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Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans has completed a $2.5 billion deal to buy health plans that will expand its business in the Midwest and a firm that is a pharmacy-benefit manager, WellCare said Tuesday.

Alachua County Environmental Conservation

An appeals court this week turned down a request by environmental groups to quickly move a major conservation-funding case to the Florida Supreme Court.

Attorneys for the state House and Senate last month appealed a Leon County circuit judge’s ruling that said lawmakers did not properly carry out a 2014 constitutional amendment that requires spending on land and water conservation.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida / WUSF

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday named Rebecca Kapusta to serve as interim secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families. 

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Magellan Complete Care is dropping its challenge to contract decisions that were part of Florida’s multibillion-dollar reprocurement of the Medicaid managed-care program.

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Florida is moving ahead with new Medicaid managed-care contracts, but mental-health providers continue to await publication of details about how services need to be delivered.

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A dispute over the the state Agency for Health Care Administration’s decision to award a Medicaid managed-care contract in Southwest Florida has turned into a court battle.

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Slightly more than 13 percent of Florida adults smoked in 2017, but they go through more tobacco than average smokers nationally, a draft report given Tuesday to Florida health officials shows.

Hospitals nationwide overbilled the Medicare program as much as $25.8 million for providing patients an advanced type of radiation procedure used to treat difficult-to-reach tumors on an outpatient basis.

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A political committee formed last month has raised $1.25 million to help fight a proposed constitutional amendment that could make it harder to expand gambling in the state.

The committee, Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3, Inc., filed paperwork with the state July 18 and raised the money from Aug. 1 through Aug. 7.

Contributions included $500,000 from Jacksonville Greyhound Racing, Inc., a Northeast Florida gambling operator, and $250,000 from Fontainebleau Florida Hotel, LLC of Miami Beach, according to campaign-finance reports.

NPR

Pointing in part to statements made by lawmakers, attorneys for a woman arrested in a shooting outside a Miami nightclub filed a 40-page brief late Wednesday at the Florida Supreme Court arguing that a 2017 change in the “stand your ground” self-defense law should apply to her case. 

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The Obama administration improperly paid insurance companies and HMOs nearly $434 million in 2014 when Affordable Care Act policies first became available, according to a new federal inspector general’s report. 

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Gov. Rick Scott issued an emergency order Monday and provided $1.5 million to help clean up water and bring back tourists to Southwest Florida after the latest outbreak of red tide. 

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Disney Worldwide Services, Inc. and the Seminole Tribe of Florida continue upping the ante as they try to pass a constitutional amendment that could make it harder to expand gambling in the state. 

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State health officials will hold a workshop Aug. 17 to take input on the application process for new medical marijuana licenses. 

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Republicans are on the verge of scuttling an effort by Democrats to hold a special legislative session on the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law. 

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The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday at least temporarily blocked the release of surveillance video related to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as a legal battle continues about whether the footage should be turned over to media organizations.

A panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal last month ruled that media organizations should receive the security-camera footage from the afternoon when a gunman killed 17 people at the Parkland school.

Amy Green/WMFE

Cleanup rules are being waived for the removal of dead fish from areas of red tide in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. 

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Seven different companies want to establish new hospitals or offer new services at existing hospitals across Florida, but at least some of the proposals aren’t in areas where the state says there’s a need. 

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Pointing in part to smoking-related health effects, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office on Friday filed a 57-page brief arguing that an appeals court should uphold a decision by the Legislature to ban smoking medical marijuana. 

WMFE

Political broadsides continue over who is to blame for ongoing water-quality problems across South Florida, as Gov. Rick Scott on Friday ordered more action to address red tide in coastal communities. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Who says doctors and insurers are at odds? The Florida Medical Association’s philanthropic arm has joined with its counterpart at Aetna to try to combat obesity. 

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As they address environmental issues on the campaign trail, Florida’s gubernatorial candidates are all for doing what is necessary to eliminate toxic algae outbreaks and for preserving natural springs and rivers.

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A state appeals court Wednesday cleared the way for a lawsuit stemming from injuries suffered by a psychiatric patient who was beaten by another patient at a Miami-Dade County facility. 

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Siding with the University of Miami, an appeals court Wednesday upheld the constitutionality of a 2011 state law designed to shield some medical schools and doctors from liability in medical-malpractice cases.

WMFE

A fight over who should provide care for patients struggling with HIV and AIDS is growing increasingly bitter as opponents continue to blame Gov. Rick Scott. 

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Tampa-based Argus Dental and Vision withdrew a legal challenge to recently awarded contracts in Florida’s new Medicaid dental program, clearing the way for the state to move ahead with what one official described as the “broadest dental package ever available” to Medicaid beneficiaries. 

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A Canadian love-fest for Florida pot companies continues to blossom with a $93 million deal that includes a Ruskin-based grower yet to begin selling marijuana products.

Cathy Carter/WUSF

Florida’s Legislative Black Caucus intends to file legislation for the 2019 session to readdress the state's “stand your ground” self-defense law after the July 23 shooting death of Markeis McGlockton in the parking lot of a Clearwater convenience store. 

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After three years as a target of ire amid delays and disputes clouding Florida's nascent medical-marijuana industry, Christian Bax is stepping down as the state's pot czar.

WMFE

An administrative law judge Friday recommended that the state revoke the license of a Jupiter-based chiropractor accused of sexual misconduct. 

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