News Service of Florida

Prescription drugs on a shelf
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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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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. 

Samples of medical marijuana shown on display
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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. 

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

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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.

Florida Supreme Court
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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. 

The Daily Chronic

Lawyers representing both sides in a lawsuit over the state’s ban on smoking medical marijuana have asked an appeals court to put the case on hold while they work out an agreement. 

Medical Insurance Claim Form sorrounded by pen, calculator and stethoscope.
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The appointment of two new Florida Supreme Court justices has galvanized the business community’s interest in tackling attorney fees in the workers’ compensation insurance system.

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A state appeals court will hear arguments in March about the constitutionality of a 2015 law that would require women to wait 24 hours before having abortions.

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After a similar proposal emerged this month in the House, Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, filed a proposal Thursday that would expand a needle-exchange program for intravenous drug users.

Michael Rivera

Florida organ donors could get free decals for their cars, minivans or trucks under a bill filed Wednesday for consideration during the 2019 legislative session.

Row of lockers
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With the annual legislative session nearing, lawmakers and education leaders likely will have to grapple with the fallout of Hurricane Michael on Northwest Florida school districts and continued questions about how to bolster school safety throughout the state.

Prescription drugs on a shelf
Daylina Miller/WUSF

Florida lawmakers continue to respond to the state’s opioid epidemic, with Rep. Joe Geller, D-Aventura, filing a bill Tuesday that, among other things, would require pharmacists to place red warning stickers on prescription drug bottles containing opioids or other controlled substances.

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With the idea getting support from Gov. Ron DeSantis, a House Republican has filed a proposal to ban the oil- and gas-drilling process known as “fracking” in Florida.

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A House Republican filed a proposal Thursday that would block physicians from performing abortions if fetal heartbeats have been detected.

Prescription drugs on a shelf
Daylina Miller/WUSF

Opioids are prescribed differently to injured workers, with factors such as age, gender, type of job and size of business making a difference, a new workers’ compensation insurance report shows.

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House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, has promised to shake up the state’s health-care delivery system during his two-year tenure leading the House of Representatives.

A lot of the work will fall on two health-care panels: the Health Quality Subcommittee and the Health Market Reform Subcommittee.

Health Quality Chairwoman Colleen Burton, R- Lakeland, told her subcommittee Wednesday the panel would focus on Florida Department of Health issues.

The state has frozen payments to some providers who treat children with autism while it tries to ferret out fraudulent activity, but a high-ranking Medicaid official said the freeze should be lifted within two weeks.

Florida Board of Medicine

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday made a series of appointments during his final day in office, including appointing five judges, a member of the Florida Board of Medicine and a member of the Florida Transportation Commission.

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The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments March 6 in a dispute about whether a controversial 2017 change to the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law should apply to older cases.

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In a move that could refuel a long-running debate, a House Republican on Thursday proposed a measure that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns on college and university campuses.

Attorneys for a transgender inmate and the Florida Department of Corrections are battling in a federal appeals court about whether the state’s treatment of the inmate violated her constitutional rights.

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