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.

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.

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.

UnitedHealthcare Warns Of Marketplace Exit

Nov 20, 2015

UnitedHealthGroup laid out a litany of reasons Thursday why it might stop selling individual health insurance through federal and state markets in 2017 — a move some see as an effort to compel the Obama administration to ease regulations and make good on promised payments.

House Eyes Health Care Deregulation Ideas

Nov 20, 2015
Jupiter Images

Touting the possibility of more choices for patients, a House committee Thursday began a renewed effort to revamp regulations in the health-care industry.

Wikimedia Commons

Floridians in need of free medical services can head to Bradenton this weekend for a chance to be seen by a doctor, dentist or ophthalmologist.

Florida Senate

The Florida Legislature is moving ahead with a measure that will increase the number of children eligible for vouchers that pay for special education programs.

Needle Exchange Program Gets Senate Backing

Nov 19, 2015

A Senate panel Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that would create a pilot needle-exchange program in Miami-Dade County to try to stem the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases.

Cancer Meds Often Bring Big Out-Of-Pocket Costs For Patients, Report Finds

Nov 19, 2015
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Cancer patients shopping on federal and state insurance marketplaces often find it difficult to determine whether their drugs are covered and how much they will pay for them, the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society says in a report that also calls on regulators to restrict how much insurers can charge patients for medications.

House Panel Looks At Foster Care Options

Nov 19, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

With the rate of children coming into Florida's foster-care system slowly increasing, state lawmakers are studying how to improve the options of where the children go to live.

Flickr / WMFE

For some homeless families in Orange County, the transition from the streets into houses will be quicker than before. Orange County Commissioners approved a $1.5 million contract this afternoon for a rapid rehousing service.

According to a recent report, rapid rehousing, or housing-first initiatives, are a more effective way to curb central Florida’s chronic homelessness problem among families.

The report says 18% of families that leave shelters successfully transition into rental housing; and 51% of families in transitional housing find rental homes.

Senate Panel Approves KidCare Expansion For Immigrants

Nov 19, 2015

Florida senators continued moving forward Wednesday with a bill that would help the children of legal immigrants get low-cost health insurance coverage through the state's KidCare program.

As criticism of soaring prescription drug prices in the U.S. grows, global spending on medicines is expected to rise 3 percent to 6 percent annually for the next five years, according to a new forecast from IMS Health.

Associated Press

President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration defended his record Tuesday as senators pressed him about rising drug prices, slow approval times for new drugs and his ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Florida hospitals paid for $1.5 billion in health costs for uninsured and underinsured patients last year.

The third year of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is now under way, and this week on Florida Matters (Sunday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m.),  WUSF's Carson Cooper takes a look at some of the changes coming for health insurance in 2016 with Florida Covering Kids & Families Project Director Jodi Ray, Tampa health insurance agent Eric Brown and WUSF News Director and Health News Florida Editor Mary Shedden.


A Florida International University dean will lead a study on the effects of lead exposure on children's mental health thanks to a nearly $3 million grant.

Break-In Rescue Bill Gets Senate Approval

Nov 18, 2015

A proposal (SB 308) that would allow people to break into locked vehicles to help senior citizens, disabled adults, children or pets was approved without opposition Tuesday by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

Pot Proposals For Terminally Ill Push Forward

Nov 18, 2015

Measures that would legalize full-strength medical marijuana for terminally ill patients received preliminary approval from House and Senate committees Tuesday, but not before one version underwent a major change that could have a dramatic impact on the state's current cannabis law.

Study: Health Plan Buyers Will Save Money If They Shop

Nov 18, 2015

You better shop around.

For holiday gifts?

No, for a 2016 health insurance plan on the federal marketplace,

U.S. Army

Striving for better quality and more predictable costs, Medicare on Monday launched a major payment change for hip and knee replacements, the most common inpatient surgery for its 55 million beneficiaries.

ACA Recruiters Focus On Food Fairs, Churches

Nov 17, 2015
Phil Galewitz / Kaiser Health News

For the past week, Henry Bowles has stood along a busy road here six hours a day holding a sign that reads “Obamacare Help Center- Free Enrollment” and points to a nearby insurance agency.

With sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s, Bowles uses a towel to grip the wooden stick bearing the sign so his sweaty hand won’t slip. He is paid about $8 an hour.

Bowles, 45, is uninsured.

Court Ends Parental Rights In HIV-Positive Baby Case

Nov 17, 2015

Pointing to "egregious" conduct, a South Florida appeals court Thursday terminated the parental rights of a father who failed to properly care for a baby born with HIV.

The Broward County case stemmed from the December 2012 premature birth of a baby, identified in court documents by the initials Z.S., who tested positive for HIV at birth, according to the ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeal.

The child's parents were advised about the importance of the baby girl receiving medications and gaining weight.

FL Abortion Bills Reflect Disputed Texas Law

Nov 17, 2015

Florida lawmakers during the 2016 session could consider abortion-related bills that are similar to a major issue in a closely watched U.S. Supreme Court case.

The Supreme Court late last week said it would hear arguments about a 2013 Texas law that, in part, would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of the abortion clinics. Supporters say such requirements help ensure patient safety, while critics contend the requirements are designed to make it harder to provide abortions.

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.

A jury convicted Delray Beach physician Dr. Barry Schultz last week on 55 counts of distributing narcotics to pain clinic patients, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Adrian Clark / Albumarium

The Florida House and Senate will reform the state's troubled mental-health system during the 2016 legislative session, predicts one of the lawmakers spearheading the effort.

Workers Comp Rates Reduced 4.7 Percent

Nov 16, 2015

Florida employers will see overall workers-compensation insurance rates drop 4.7 percent as of Jan. 1, according to an order issued Thursday by the state Office of Insurance Regulation.

Study Finds Marketplace Silver Plans Offer Poor Access To HIV Drugs

Nov 16, 2015

In most states, consumers with HIV or AIDS who buy silver-level plans on the insurance marketplaces find limited coverage of common drug regimens they may need and high out-of-pocket costs, according to a new analysis.

Certificate of Need, Other Health Issues Emerge Again

Nov 16, 2015
Jupiter Images

A House committee next week will start renewing attempts to pass three closely watched health-care bills, including a proposal that would eliminate the "certificate of need" process for hospitals. The longstanding regulatory process, in part, requires state approval of new or expanded hospitals.