News Service of Florida

Prescription drugs on a shelf.
Daylina Miller/WUSF

The House on Monday unanimously approved a bill that would give the attorney general access to information in a state prescription-drug database that could help in litigation against the pharmaceutical industry.

Army Lt. Col. Owen Johnson III, a plastic surgeon at William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss, Texas, is seated while he discusses options available for reconstructive surgery with a female patient.
Marcy Sanchez / U.S. Army photo

The Florida Senate on Thursday passed a sweeping health insurance bill that could protect hundreds of thousands of Floridians with pre-existing conditions while at the same time blunting the impact of the federal health care law. 

The state may have to pay millions of dollars more in treatment costs for inmates infected with hepatitis C.
Florida Department of Corrections

The state may have to pay millions of dollars more in treatment costs for inmates infected with hepatitis C, following a federal judge’s ruling Thursday that said prison officials have been “deliberately indifferent” in caring for thousands of inmates infected with the virus.

Courtroom bench
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A federal appeals court this week upheld a judge’s decision that would end a long-running legal battle about whether Florida’s Medicaid program properly provided services to “medically fragile” children. 

Birth Control pills
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A Senate health-care panel on Tuesday approved a bill that would lead to establishing a pilot program that would allow women in three Florida counties to access long-acting reversible contraceptives such as intrauterine devices. 

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A Senate panel Tuesday approved a proposal that would set death benefits that would be paid if law-enforcement officers, firefighters, other first responders and military members are killed while on duty. 

Empty classroom with chalkboard on wall
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The Florida Department of Education wants to give parents the option to pull their children from parts of courses they dislike that have to do with comprehensive health education. 

Row of lockers
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In two of the highest-profile issues of the 2019 legislative session, the Senate on Wednesday is slated to take up proposals designed to bolster school safety and build or expand three toll roads. 

Collision between an orange sedan and a yellow hatchback
Creative Commons / PXhere

Changes could be coming to a House proposal to alter rules in the personal-injury protection insurance system. 

Patient in discussion with doctor at a desk.
Daylina Miller/WUSF

Florida lawmakers are considering requiring an estimated 500,000 Medicaid beneficiaries to work or show they are trying to get jobs to keep their health-care benefits, despite recent court rulings that have struck down similar requirements. 

Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach
News Service of Florida

A Senate committee on Monday approved a bill that would restrict life-insurance companies from using genetic testing information in making decisions about selling policies. 

The Florida House is scheduled Wednesday to wade into the battle over the controversial insurance practice known as assignment of benefits. 

Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

A Senate health care panel ran out of time Thursday and was unable to consider a measure aimed at allowing imported prescription drugs from Canada. 

WGCU

Backing one of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ health-care priorities, a Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill (SB 524) that could lead to “shared savings” programs. 

Elderly hands holding near patient bed at hospice.
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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. 

Prescription drugs on a shelf
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. 

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

A ban on workplace vaping is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
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. 

The newly confirmed head of the Agency for Health Care Administration.
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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. 

Warning label on cigarettes
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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. 

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