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July 5, 2020
Florida's prison health care in disarray

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Florida's prison health care in disarray

| 12/17/2019

Florida’s prison health care in disarray

In a stunning rebuke of the decade-long push to privatize Florida prisons, an independent audit concludes that Florida is losing money and facing litigation because of its decision to turn its prison healthcare system over to private contractors. The audit, requested by the Florida Senate in the 2019-20 state budget, recommends the state end its private healthcare contract and either bring the work in-house or initiate an agreement to obtain healthcare through the university system’s teaching hospitals. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald.

Free health insurance awaits 700,000 uninsured Floridians, report says

Nearly 700,000 uninsured Floridians are eligible for free health insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The report, released ahead of the close of open enrollment on Dec. 15, shows that roughly 33% of the state’s uninsured could gain coverage by signing up for a bronze plan through the Marketplace. [Source: Health News Florida]

Florida doctor groups push back against giving advanced nurses their independence

For years, Florida’s Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) have tried to convince lawmakers to let them set up offices independent of physicians. Doctor groups have largely opposed the move, but a lawmaker who happens to be an emergency medicine physician isn’t giving up. [Source: WUSF]

Scam ring stopped at Florida veterans hospitals

Federal prosecutors say they have broken up a fraud scheme at veterans hospitals in South Florida. They say fraudulent suppliers stole millions from the government by bribing purchasing agents to look the other way as they billed Veterans Affairs hospitals for orders that were non-existent or grossly overpriced. [Source: Health News Florida]

Florida vaccination efforts slow the spread of hepatitis A

Florida’s surgeon general is cautiously optimistic that education and vaccination efforts during the past few months are working to contain the spread of hepatitis A, which caused the declaration of a public-health emergency in August. The state Department of Health said 33 new hepatitis A cases were reported last week, bringing the total this year to 3,221. [Source: WJXT]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› UF Health to acquire Central Florida Health
University of Florida Health announced that it is acquiring Central Florida Health and its two hospitals, Leesburg Regional Medical Center and Villages Regional, in 2020, pending final reviews. Leesburg Regional Medical Center will become UF Health Leesburg Hospital, and The Villages Regional Hospital will become UF Health The Villages Hospital.

› Australian company buys health care firm, plans $300M investment
Australian cancer treatment company GenesisCare is making a big entry into the United States, by acquiring Fort Myers-based 21st Century Oncology. GenesisCare officials say the deal, to combine one of the largest cancer treatment firms in Australia and Europe with one of the largest in the United States, in 21st Century, will benefit from massive economies of scale.

› Second vaping-related death reported in Florida
A second person in Florida has died due to complication from vaping, according to the most recent state Department of Health data. The health department also reported a slight increase in the number of vaping-associated illnesses, which rose from 99 to 103 cases.

› FSU College of Medicine gets warning from accreditation organization
Florida State University’s medical school has received a warning from the organization responsible for accrediting medical schools across the United States and Canada. The warning said the FSU College of Medicine has failed to meet standards that, if not corrected within the next one to two years, could “seriously compromise the ability of the school to conduct the educational program.”

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