New drugs preserve vision but Florida leads US in eye degeneration disease
Even with effective drugs, age-related macular degeneration remains a concern in Florida, which has the highest rate of the disease in the nation. Among the state’s over 40 population, 18.3% have some form of the disease, according to data from the Vision & Eye Health Surveillance System run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Audit says Florida owes $106M in Medicaid managed care rebates
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released an audit report that says Florida did not refund more than $106 million in federal Medicaid managed care rebates. Medicaid provides medical assistance to low-income individuals and individuals with disabilities and is jointly funded and administered by state and federal governments. Although states have a considerable amount of flexibility in the operation of their Medicaid programs, states are also required to comply with federal requirements. [Source: The Center Square]
988 crisis lifeline rolls out services in ASL. Here's how Floridians can use them
There are more than 800,000 people who are deaf of hard of hearing in Florida. Over the past year, calls to the 988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline have jumped by 30 percent in the Orlando area alone. As of Friday, the lifeline offers services in American Sign Language. Residents can make video calls and speak in ASL to trained counselors byclicking on the "ASL Now" buttonon the website or by dialing 1-800-273-TALK. [Source: WMFE]
DeSantis, Ladapo promise there will be no COVID mandates in Florida
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday criticized recent efforts across the U.S. to tamp down a recent jump in COVID-19 cases through temporary restrictions or masking, and his state surgeon general warned against getting the latest COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected to be available this month. [Source: AP]
A group that is trying to place a state constitutional amendment to protect the right to an abortion on the 2024 ballot says it has enough signatures to get a review from the Florida Supreme Court. Floridians Protecting Freedom says it has garnered 600,000 petition signatures statewide. That's two-thirds of the roughly 900,000 signatures needed to place the amendment on the 2024 ballot. Dawnyell Singleton, with Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, said she's optimistic the electorate will have the opportunity to vote on the amendment. [Source: WUSF]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Nurse baby boom in Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare labor and delivery [Tallahassee Democrat]
In Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare’s labor and delivery unit, the patients aren't the only ones with babies on the way — so were 14 of the unit's nurses who care for them, all at the same time. On the floor above, eight of TMH’s family care unit nurses were also on their pregnancy journeys together this year and have all delivered their babies, with two of them recently giving birth at around the same time as a couple of the labor and delivery nurses.
› West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James holds roundtable on mental health [WPBF]
In the first roundtable series of discussions impacting the West Palm Beach community, Mayor Keith James is aiming to tackle mental health. On Thursday, James brought in other local leaders and experts to weigh in on the topic. The series, which is called Community Conversations, consists of crucial conversations in the hope of finding solutions.
› Florida House creates select committee on health care innovation [News Service of Florida]
Signaling that health care could be a key issue during the 2024 legislative session, House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, announced Friday that he has created the House Select Committee on Health Innovation. The committee, which will be chaired by Rep. Kaylee Tuck, R-Lake Placid, will “review issues relating to access and affordability in health care,” Renner said in a memo to House members.
› Tampa General Hospital donates $25 million to USF for its athletic district [WUSF]
Tampa General Hospital is donating $25 million to the University of South Florida to support its athletics district. It is the largest gift ever made to USF Athletics, according to a news release from the university Thursday. The money gives the hospital naming rights for USF’s future Center for Athletic Excellence, which is part of its on-campus stadium project, and the university’s athletics district.