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As part of a statewide campaign to increase access to mental health services, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced on Thursday that K-12 students in every public school across six Northwest Florida counties can receive virtual counseling and psychiatric without ever leaving campus.

 

A surgeon sits behind a console and uses a joystick to manipulate robotic arms during a surgery.
Courtesy Corindus Vascular Robotics.

By Daylina Miller

A Pasco County hospital is the first in the Tampa Bay region to use a new robotic technology to treat coronary artery disease.

DeSantis Signs Health, Hemp, Hazing Bill

Jun 26, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed 15 bills, including health-care priorities of House Speaker Jose Oliva, a plan to kick-start a hemp industry in Florida and an effort to prevent college hazing deaths. 

Budget Impact Of Drug Imports, Telehealth Unclear

May 23, 2019

Florida lawmakers may have passed major health-care legislation during the 2019 session, but the impact of two bills on the upcoming year’s state budget is indeterminate, a panel of economists agreed Wednesday. 

Major Health Bills Headed To DeSantis

Apr 30, 2019

After more than two decades of debate about the issue, the Florida Legislature on Monday approved eliminating the “certificate of need” regulatory program for hospitals and passed a high-profile measure aimed at importing prescription drugs from Canada. 

Polk County added a new name to their healthcare provider network this week. A new contract with Impower will bring behavioral and mental health services to uninsured residents through a telehealth program.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Without leaving the comfort of his Ocala apartment, Joshua Lawhorn, 28, is getting help with his memory problems by learning to play the guitar.

A Senate committee on Tuesday approved a bill that includes some recommendations made by a state-appointed telehealth advisory panel but ignores other recommendations involving what is known as “parity” in health-care coverage and reimbursements.

As another Florida legislative session boots up in Tallahassee this week, lawmakers are set to take another whack at regulating telehealth.


Report Charts Course To Expand Telehealth

Oct 18, 2017

The state Telehealth Advisory Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a final report and legislative recommendations to remove barriers to the use of telehealth.

As a statewide panel of health care experts finalizes recommendations for a telemedicine regulatory framework in Florida, Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) is sponsoring a measure incorporating a number of their initial findings.


Publix Super Markets

Doctors are in short supply, but a new partnership could help patients get a quicker appointment - at their grocery store.

In the coming months, BayCare Health System will be creating "telehealth" centers at  Publix Super Markets in the Tampa Bay area.

Tele-health Bill Passes House Subcommittee

Feb 16, 2017

Under a tele-health bill approved by the House Subcommittee on Health Quality, advanced registered nurse practitioners would be able to practice independently of doctors. The measure is raising some concerns.

Gov. Rick Scott has a few more days left to sign a bill that would create a statewide telehealth advisory council, but health care providers aren't waiting.

Lawmakers OK Deeper Look At Telehealth

Mar 14, 2016

The House on Friday gave final approval to a bill that calls for research and recommendations about the use of "telehealth" in Florida.

'Telehealth' Bill Bounces Back To House

Mar 7, 2016

A day after the House approved a bill aimed at expanding the use of "telehealth" in Florida, the Senate on Thursday scaled back the proposal.

Series Of Health Care Bills Poised To Pass House

Mar 2, 2016

After the issues sailed through committees, the House is poised to pass a series of bills dealing with health-care regulations.

Telehealth, Transparency Move Forward In House

Feb 9, 2016

A House panel Monday approved a pair of bills aimed at increasing the use of "telehealth" to remotely provide medical services and at offering greater transparency in health-care costs.

Transparency, 'Telehealth' Bills Moving In House

Jan 21, 2016

Continuing to look for different approaches to health care, a House committee Wednesday approved bills that would require more transparency about medical costs and seek to expand the use of "telehealth."

With just a few clicks of the mouse, Orlando mom Alyssa Grimes visits with a pediatrician from the comfort of her living room. She logs into a Skype-like application on her laptop, where she virtually meets her child's doctor based across town at Nemours Children's Hospital.

If you can’t get to the doctor, it could become easier for the doctor to come to you. That’s the point of telemedicine, which connects physicians to patients through video conferencing.  A compromise worked out with various hospitals, and physician organizations has cleared the way for a telemedicine proposal to get through the legislature.

'Telehealth' Compromise Moving Closer

Feb 18, 2015

 Key senators said Tuesday they are moving closer to agreement with the House on a plan to bolster the use of telemedicine --- or, as lawmakers call it, "telehealth."

The Senate Health Policy Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a telemedicine bill (SB 478) that included changes intended to bring the Senate and House versions closer together.

There was a time when you got sick, you waited to see the family physician.

But then came the "Doc In A Box" clinics, where you went without an appointment, at night and on weekends. And it only got easier when mini-clinics began popping up in neighborhood pharmacies.

Well, these convenient medical visits are taking the next step. Clinic "kiosks" will soon be connecting Floridians and physicians via video screens and interactive tools.

House Ready to Pass Health 'Train'

Apr 25, 2014
Freefoto

The Florida House appears poised Friday to pass a massive health-care bill that would ensure three disputed trauma centers remain open and give long-sought powers to nurse practitioners. In legislative parlance, such a mega-bill is called a "train."

The bill (HB 7113) also contains a bunch of other controversial issues, such as expanding the use of telemedicine, allowing pharmacists to supervise additional technicians and stripping the Miami-Dade County Commission of power to approve labor contracts at the massive Jackson Health System.

Mayo Clinic

Florida lawmakers say they have to expand access to doctors now that millions of uninsured people in the state are set to gain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. One tool they may encourage is telemedicine. 

But there's a problem, as state Rep. Cary Pigman explains: Insurers don't pay for it. It's not that they can't, they just don't. Neither does Medicare.