News Service of Florida

Memorials for the students who perished during the Parkland School shooting.
WLRN

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross and Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders are among the public officials who plan to unveil a billboard next week in Boston that will contrast Massachusetts gun laws with those in Florida. 

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With most of the cases concentrated in Southwest and Southeast Florida, the state has received reports of at least 84 cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus this year, according to the Florida Department of Health website. 

George Hodan (Public Domain Pictures)

An administrative law judge Tuesday agreed to give attorneys for the state and Lighthouse Health Plan another two weeks to try to settle a dispute about a patient-assignment policy for Medicaid beneficiaries in Northwest Florida.

Lighthouse Health Plan attorney Edward Philpot told Judge Robert Telfer III that the parties are working toward an agreement, and “indications appear good that we are on the right track.”

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The Florida Healthy Kids Corp. Board of Directors on Thursday approved a plan to waive children’s health-insurance premiums for three months in counties that sustained heavy damage in Hurricane Michael. 

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The Florida Healthy Kids Corp. Board of Directors is expected Thursday to consider waiving children’s health-insurance premiums for three months in a dozen counties slammed last week by Hurricane Michael.

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Pointing to a need to stay focused on the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, the state Office of Insurance Regulation has canceled a public hearing slated for Wednesday on a proposed reduction in workers’ compensation insurance rates. 

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The number of reported Zika cases in Florida this year has increased to 80, while a baby has been born with a condition known as congenital Zika syndrome, according to newly updated information from the state Department of Health. 

Aftermath of hurricane Matthew
Gov. Rick Scott (Twitter)

More than 30 health-care facilities had to be evacuated as Hurricane Michael damaged buildings and knocked out electricity in the Panhandle, state emergency management officials said Friday.

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A year after Hurricane Irma ravaged Florida’s citrus industry, growers are on pace to slightly surpass their production from two years ago.

FPREN

With Hurricane Michael expected to blast Florida this week, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday expanded a state of emergency to include 35 counties and asked President Donald Trump for a declaration that would help provide federal assistance. 

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

The federal government is changing rules about how it helps with treatment for substance-abuse disorders, including requiring screening new Medicare beneficiaries for opioid abuse.

Florida Supreme Court
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In a case being watched by local governments across the state, the Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments Feb. 6 in a dispute about construction of a hospital in Volusia County. 

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The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has given SOLIS Health Plans approval to begin offering Medicare Advantage plans in Florida beginning in 2019 in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Orange and Hillsborough counties. 

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Overall enrollment in Florida’s commercial health-insurance market in 2017 dipped by more than 96,000 people, or 2.55 percent, from the previous year, a new state report shows. 

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Florida has money and resources ready as red tide that has lingered along the Gulf Coast has been detected in Palm Beach County’s coastal waters, Gov. Rick Scott’s office said Tuesday. 

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Legal challenges continue to mount over the state’s Medicaid managed-care program. Lighthouse Health Plan filed a petition in state administrative court last week challenging state decisions that it says will lead to the automatic assignment of Medicaid patients in Northwest Florida to a competitor, Humana. 

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From the Bayou Chico contaminated-sediment remediation project in Escambia County to implementing a canal-management master plan in Monroe County, a multi-state council created after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster has approved numerous projects for areas of Florida’s Gulf Coast. 

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida / WUSF

Moving quickly, an appeals court has scheduled a hearing next week in a public-records lawsuit about whether Gov. Rick Scott should be required to turn over his calendar to an organization locked in a battle with the state about Medicaid contracts. 

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In a case stemming from a worker’s finger being severed on a job site, a divided Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday against Caterpillar Financial Services Corp. in a dispute about whether a piece of equipment should be considered a “dangerous instrumentality.”

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service / Wikimedia Creative Commons

Florida has provided more than 180,000 pounds of fruits, vegetables, meats and grains to victims of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced Thursday. 

George Hodan (Public Domain Pictures)

An appeals court Wednesday agreed with the Florida Department of Health that a state program should not shield a doctor from potential liability in a medical-malpractice case stemming from the death of a patient. 

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The former Naples-based hospital chain Health Management Associates will pay more than $260 million to resolve criminal and civil allegations of health-care fraud. 

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Florida hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and emergency departments are required to electronically submit data to the state about patients who are discharged. But a recent survey of those providers showed that nearly 78 percent of respondents reported having data rejected most of the time.

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A move by the Florida Department of Health to establish a new designation of high-level neonatal intensive care services is being challenged in state administrative court. 

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Twenty years after the Legislature agreed to close enrollment in a program meant to help encourage employers to hire workers who have permanent injuries, the program still has 2,673 open claims.

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The state Office of Insurance Regulation has scheduled an Oct. 17 hearing on a proposal that could lead to an average 13.4 percent reduction in workers’ compensation insurance rates next year, according to a notice published Monday in the Florida Administrative Register. 

A ban on workplace vaping is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Mike Mozart / Flickr

Arguing that the measures would violate First Amendment rights, an attorney for two plaintiffs urged the Florida Supreme Court on Friday to uphold a lower-court ruling that would block three proposed constitutional amendments from going before voters in November. 

Florida Supreme Court
Flickr

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a ruling that would have blocked an adult from collecting millions of dollars in damages in a lawsuit stemming from the smoking-related death of her mother.

Florida Supreme Court
Flickr

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a ruling that would have blocked an adult from collecting millions of dollars in damages in a lawsuit stemming from the smoking-related death of her mother.

Florida Supreme Court
Flickr

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a ruling that would have blocked an adult from collecting millions of dollars in damages in a lawsuit stemming from the smoking-related death of her mother.

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