February 25, 2024
The top Florida health care stories of 2023

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The top Florida health care stories of 2023

| 1/2/2024

The top Florida health care stories of 2023

Florida was at the center of ongoing debates and controversies dealing with health care in 2023, ranging from abortion restrictions to transgender health care to COVID-19. Health care promises to be a hot topic in 2024 as well, kicking off with a Regular Session in January where Senate President Kathleen Passidomo’s “Live Healthy” overhaul — and, along with it, hundreds of millions in spending — will be a key focus. [Source: Florida Politics]

Here are some health care-related legal issues to watch in Florida next year

Some of the health-related cases that will go before the state Supreme Court involve ballot referendums, with issues including abortion and marijuana. State and federal courts in 2024 are expected to buzz with major Florida cases involving health care. Here are five issues to watch in the new year [Source: News Service of Florida]

Opinion: Florida must balance drug costs with patients’ needs

The high cost of prescription drugs is a concern that resonates from the bustling streets of Miami to the quieter avenues of Sarasota. If consumer prices had increased at the same rate as drug prices over the last 15 years, gas would now cost $12.20 a gallon, and milk would be priced at $13 a gallon. However, if the major drug companies get their way, this dire affordability crisis is poised to get worse. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

After the 15-week ban became law, Florida's abortion clinics became busier

Florida's ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy hasn't decreased the number of procedures as people from surrounding states with more stronger restrictions head here for their procedures. “We are seeing a lot of in-state and out-of-state individuals who are having to travel farther to receive care,” said Miranda Colavito, with Planned Parenthood communications. Colavito has been doing advocacy work for women’s rights for five years. [Source: WUSF]

Florida sees surges in COVID-19, respiratory illnesses through the winter

A report released Friday shows the number of COVID-19 cases in Floridadoubled from the previous month, spurred by a new highly contagious variant. The new variant is called JN.1. It's an omicron offshoot that makes up about 44% of COVID cases across the country, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC notes that existing COVID vaccines, tests and treatments work well against JN.1. More from Health News Florida and Fox 13 News]


› Computer device in Florida girl’s head keeps seizures at bay
It’s easier to feel than to see the slight bump on Emma Coto’s head. It comes from a small electrical device, reminiscent of the bottom half of an old flip phone, that doctors implanted below her scalp. About 250 times a day, it sends a tiny electrical charge through two wires directly into her brain. The medical treatment for epilepsy known as responsive neurostimulation, or RNS, was a long shot for Emma.

› 10-year-old, first in Florida to take new diabetes drug, has no symptoms a year later
At 3 a.m. last New Year's Day, 10-year-old Anderson Ata began shivering uncontrollably. He had an insatiable thirst. His life was about to change. His parents, who work in the medical field, had a feeling they knew what these symptoms meant: Type 1 diabetes. And yet, one year later he shows no symptoms thanks to a new drug heralded as the first big milestone against diabetes in 100 years.

› Florida clinic billed Allstate millions for unnecessary, life-threatening surgeries, suit says
Allstate Insurance Company is accusing a Florida-based medical clinic of fraudulently performing unnecessary, life-threatening spinal surgeries and billing for surgeries not performed, then justifying them on invoices with falsified medical records. The defendant, Florida Anesthesiology & Pain Clinic, is accused of violating laws originally created to fight organized crime.

› 'It's frustrating': a Florida mom's search for an infant COVID shot
One month before Erin Chandler’s infant daughter turned 6 months old, she spoke with her pediatrician at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children about getting her vaccinated against COVID-19. Chandler, of Orlando, found the hospital wasn’t offering the vaccine to infants. Major pharmacies didn’t provide her an outlet, and the Florida Department of Health said it couldn’t help either. “Should I not be getting my 6-month-old vaccinated?” Chandler said. “The CDC says to. So one would think that's what you do. But why isn't it available?”

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