News Service of Florida

Elderly hands holding near patient bed at hospice.
Pixabay

A Florida law mandating that hospice and palliative-care physicians check a statewide database to ensure patients aren’t shopping around for opioids is “stupid,” state Rep. Cary Pigman said Thursday. 

Peter Haden/WLRN

Armed paramedics would be able to accompany law-enforcement officers during “high-risk” operations, under a proposal that started moving forward Monday in the Senate. 

WGCU

The Senate Health Policy Committee on Monday unanimously signed off on a pair of bills sponsored by the panel’s chairwoman, Gayle Harrell. 

Empath Health

The state’s certificate-of-need regulatory law can, and should, go the way of the dinosaurs, the House sponsor of a repeal bill said. 

Cherie Diez / Tampa Bay Times

The Florida House this week went to an appeals court to try to intervene in a potentially high-stakes case about regulations for the state’s medical-marijuana industry. 

U.S. Army photo by Maj. Simon Flake

Transparency is a health-care catchphrase in the Florida Legislature this year, with lawmakers taking a closer look at how to beef up the state’s data collection and dissemination. 

Prescription drugs on a shelf.
Daylina Miller/WUSF

With bipartisan support, state lawmakers are moving forward with bills that would authorize a drug-repository program to redistribute prescription drugs to poor and uninsured residents.

House and Senate proposals (HB 59 and SB 104) received approval this week from the House Health Quality Subcommittee and the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee.

The similar proposals would create a drug-repository program at the Florida Department of Health to facilitate donations of prescription drugs and supplies to people who need them.

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A longtime proponent of medical marijuana filed a measure Friday that would eliminate Florida’s “vertical integration” system requiring state-licensed operators to grow, process and dispense cannabis and related products. 

Julio Ochoa / Health News Florida

A Senate proposal that would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana is ready to go to the full Senate after the Rules Committee unanimously signed off on the measure Wednesday. 

Daylina Miller/WUSF

In a move aimed at helping hospice providers, a Senate committee Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that would create an exemption to a requirement that physicians check a statewide database before ordering opioids for patients.

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With continued legal and political battles about the federal Affordable Care Act, a Florida Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill that seeks to ensure patients with preexisting conditions would have access to health coverage. 

Chmee2 / Wikipedia Creative Commons

With officials seeing a potentially lucrative industry, Senate Agriculture Chairman Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula, is proposing creation of a state hemp program. 

Mike Mozart / Flickr

The Florida House is moving forward to implement a voter-approved ban on electronic smoking devices in workplaces, but the proposal doesn’t include a push by anti-smoking advocates to redefine vaping devices as tobacco products. 

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As a battle between the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and state Medicaid officials plays out in court in Tallahassee, people with HIV and AIDS are taking it to the Southeast Florida streets. 

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Gov. Ron DeSantis is committed to protecting the state’s Medicaid program for needy residents through evidence-based medicine, Mary Mayhew, his choice to run the Agency for Health Care Administration, said Monday. 

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Setting up a possible battle at the Florida Supreme Court, an appeals court Friday overturned a ruling that involved R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. being ordered to pay $5 million in punitive damages to the estate of a smoker who died of lung cancer. 

Daylina Miller/WUSF

A state medical board has agreed to add two more companies to the growing list of vendors authorized to offer a two-hour continuing education course on opioid prescribing. 

The News Service of Florida

A controversial abortion measure known as the “fetal heartbeat bill” has been filed in the Florida Senate, mirroring a bill filed last month in the House. 

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Finding a lack of need, an administrative law judge Thursday called for state regulators to reject a proposed 50-bed rehabilitation hospital in Escambia County.

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Marco Verch / Flickr Commons

Local governments wouldn’t be able to regulate single-use plastic straws under a measure filed Thursday in the House. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis still hasn’t found the doctor he’s looking for. The governor, who took office Jan. 8, told reporters on Tuesday that he is continuing to interview candidates to lead the Florida Department of Health.

The secretary of the department must be a physician and doubles as the state surgeon general.

News Service of Florida

An appeals court Tuesday put on hold a case challenging the constitutionality of a ban on smoking medical marijuana, as Gov. Ron DeSantis pushes lawmakers to eliminate the ban. 

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In a decision focused on expert witnesses, a state appeals court Friday rejected a medical-malpractice lawsuit stemming from allegations that a woman suffered a broken femur during a hip-replacement surgery. 

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Both sides in a lawsuit challenging Florida’s prohibition on smoking medical marijuana have asked an appeals court for a second time to delay the case. 

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Gov. Ron DeSantis’ choice to run the Agency for Health Care Administration, Mary Mayhew, quickly hit the ground this week in her new job. 

JESSICA MESZAROS / WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Local governments have spent $17.3 million the state provided to combat outbreaks of red tide and toxic blue-green algae, which have caused massive fish kills and fouled waters in coastal areas for more than a year.

Child receiving a mouth exam
Dave Buchwald

There is a void of dentists in Florida.

A coalition calling itself Floridians for Dental Access has a plan to fill the cavity: dental therapists.

The group is asking lawmakers to sign off on a new health care license for what are known as dental therapists, who could perform a bevy of activities such as basic clinical dental treatment and preventive services under the supervision of dentists.

Flickr

In a civil lawsuit stemming from a man killing four of his stepchildren in 2010, plaintiffs are asking the Florida Supreme Court to take up a dispute about how much money a state agency can be required to pay because of allegations of negligence.

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An appeals court has refused to indefinitely put on hold a challenge to the state’s prohibition on smoking medical marijuana.

Daylina Miller / Health News Florida

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Friday added sexual orientation and gender identity to workplace protections at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Fried, the lone Democrat to hold one of the state’s three Cabinet positions, is the first to add such protections to hiring rules that address race, religion and disability. 

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