News Service of Florida

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A year after Hurricane Irma ravaged Florida’s citrus industry, growers are on pace to slightly surpass their production from two years ago.

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With Hurricane Michael expected to blast Florida this week, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday expanded a state of emergency to include 35 counties and asked President Donald Trump for a declaration that would help provide federal assistance. 

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The federal government is changing rules about how it helps with treatment for substance-abuse disorders, including requiring screening new Medicare beneficiaries for opioid abuse.

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In a case being watched by local governments across the state, the Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments Feb. 6 in a dispute about construction of a hospital in Volusia County. 

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The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has given SOLIS Health Plans approval to begin offering Medicare Advantage plans in Florida beginning in 2019 in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Orange and Hillsborough counties. 

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Overall enrollment in Florida’s commercial health-insurance market in 2017 dipped by more than 96,000 people, or 2.55 percent, from the previous year, a new state report shows. 

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Florida has money and resources ready as red tide that has lingered along the Gulf Coast has been detected in Palm Beach County’s coastal waters, Gov. Rick Scott’s office said Tuesday. 

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Legal challenges continue to mount over the state’s Medicaid managed-care program. Lighthouse Health Plan filed a petition in state administrative court last week challenging state decisions that it says will lead to the automatic assignment of Medicaid patients in Northwest Florida to a competitor, Humana. 

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From the Bayou Chico contaminated-sediment remediation project in Escambia County to implementing a canal-management master plan in Monroe County, a multi-state council created after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster has approved numerous projects for areas of Florida’s Gulf Coast. 

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Moving quickly, an appeals court has scheduled a hearing next week in a public-records lawsuit about whether Gov. Rick Scott should be required to turn over his calendar to an organization locked in a battle with the state about Medicaid contracts. 

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In a case stemming from a worker’s finger being severed on a job site, a divided Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday against Caterpillar Financial Services Corp. in a dispute about whether a piece of equipment should be considered a “dangerous instrumentality.”

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Florida has provided more than 180,000 pounds of fruits, vegetables, meats and grains to victims of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced Thursday. 

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An appeals court Wednesday agreed with the Florida Department of Health that a state program should not shield a doctor from potential liability in a medical-malpractice case stemming from the death of a patient. 

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The former Naples-based hospital chain Health Management Associates will pay more than $260 million to resolve criminal and civil allegations of health-care fraud. 

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Florida hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and emergency departments are required to electronically submit data to the state about patients who are discharged. But a recent survey of those providers showed that nearly 78 percent of respondents reported having data rejected most of the time.

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A move by the Florida Department of Health to establish a new designation of high-level neonatal intensive care services is being challenged in state administrative court. 

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Twenty years after the Legislature agreed to close enrollment in a program meant to help encourage employers to hire workers who have permanent injuries, the program still has 2,673 open claims.

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The state Office of Insurance Regulation has scheduled an Oct. 17 hearing on a proposal that could lead to an average 13.4 percent reduction in workers’ compensation insurance rates next year, according to a notice published Monday in the Florida Administrative Register. 

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Arguing that the measures would violate First Amendment rights, an attorney for two plaintiffs urged the Florida Supreme Court on Friday to uphold a lower-court ruling that would block three proposed constitutional amendments from going before voters in November. 

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The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a ruling that would have blocked an adult from collecting millions of dollars in damages in a lawsuit stemming from the smoking-related death of her mother.

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The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a ruling that would have blocked an adult from collecting millions of dollars in damages in a lawsuit stemming from the smoking-related death of her mother.

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The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a ruling that would have blocked an adult from collecting millions of dollars in damages in a lawsuit stemming from the smoking-related death of her mother.

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Arguing that time “is of the essence,” environmental groups Wednesday requested that a judge lift a stay of a ruling that found state lawmakers did not properly carry out a 2014 constitutional amendment that requires spending on land and water conservation.

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Florida has been awarded $61.7 million to help fight opioid addiction, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday. 

Court Keeps Scott Records Ruling On Hold

Sep 19, 2018
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Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday received a legal ruling that will at least temporarily allow him to keep from turning over his calendar --- including information about fundraising events and where he will reside at night --- to a health-care organization.

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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is pumping another $4 million into efforts to help local communities suffering from red tide and a massive algae outbreak, raising spending to $13 million for the water problems.

The agency’s money will be used in Pinellas, Manatee, Collier, Sarasota, Lee and Martin counties.

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A preliminary decision by the state to approve a new hospice program in Pasco County faces legal challenges from two companies that were turned down. 

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Florida Covering Kids & Families, an organization at the University of South Florida, has been awarded $1.25 million from the federal government to fund “navigators” who help people find and enroll in health-insurance plans. 

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Gov. Rick Scott offered resources and assistance Monday to the governors of North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia as powerful Hurricane Florence threatened the Southeast U.S. coast. 

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The state received nine “certificate of need” applications for new hospital projects by a Wednesday deadline, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. 

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