News

Supreme Court Urged To Block Abortion Waiting Period

May 27, 2016

Focusing heavily on a right to privacy, abortion-rights advocates have filed an initial brief urging the Florida Supreme Court to block a 2015 law that seeks to require women to wait 24 hours before having abortions.

Supreme Court To Take Up Tobacco Damages Dispute

May 27, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to take up a case in which an appeals court rejected a $30 million punitive-damages award against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, according to an online docket. 

Justices Decline To Hear 'Bad Faith' Dispute In Medical Malpractice Case

May 27, 2016
Brandonrush (Wikimedia Commons)

In a case involving a $35 million arbitration award, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday said it will not take up a dispute about whether a physician is able to pursue a "bad faith" claim against a medical-malpractice insurer.

Wikimedia Commons

A central Florida lab can now test mosquitoes for the Zika virus.

County workers at Mosquito Control departments across the state can now send mosquitoes to the Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Kissimmee. Once there, the insects are tested for Zika and its viral cousins, Dengue and chickungunya. 

Florida has less than half of the special traps that will be part of the frontline for detecting the Zika virus in mosquitoes because of a backlog at the manufacturer, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Thursday.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

A Florida congressman says the Veterans Administration cut off the benefits of more 4,200 people nationwide after they were wrongly declared dead.

Supreme Court Ready To Hear Medical Malpractice, Other Major Cases

May 26, 2016

For legal junkies, the Florida Supreme Court will be the best show in town during a three-day period in June.

Justices are poised to hear arguments on a series of high-profile issues, including gambling, the death penalty, guns and medical malpractice, according to a schedule released Wednesday.

Smoking Rate Continues To Fall In Florida, US

May 26, 2016
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New federal statistics show the number of adult cigarette smokers in Florida has fallen to 17.6 percent, just above the country's rate of 15 percent.

Researchers Slowly Homing In On Risk Of Zika Birth Defect

May 26, 2016
Associated Press

As the international epidemic of Zika virus disease has unfolded and led to devastating birth defects for at least 1,300 children in eight countries, an agonizing question has persisted: What is the chance that an infected pregnant woman will have a baby with these defects?

Inventing A Machine That Spits Out Drugs In A Whole New Way

May 26, 2016
Courtesy of the Allan Myerson lab at MIT

In a lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all the work that happens in a vast pharmaceutical manufacturing plant happens in a device the size of your kitchen refrigerator.

If you had medieval Legos as a kid, The Dragon at Legoland Florida Resort is the roller coaster incarnation. And it’s the biggest, baddest, still very kid-friendly roller coaster at Legoland Florida Resort.

Insurers are seeking double-digit rate increases for 2017 health plans that will be sold to individual Floridians under the Affordable Care Act, a reflection of increasing medical costs and the end of a safety net for insurers.

Court: Only One Parent Needs To Sign Off On Surgery

May 25, 2016

In what could be first-of-its-kind case in Florida, an appeals court Wednesday rejected arguments that both parents need to sign off before a child can undergo surgery.

Photo: Wedgefield Homeowner's Association.

When voters pick new Orange County commissioners this election, one issue will be front and center for east Orange residents: Water quality.

CVS MinuteClinics: A Cure For Long Wait Times At Veterans Affairs?

May 25, 2016
Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

Struggling with long wait times, the Veterans Affairs Health Care System is trying something new: a partnership with the CVS Pharmacy chain to offer urgent care services to more than 65,000 veterans.

Governor Signs Mental-Health Reform Bill

May 25, 2016
Associated Press

Governor Rick Scott highlighted a mental-health reform bill at a ceremonial signing in Miami on Tuesday.

Associated Press

New guidelines say weight-loss surgery should become a more routine treatment option for diabetes, even for some patients who are mildly obese.

Rubio To Hold Hearing On Heroin 'Epidemic'

May 25, 2016
WMFE

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will hold a hearing Thursday in Washington on heroin-related issues, with the panelists including Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and officials from the U.S. Department of State and the federal Office of Drug Control Policy, according to Rubio's office.

USF Health

Five medical groups are joining forces to form the Tampa Bay Health Alliance to increase access to high quality, efficient health care.

WMFE

Leaders of a research organization that has been key to the growth of a medical research community in central Florida say the firm is now in talks with the governor's office about having the University of Florida take over its Orlando facility.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

A South Tampa doctor who is was blamed for the deaths of three people in a Pinellas Park pill mill case was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Monday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

Edward Neil Feldman, 76, faced multiple counts in a drug and financial conspiracy after authorities said he used his Pinellas Park practice to prescribe pain medication to patients who didn’t need it, according to the Times.

Alan Diaz / Associated Press Photo

A summer flu seemed to be sweeping through Rachel Heid's riverfront neighborhood. Pale and shaky, she left work with a fever. Neighbors had the same symptoms, and a contractor at her home felt so sick he went to the hospital.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The nation seems to be kicking its smoking habit faster than ever before.

The rate of smoking among adults in the U.S. fell to 15 percent last year thanks to the biggest one-year decline in more than 20 years, according to a new government report.

Orange County Weighs Safety Ordinance For Day Care Centers

May 24, 2016
Wikimedia Commons.

Orange County commissioners will hear from residents this afternoon before voting on a proposal aimed at protecting children in and around day care centers. The proposed ordinance would require new daycare centers to have crash barriers in place before opening in order to prevent fatal vehicle-building collisions.

Majority Of Floridians And Texans Want Medicaid Expansion, Survey Shows

May 24, 2016
Source: The Kaiser Family Foundation

Americans who live in the two biggest states that haven’t expanded Medicaid have more complaints about health care costs and quality, according to a new survey released by the Texas Medical Center Health Policy Institute in Houston. They’d also like their states to expand Medicaid.

Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida

Florida authorities say cleaning supplies with improperly secured caps were the culprit behind an evacuation at a Florida Planned Parenthood clinic Monday.

In a move that might actually help health care costs become more transparent, some hospitals are starting to give patients detailed information about what their upcoming visits will cost in an attempt to get them to pay ahead of time, according to the website Modern Healthcare. 

Elderly Book End-Of-Life Talks Once Labeled 'Death Panels'

May 23, 2016

The doctor got right down to business after Herbert Diamond bounded in. A single green form before her, she had some questions for the agile 88-year-old: about comas and ventilators, about feeding tubes and CPR, about intense and irreversible suffering.

TAMPA BAY TIMES AND SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE

Florida will spend $58 million more next year on mental health care, with $16 million addressing staffing and safety deficits in the state’s mental hospitals, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.

Most of the remaining money will go to two competitive grant programs that communities can apply for if they agree to provide matching funds, according to the Herald-Tribune.

Albuminarium

The number of pregnant women in Florida with the Zika virus climbed from nine to 36 following new federal guidelines outlining how the cases will be counted.

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