As cancer drug shortages grow, some doctors are forced to ration doses or delay care
Widespread shortages of cancer drugs are forcing doctors to make difficult decisions about how to treat their patients, including rationing doses and turning to other treatment options with potentially more side effects. According to a March report from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, drug shortages are at record highs. New drug shortages increased by nearly 30% between 2021 and 2022. By the end of 2022, there was a record five-year high of 295 active drug shortages. More from NBC News, Naples Daily News, and WUSF.
Federal appeals court gives the go-ahead for a hospital payments case
A federal appeals court Thursday cleared the way for eight South Florida hospitals to pursue a lawsuit against a health insurer in a dispute about payments for emergency-room care. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a district judge’s summary-judgment ruling in favor of Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co. and said a jury should decide whether the insurer shortchanged the hospitals. [Source: News Service of Florida]
CDC study: Florida counties among US sites at risk for summer mpox outbreaks
The agency estimates dozens of U.S. counties are at risk for outbreaks. Duval County is at the top. Health officials say they are working to prevent the scale of infections that surprised the nation last summer. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health alert to U.S. doctors to watch for new cases. On Thursday, the agency published a modeling study that estimated the likelihood of mpox resurgence in 50 counties that have been the focus of a government campaign to control sexually transmitted diseases. [Source: WUSF]
Highs, and lows for Florida's seniors in health rankings report
America's Health Rankings 2023 Senior Report from UnitedHealthcare ranked Florida 25th in health outcomes for people age 65 and older. Some noted challenges include a high prevalence of multiple chronic conditions and low rates of home healthcare workers. However, Dr. Michael Stockman, medical director of UnitedHealthcare, said strengths include lots of community support - home-delivered meals, active senior centers - because Florida spends about $154 per adult over age 60 on community support, compared with an average of $62 nationally. [Source: The Apopka Voice]
If things go as planned, beginning July 1 a new Florida law that bans abortions for women pregnant more than six weeks would go into effect. Many, if not most women, are unaware they are pregnant at the six-week mark, and abortion rights activists are calling the pending legislation a “near all-out abortion ban.” The new law, called the Heartbeat Protection Act, stipulates that the right to privacy as spelled out in the state constitution does not carry with it a right to abortion. [Source: Miami Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› UF researchers seek solutions for racial health disparities [WUSF]
obese, yet nearly half of Jacksonville’s doctors rarely discuss weight with their patients and the health benefits of losing it. They shared their findings during a seminar at St. Paul AME Church on Thursday afternoon. Researchers from UF Health Gainesville and UF Health Jacksonville wanted to learn how to engage Black adults with health care providers after the COVID pandemic.
› Florida VA grant program for nonprofits will fund dental care for more Florida veterans [WFTS]
Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that will create the Veterans Dental Care Grant Program within the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs to offer more grant money for eligible nonprofits to apply for who provide dental care to Florida veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that just 15% of veterans are eligible for dental services through the VA.
› In a first for TGH, surgeons transplant part of son’s liver into his mom [Tampa Bay Times]
Nonalcoholic cirrhosis of the liver made Patricia Sanz’s life miserable the past two years. Constantly sick and weary, she missed weeks of work. The Citrus Park resident was sick enough to be added to the transplant waiting list, but as her condition wasn’t immediately life-threatening, Sanz, 64, would likely have to wait years, doctors told her. Meanwhile her condition could worsen. Then she learned from her doctor at Tampa General Hospital she could get a liver immediately if she was willing to be the hospital’s first ever recipient of a living donor transplant.
› USF and Crisis Center offer a free, online course on mental health in the workplace [Health News Florida]
The COVID-19 pandemic really did a number on people’s mental health. And Julie Serovich is trying to change that. She reached out to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay for help in creating a free, online course discussing how mental health affects people in the workplace. Serovich is the dean of the University of South Florida College of Behavior and Community Sciences.