Health & Science

Senate President Joe Negron is asking lawmakers for suggestions after a medical marijuana overhaul died in the legislature. It adds to growing whispers a special session could be coming.

Healthcarelist.com

Florida is getting a big budget break in the form of $1.5 billion in supplemental healthcare payments from the federal government. And hospitals are breathing a sigh of relief.

Healthcarelist.com

Florida is getting a big budget break in the form of one-and-a-half billion dollars in supplemental healthcare payments from the federal government. It amounts to a full restoration of the so-called Low-Income pool.

flickr.com/Creative Commons / taxcredits.net

The Florida House has unveiled plans to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program. The proposal includes new premiums and work requirements. But longtime observers say the program is stingy as-is, and they’re questioning whether the House plan is even feasible.

Nursing Homes and Hospice centers scored a key victory Thursday. A House Health Committee has approved a bill that would remove regulations on where certain healthcare facilities, excluding nursing and hospice, can be built.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control

Both prescription and illegal opioids are driving a national spike in overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, they were involved in more than 33,000 deaths in 2015. Florida has seen a dramatic increase in opioid-driven overdoses, up more than 20 percent.  Yet, lawmakers are still grappling with how to address the issue.

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann / US Air Force

House lawmakers are wrangling over whether to allow optometrists to perform procedures traditionally reserved for ophthalmologists.  The long-standing fight is tied up in questions of access and professional scope. 

Healthcarelist.com

A Florida Senate Panel has voted down a plan to allow recovery care centers in Florida. The facilities provide nursing care for people recently discharged from hospitals or those in need of post-operative care.

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital is a private hospital, but serves as the region's safety net system.
Tallahassee Memorial Hospital / TMH

Florida lawmakers are starting to put the pieces of the state’s healthcare puzzle together and the picture could involve changes for hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers and other long-term care facilities.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran says he does not support a plan to finance the construction of a water reservoir South of Lake Okeechobee. Corcoran’s comments came the same day the proposal was officially filed.

Nick Evans

The Department of Health has published its initial rules for implementing the medical marijuana initiative Amendment Two.

Florida’s long-term care industry group says the state’s Medicaid Managed Care system isn’t quite working for it. And it wants long term care to be carved out of the system. The state long-term care association brought its complaints to a state healthcare committee Tuesday.

Healthcarelist.com

Florida lawmakers are poised to take up healthcare access and affordability issues, and that includes reviving pieces of a failed state healthcare reform plan. Ambulatory care centers, recovery care centers and direct primary care could get a second look.

Turkle Tom via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/turkletom/

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are granting a team of Florida researchers $10 million to research Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases. University of Florida scientists will lead the regional research center, in collaboration with teams from the University of Miami, Florida International University, and the University of South Florida. 

Protestors accuse Tallahassee Memorial Hospital of limiting access for Medicaid patients. The hospital says more than half its clients are Medicaid or charity care.
LHatter / WFSU News

Tallahassee cardiologist Ed Holifield is accusing Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare of artificially limiting the number Medicaid patients it serves. A small protest took place outside the hospital Tuesday.

A map representing the 13 regions for Medicaid Managed Care
Agency For Healthcare Administration

When Florida lawmakers new and old arrive for the annual lawmaking session they’ll be faced with a $25 billion issue: Medicaid. The state’s health insurance program for low-income Floridians just keeps getting bigger, despite continued efforts to control costs.

Turkle Tom via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/turkletom/

The Zika virus outbreak is no longer an international emergency, according to the World Health Organization. But a Florida epidemiologist is stressing the disease is still a threat. 

WUSF News

Nursing homes are gearing up to fight a plan that could result in what they say are widely varied Medicaid reimbursement rates. Its part of a legislative push for efficiency, but the move is worrying providers in the $4.8 billion program.

ACLU Attorney Julia Kaye argues before the Florida Supreme Court that the 24-hour abortion waiting period should be put back hold.
Gavel-2-Gavel / Florida Supreme Court

Florida Supreme Court is weighing whether to reinstate a hold on the state’s 24 hour abortion wait law.  The court heard arguments in the case Tuesday.

healthcare.gov

Open enrollment for Obamacare ups begins next month, and state and federal officials are hoping for more young, healthy enrollees. That demographic has been slow to sign up, leading to increasing concerns that the Affordable Care Act, may soon become un-affordable. But health policy experts say tales of the death of the ACA are greatly exaggerated.

Kate Payne / WFSU News

One the greatest physicists in modern history is buried in Tallahassee’s Roselawn Cemetery. Now a group of Florida State University students and professors are preserving the legacy of Paul Dirac, by taking care of his grave.

taxcredits.net

The federal government is playing down the 25 percent average rate hike slated to go into effect under the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare.

Nearly two dozen Florida businesses and healthcare groups have signed on to a national campaign to control prescription drug costs.  The effort has been buoyed recently by reports of astronomically high prices for every-day medications like Epi Pens.

Voting and healthcare advocacy groups want Floridians to consider healthcare as they cast ballots on November 8th.

Turkle Tom via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/turkletom/

A coalition of reproductive rights groups says Florida isn’t doing enough to combat the Zika virus. The Zika virus is now affecting more than one thousand Floridians, and public health officials worry the mosquito-borne and sexually transmitted illness will continue to spread.

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