February 3, 2023
State projects 1.75 million Floridians could lose Medicaid coverage as pandemic-era law expires

Florida Trend Health Care

State projects 1.75 million Floridians could lose Medicaid coverage as pandemic-era law expires

| 1/24/2023

State projects 1.75 million Floridians could lose Medicaid coverage as pandemic-era law expires

More than 1 million Floridians could lose Medicaid coverage this year as the state seeks to return enrollment to pre-pandemic levels. The state can start disenrolling people who aren't eligible for the program anymore on April 1. It will be the first time the state has been able to do this since 2020, when the federal government mandated people enrolled in Medicaid get continuous coverage. Since then, enrollment in Florida’s program has nearly doubled, with more than 5 million beneficiaries as of last month. [Source: Health News Florida]

Some health risks from climate change in Florida may surprise. This one affects millions

Some of the health impacts of climate change are obvious and already apparent in Florida, such as more cases of heat stress and mosquito-borne tropical diseases. But it may be surprising that as climate conditions intensify, health experts say it also will increase the risk of sickness and death for people with diabetes. That’s significant for Florida, where a staggering 1 in 10 residents are part of the nationwide diabetes epidemic, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Source: WLRN]

Florida nursing home workers say they’re not getting minimum wage

It was praised as a solution to Florida’s nursing home staffing crisis. Thanks to a state budget provision, employees of long-term care facilities receiving Medicaid funds would earn $15 an hour minimum wage, starting in October. But months later, nursing homes and workers’ groups are still arguing over which employees should be paid the higher rate. The state’s largest health care worker union has accused Florida nursing homes of wage theft, claiming at least 40 facilities statewide are not paying subcontracted staff the mandated rate. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida's COVID case count shows a decrease as deaths near 85,000

The number of reported new COVID-19 cases started to subside last week, according to data released Friday by the Florida Department of Health. The decrease was part of a nationwide dip after COVID hospitalizations rose after Christmas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Florida data showed that 21,949 new cases were reported from Jan. 13 to Thursday, down from 28,252 during the week that started Jan. 6 and from 31,675 during the week that started Dec. 30. [Source: WUSF]

What a state email about abortion pills to Florida medical providers could mean

Florida’s health leaders recently warned medical providers against distributing abortion medication after the Food and Drug Administration recently approved the medication's commercial use. Earlier this month, the FDA approved commercial sales of mifepristone, the first of two drugs in medication abortions, which were typically dispensed only by abortion clinics, doctors or mail orders. However, Florida pharmacies will not be allowed to carry or sell the drug due to state law stating that patients can only receive abortion medication from clinic physicians after performing two in-person visits. [Source: WMFE]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› A Florida nursing shortage is coming. Here's how Pensacola is staying ahead of the curve
As Florida's nursing shortage crisis is projected to increase, hospitals and universities in Escambia County are working to stay ahead of the curve by bolstering the local pipeline for recruiting, training and employing nurses. HCA Florida West Hospital is partnering with Pensacola State College to help increase the number of prospective nurses in local hospitals by investing $50,000 into a PSC outreach and training program.

› As VA benefits expand, Florida's women veterans are urged to apply
About 160,000 of Florida's more than 1.5 million veterans are women -- that's the second most among U.S. states. And many of them may not be seeking the benefits they have earned. Now there's a statewide push to get more women to utilize those benefits. And now, the PACT Act, signed by President Joe Biden last summer, has vastly expanded the medical conditions -- including numerous cancers -- that automatically qualify veterans for health care and other benefits.

› Tampa General experts share innovations in health care at Senate Committee hearing
The Senate Committee on Health Policy this week hosted two panel discussions — one on the benefits of hospital care at home and another on effective techniques heath care providers can use as an alternative to Emergency Departments. Tampa General had expert presence on both panels: Dr. Peter Chang, vice president of Healthcare Design at Tampa General Hospital (TGH) and assistant professor in the Division of Cardiology in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine; and Dr. Jason Wilson, director of the Division of Emergency Medicine in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and medical director of Transitions of Care for Emergency Medicine at Tampa General Hospital.

› FSU and Tallahassee Memorial break ground on shared medical campus in Panama City Beach
Florida State University and Tallahassee Memorial Hospital have moved forward in a big way by breaking ground on their shared medical campus in Panama City Beach. The project is part of FSU’s long-term goal of climbing higher in national rankings, which it has identified as a weakness is obtaining federal health funding. The school has made it a priority to get more money for health-related research from the National Institutes of Health.

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