooting Of Fetus

Nov 7, 2017

A state appeals court Monday upheld the second-degree murder conviction of a Jacksonville woman who shot a pregnant woman in the abdomen during a dispute in 2014 and fatally wounded the fetus.

Supreme Court Asked To Decide If Car Can Be 'Weapon'

Nov 7, 2017

The Florida Supreme Court could decide whether a car can be considered a weapon in criminal cases.

More than a week after President Donald Trump declared a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic; Florida lawmakers are considering implementing one of his federal recommendations on the state level.

Sunshine State leaders will decide whether to expand the use of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program during next year’s legislative session.

But one Jacksonville doctor says that measure is treating the wrong addiction crisis.


With the 2018 legislative session around the corner, Florida lawmakers as well as child welfare stakeholders are starting to dive into how to address the huge turnover of the state’s child protective investigators. Their job is to look into cases called into the state’s child abuse hotline.

The governor and state lawmakers are proposing new prescription limits to fight opioid abuse.  But they also want to require physicians use a long-standing drug monitoring database—raising the question, why wasn’t it mandatory to begin with?

House Tax Bill Would Scrap Deduction For Medical Expenses

Nov 3, 2017

The tax bill unveiled by Republicans in the House on Thursday would not, as had been rumored, eliminate the tax penalty for failure to have health insurance. But it would eliminate a decades-old deduction for people with very high medical costs.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to spend millions to hire more child protective investigators and boost money spent on services for children adopted from foster care.


Fate Of Generator Requirement Unclear In Legislature

Nov 3, 2017

Though Gov. Rick Scott wants to require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have generators and enough fuel to cool their buildings for 96 hours, legislative leaders on Thursday didn't publicly commit to supporting such a mandate.

Pages