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Florida health coverage rate is better but still lags most of the U.S.

Florida health coverage rate is better but still lags most of the U.S.

With top Florida lawmakers signaling that health-care issues could be a priority during next year’s legislative session, a report released Thursday showed that Florida saw improvement in 2022 in people having health insurance — but still trailed most of the country. The U.S. Census Bureau report estimated that 11.2 percent of Floridians were uninsured in 2022, down from 12.1 percent in 2021. The rates reflected insurance provided in employer-based plans and purchased privately, along with coverage through government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. More from the News Service of Florida and WMNF.

Experts discuss Medicare drug price negotiations and their impact on Floridians

Florida has more people on Medicare than any other state except one. Almost one in four people who call Florida home rely on the federal government health insurance plan. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare will now be able to bargain over prices for the first 10 drugs covered by the plan. Those drugs include Entresto for heart failure, Enbrel for arthritis, Eliquis and Xarelto to help prevent blood clots, and Jardiance, Januvia, and Farxiga for Type 2 diabetes. [Source: WUSF]

Number of COVID cases in Florida shows a decrease after weeks of gradually rising

Reported numbers of new COVID-19 cases in Florida decreased during the past two weeks after steadily increasing this summer, according to Florida Department of Health data released Friday. The report said 19,019 cases were reported during the week that started Sept. 1, and 15,690 cases were reported during the week that started Sept. 8. That was down from 23,978 cases during the week that started Aug. 25. That was the highest tally of the summer. [Source: Health News Florida]

From back office to patient diagnostics, AI comes to health care in Florida

Artificial intelligence has existed for years, but hospital systems and health care providers have been slow to adopt the technology. That’s expected to change in the next decade. While most health care companies use AI or machine learning for cybersecurity or back-office operations, the technology is now poised to reshape the system by moving into areas such as diagnostics and patient care. [Source: Souoth Florida Business Journal]

Five people swept up in massive South Florida nursing-school racket plead guilty to fraud

Five people who collaborated with a Fort Lauderdale nursing school at the center of a diploma-mill racket that sold fake degrees to thousands of students in South Florida, Texas and New York pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in federal court Friday. The case revolved around Charles Etienne, the former president of Sacred Heart International Institute in Fort Lauderdale, who pleaded guilty in April to collaborating with those five associates and others to sell hundreds of “false and fraudulent diplomas and educational transcripts,” according to federal prosecutors in South Florida. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Health Care Innovators: What Northeast Florida hospitals are working on
In March 2023, Baptist Health opened a Heart Rhythm Center, the region’s first facility of its kind. The Heart Rhythm Center is a comprehensive, hospital-based destination for caring for the heart’s electrical system, a special field of cardiology called electrophysiology. The 14,400-square-foot center includes 10 patient rooms with a view of the St. Johns River and three hybrid operating rooms equipped with imaging and surgical technology.

› UF Health teams up with Olympic medical network
Building on a long history of providing health care to athletes at the University of Florida and beyond, UF Health on Saturday joined a select group of health organizations providing care to Team USA athletes as they prepare for international competition, including the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

› Lee Health moves forward with plans for new medical destination in Fort Myers
The Lee Health board of directors approved updated plans to build a new medical campus and health care destination in the city of Fort Myers on Challenger Boulevard. Tentatively known as Lee Health Fort Myers, the property will be on 52 acres between Colonial Boulevard and Winkler Avenue. The new campus will be built in phases over several years.

› Virtual sitters enhance patient care at Orlando Health
Orlando Health is employing more virtual services to better allocate nursing resources, such as a virtual nursing program starting Tuesday. The pilot program was launched to assist nurses on the floor by gathering information on family and medication history and providing an extra set of eyes. AdventHealth of Central Florida began using a similar virtual nursing program last year.