health care

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Flickr Creative Commons/Hamza Butt / WLRN

A bill that would allow physicians, chiropractors and group practices to sign “direct primary-care” agreements with patients without running amok of Florida’s insurance laws is on its way to Gov. Rick Scott.

The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to approve the measure (HB 37), sponsored by Rep. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills, and Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa. The House passed the bill in January by a 97-10 vote.

The Trump administration is embarking on a sweeping effort to redefine civil rights in health care, with critics accusing the Department of Health and Human Services of sidestepping the rights of patients to soothe a far smaller constituency: conservative nurses, hospitals and other caregivers.

It's shaping up to be one of the worst flu seasons in years.

If you are one of the thousands of Americans who are sick with the flu, this one's for you.

House Eyes Plan For Health Care During Hurricanes

Feb 16, 2018

During the next major storm, Florida may turn to university faculty and even students enrolled in health-care programs to help work with some of the state’s most vulnerable residents. 

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Broward Health Medical Center received seven patients after Wednesday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. They were all kids.

President Trump's proposed budget flirts with combating high prescription drug prices, but industry watchers say the tweaks to Medicare and Medicaid do little more than dance around the edges of the problem.

The White House's proposal, which comes after Congress passed a two-year spending deal Friday, though, sets the tone for the administration's focus on prescription drugs.

Drugmakers gave millions of dollars to pain-treatment advocacy groups over a five-year period beginning in 2012, in effect promoting opioids to individuals most vulnerable to addiction, according to a new report released Monday by a U.S. senator.

There's a glaring hole in President Trump's budget proposal for 2019, global health researchers say. A U.S. program to help other countries beef up their ability to detect pathogens around the world will lose a significant portion of its funding.

The ambitious program, called Global Health Security Agenda, was launched in early 2014, aiming to set up an early-warning system for infectious diseases across the world.

The peak of the flu season could still be several weeks away, federal health officials cautioned Friday.

"We may be on track to break some recent records," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly all states are still reporting widespread flu activity, with less severe reports only coming from Oregon and Hawaii.

"Flu is incredibly difficult to predict and we don't know if we've hit the peak yet," Schuchat said in a call with reporters. "We could still see several more weeks of increased activity."

After much drama leading to this year’s open enrollment for Affordable Care Act coverage — a shorter time frame, a sharply reduced federal budget for marketing and assistance, and confusion resulting from months of repeal-and-replace debate — the final tally paints a mixed picture.

Pensacola ER Nurse In Viral Video: 'Wash Your Stinking Hands'

Feb 4, 2018

A nurse's Facebook rant about the "cesspool of funky flu" in a Pensacola area emergency room waiting areas is getting a lot of attention.

The current flu season is still getting worse, federal health officials said Friday. And it continues to take a toll on children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an additional 16 flu deaths among children, bringing the nationwide total this season for youngsters to 53.

With the clock ticking on the current stopgap bill that funds the federal government through Feb. 8, Congress is steeling itself to consider another must-pass budget bill.

Once again, health care could be caught in the crosshairs.

During previous debates over government funding, it was the high-profile Children's Health Insurance Program that went months without reauthorization and became a bargaining chip. A deal in January extended it for six years.

When 86-year-old Carol Wittwer took a taxi to the emergency room, she expected to be admitted to the hospital. She didn't anticipate being asked if she cooks for herself. If she has friends in her high-rise. Or if she could spell lunch backward.

Shirline Burbanks is one of the 6.5 million Americans suffering from congestive heart failure (CHF). Recently, she checked herself in to the Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, complaining of shortness of breath. But unlike most other CHF patients in the U.S., within hours of her admittance, Burbanks was met at her bedside with an offer: to sign up for cooking classes.

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