Florida

Flu season is getting underway and health officials at all levels are sending out the word for people to get their vaccinations.

During the first week of the 2017-18 season – October 1-7 -- influenza activity remained at low levels across Florida. But it’s expected to increase heading into the fall and winter months.

“We usually say beginning at the end of September through the end of April,” says Dr. John Lanza, Director of the Florida Department of Health-Escambia County.

The medical marijuana company Surterra Therapeutics is urging state health regulators to take steps to allow edible cannabis treatments.  But the roll out for those rules could still be far off on the horizon.

The number of Floridians without health insurance dropped again in 2016, according to figures from the U.S. Census.

HHS.gov

A public health emergency was declared for Florida on Thursday ahead of Hurricane Irma.

U.S. Army

As Texas recovers from Hurricane Harvey, Floridians may be wondering how well the state could weather a similar storm.

The state’s blood donation centers are sending resources to Texas hospitals affected by Harvey, now a tropical depression. OneBlood is asking Florida residents to give now.

At age 31, Nixon Arias cut a profile similar to many unauthorized immigrants in the United States. A native of Honduras, he had been in the country for more than a decade and had worked off and on for a landscaping company for nine years. The money he earned went to building a future for his family in Pensacola, Fla. His Facebook page was filled with photos of fishing and other moments with his three boys, ages 3, 7 and 8.

But in November 2013, that life began to unravel.

Public health officials and others concerned about the nation's opioid crisis are hailing President Trump's decision to declare it a national emergency. A Presidential commission on opioids said in its interim report that an emergency declaration would allow the administration to take immediate action and send a message to Congress that more funding is needed.

Florida is seeing a record high number of reported alligator bites this summer. With 2016 only seeing 7 alligator bites, 2017 has already surpassed that number with sixteen total so far this year. With five months left in the year, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) worries the warmer weather is pushing alligators into inhabited parts of Florida.

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic illnesses in Florida’s state employee population. The state government and health insurers are working to crack down on the problem through Diabetes Prevention program.

The National Resident Matching Program

Michael Smith graduated from a Caribbean medical school in 2014 with a degree and a mountain of debt.

He wants to start paying it off, but first he needs a medical license. The only way to get that is by completing his final years of medical training at a residency program in the United States.

tharms5 (Flickr)

The Florida Board of Medicine is preparing to vote on rules for doctors recommending medical cannabis.

It’s been 27 years since the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush. The law has helped people with disabilities live their lives through physical accessibility, public services, and working against discrimination. ADA Advocates at the Gulf Coast Center for Independent Living say much has changed for the better, but more needs to be done.

With everyone age 65 and older eligible for Medicare, seniors may be the last group that comes to mind when there's talk of Medicaid spending reductions.

St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver addressed the U.S. Green Building Council Thursday in Jacksonville.


The deadline is approaching for Florida’s governor to sign off on a bill aimed at tracking the use of addictive prescription drugs. Some medical professionals see the measure as key to fighting the opioid epidemic.

This week on The Florida Roundup ...

After weeks of private negotiations, Senate Republicans unveiled their Better Care Reconciliation Act, their proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act. Florida has more at stake in this debate than any other state and South Florida alone has more than 600,000 people signed up for individual coverage through the ACA this year. 

Critics pounced after the Senate released its long-awaited bill to dismantle President Barack Obama's health care law on Thursday, saying its proposed cuts to Medicaid could be disastrous for the roughly 3.6 million Florida residents who rely on the program.

healthcare.gov

Six companies filed to sell health insurance in Florida next year on the Obamacare exchanges with an average rate increase of 17.8 percent, state officials said.

However, if the state approves the rate increase, it would likely be offset by an increase in federal subsidies. That means consumers wouldn’t have to pay much more for their premiums.

This week, hundreds of law enforcement flocked to the Florida Panhandle for the sixth annual Rural County summit. This year’s three-day event focused on terrorism prevention efforts.

It's June, it's hot, it's rainy -- and that means mosquitos are once again coming out in full force.

This week on Florida Matters we're talking about how the state and its residents are preparing for the potential threat of mosquito-borne illnesses like the Zika virus.


There's no doubt about it: Zika is on the retreat in the Americas.

In Brazil, cases are down by 95 percent from last year. Across the Caribbean, outbreaks have subsided. And in Florida, the virus seems to have gone into hiding. Health officials haven't investigated a new Zika case for more than 45 days in Miami-Dade County.

This Saturday is not only Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, it’s also the kick off for Florida’s Lionfish Challenge—an incentive program to encourage people to remove the nonnative species. State wildlife officials are doing a bit of a revamp this year.

For the past year, WUSF has invited you to share the cost of your health care -- not your insurance premiums, but the cost of the care itself. Our PriceCheck project is a database made up of charges shared by health care facilities and costs contributed by you.

The Republican health care proposal passed by the U.S. House last week would cut $800 billion from Medicaid over the next decade.

As of Monday, more than 2,000 wildfires had burned throughout Florida since the start of this year, and state officials say more than a 120 wildfires continue to burn.

Tampa General Hospital

The state budget includes deep cuts to hospitals that serve the poor and lawmakers are betting on federal money to help offset the losses.

Poor Floridians may see less access to medical care. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, said the state is turning down billions of dollars in federal funding for health care this year because it is not expanding Medicaid. Florida lawmakers are also planning to cut Medicaid and hospital funding.

 

Development and sea level rise are two things Miami is known for. And they go hand-in-hand, as developers and local officials plan how to make buildings resilient against water that could rise three to six feet by 2100.

 

A drier-than-normal winter and spring have Northeast Florida water managers warning of an impending shortage.

But they say the worst can be staved off if people take it upon themselves to cut back their usage.


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