Health News Florida Staff

Health News Florida is now part of WUSF Public Media in Tampa, Florida.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012. 

Read WUSF News Director Scott Finn's column about it.

Please send news tips or questions to Carol Gentry:

--Landline 813-974-8629

--Cell 727-410-3266

--email cgentry@wusf.org or e-mail carol.gentry@healthnewsflorida.org.

A recent federal court decision in Miami may help health care providers who are suing plans that have slashed Medicare Advantage payments, Modern Healthcare reports.

Florida scientists are being tapped in the race to find a vaccine for Ebola.

The Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida will be a subcontractor in a $10 million National Institutes of Health contract to enhance immune responses to viruses such as Ebola and HIV, the Port St. Lucie non-profit research institute announced in a press release.

Saying that "winning everything" is what drives him, new University of South Florida Athletic Director Mark Harlan is promising to hit the ground running.

The 44-year-old, who currently serves as UCLA's Senior Associate Athletic Director, was named USF's A.D. Tuesday.

He takes over a program in which the "marquee sports" - football and men's basketball - have struggled over the last few years. The Bulls football team went 2-10 last season and hasn't been to a bowl game in three seasons, while the men's basketball team enters this week's American Athletic Conference (AAC) tournament as the 10th seed out of 10 teams.

Nevertheless, Harlan called the job "one of the greatest opportunities in college athletics." Speaking to reporters Tuesday, he promised to strive to turn those fortunes around.

Twenty children who had come into contact with the Department of Children and Families have died since April 11 -- four times as many as had previously been named, the Miami Herald reports. One was Jewel Re’nee Howard, a 3-year-old who had told her father of abuse inflicted by her mother’s boyfriend, who had a history of arrests and charges. DCF failed to act, which cost Jewel her life. 

Enforcement of the state's environmental laws has plummeted under Gov. Rick Scott and the private company attorney he picked to lead the Department of Environmental Protection, according to a report to be released Thursday by a group that represents government workers who work in environmental regulation.

The interim president of Florida A&M University has lifted the suspension of the renowned Marching 100 band a year and a half after a drum major was beaten to death with fists and band instruments in a hazing incident.

The Associated Press reports FAMU's Interim President Larry Robinson announced the band's reinstatement Thursday. The scandal that followed the November 2011 hazing death of drum major Robert Champion led to the retirement of famed band director Julian White and also played a role in the resignation of former university president James Ammons.

Gov. Rick Scott says that anyone who makes a living from taxpayers should be drug-free and prove it with random urinalysis. But a federal judge in Miami placed Scott’s order on hold, and now an appeals panel has issued an opinion that Scott probably won’t like. 

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, released a letter to Gov. Rick Scott saying the bill that suspends Florida from setting health insurance rates for two years is “unbelievable and unconscionable.”  

Using a revised version of the Census Bureau's poverty measure, which takes into account medical expenses, the rate of poverty among those 65 and older is much higher than previously estimated, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Two important health bills are headed to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk: one that provides state money to keep the prescription drug database going, and another that requires insurers to cover oral chemotherapy drugs, not just cancer drugs that are administered by IV. 

With the Florida House unwilling to accept federal funds to cover 1 million low-income uninsured Floridians, top lawmakers in the Senate say the legislative session could end May 3 with a forfeit of billions of dollars available for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.