Lead Stories

Insurance Advisory Board Wants More Consumer Protections

Editor's note: This story has been updated and contains a correction. Florida lawmakers should enact more protections for health-insurance consumers and families of workers in small businesses, a state advisory board says.
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Many people have seen the ads on TV pushing this pill or that device. It's usually followed by "Ask your doctor if this medication is right for you."

But the American Medical Association says those ads contribute to rising drug costs and patient demands for inappropriate treatments and they're calling for a ban on what they call "direct-to-consumer" ads for prescription drugs and implantable devices.

Although the Department of Health has awarded licenses to grow cannabis, patients could still be waiting more than nine months for treatment.  But one of the nurseries is hoping to push that timeline forward.

More children are coming into Florida's foster-care system after a sweeping child-welfare reform law went into effect 19 months ago, but officials say the state is trying to focus on what's best for kids in difficult situations.

"You write laws to respond to the issues of the day, and those change at least annually," said state Sen. Nancy Detert, a Venice Republican and sponsor of a number of foster-care reforms. "So our focus in today's world is the best interests of the child in every way — safety, quality of life, the best location — and that's all we can do."

Every year before influenza itself arrives to circulate, misinformation and misconceptions about the flu vaccine begin circulating. Some of these contain a grain of truth but end up distorted, like a whispered secret in the Telephone game.

But if you're looking for an excuse not to get the flu vaccine, last year's numbers of its effectiveness would seem a convincing argument on their own. By all measures, last season's flu vaccine flopped, clocking in at about 23 percent effectiveness in preventing lab-confirmed influenza infections.

Most Americans See Personal Tie To Rising Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Nov 24, 2015
Associated Press

The growing abuse of prescription painkillers now touches home for a majority of Americans, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The Florida Department of Health announced Monday which five nurseries will participate in the state’s first medical marijuana program.

This is a step toward getting the program up and running, since it was signed into law about a year and a half ago.  

Patients will still have to wait months to receive the final product.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is asking the Legislature to pass a $79.3 billion state budget next year.

At a news conference in Jacksonville Monday morning, Scott went over some of the highlights of his Florida First Budget.

One of those highlights is a substantial revision to how the state doles out money for indigent health care.

Two Republican lawmakers are pitching a moderate expansion of the medical marijuana system they pushed through the Legislature almost two years ago.  The measure removes limits on potency, but only for terminally ill patients.

The University of Florida is involved in a federal settlement to repay nearly $20 million to the United States government.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement Friday afternoon in allegations that the university "improperly charged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for salary and administrative costs on hundreds of federal grants." According to the release, the investigation into improper use of funds started in 2010 for a period covering 2005 to 2010.

With time running out on open enrollment season, many seniors are facing sharply higher premiums for Medicare's popular prescription drug program. The reason: rising drug costs have overtaken a long stretch of stable premiums.