Dangerous doctors: Pain pill docs keep prescribing despite state charges
As Florida emerged as the epicenter of the nation’s prescription drug crisis nearly a decade ago, when pain clinics popped up in neighborhoods and loose rules let people sweep up painkillers by the score, state lawmakers vowed to crack down. Despite the tough talk, Florida health regulators have allowed doctors they accuse of improperly prescribing painkillers to keep doling out pills for years. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Time is running out for Congress to reauthorize a federal program that helps insure more than nine million children nationwide. Florida has the fourth highest enrollment of low-income kids in the children’s health insurance program called CHIP. [Source: WFSU]
A medical marijuana clinic that stormed into Florida less than six months ago is closing a majority of its clinics in the Sunshine State. Tetra Health Care, based in California, opened clinics in Tampa, Clearwater, Brandon and Winter Park in the Orlando area earlier this year. [Source: Bay News 9]
Florida's Attorney General has been investigating pharmaceutical companies since September for their part in causing a statewide opioid crisis. More than 10 states have filed lawsuits against the pharmaceutical industry. Florida hasn't filed lawsuits against the companies, but some counties are taking it upon themselves to seek restitution. [Source: WCTV]
South Florida therapist Vanja Abreu, who was convicted at trial along with dozens of others, served 1,029 days in prison before her conviction was overturned. Now, the 54-year-old Abreu is asking the federal judge who oversaw her trial to issue a certificate of innocence so she can qualify under U.S. law for a claim of $150,000 to redress her punishment. [Source: Miami Herald]
› Should Florida raise the legal smoking age to 21? [WJXT]
In Florida, you must be 21 to legally imbibe. But if some state lawmakers get their way, that may also soon be the case for anyone who smokes cigarettes, chews tobacco or vapes.
› New CEO tapped to lead Heart of Florida Health Center [Ocala Star-Banner]
The Heart of Florida Health Center will have a new chief executive officer after Jan. 3. The agency’s board is hiring Jamie Ulmer to head the organization, which provides medical and dental care predominately to the poor.
› Florida hospice company settles U.S. billing claims for $5 million [Reuters]
A Florida-based hospice company has agreed to pay more than $5 million to resolve claims that it billed the government healthcare programs Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary and undocumented services.
› Broward Health board attacked after indictments [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
The leaders of Broward Health sat stone-faced last Wednesday afternoon as several black leaders accused them of hypocrisy for clinging to their positions despite the indictments that shook the public hospital system.