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May 25, 2020
Florida hospitals say they have room for surge in COVID-19 patients

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Florida hospitals say they have room for surge in COVID-19 patients

| 4/14/2020

Florida hospitals say they have room for surge in COVID-19 patients

For the last three weeks, hospitals throughout Florida have been rearranging beds, converting office space and conference rooms, and retrofitting free-standing emergency rooms to wage war on an enemy they never before contemplated: COVID-19. They’ve gotten regulatory waivers to overcome the bureaucratic hurdles. Some have accelerated construction on planned spaces and wired empty buildings to get them open. [Source: Times/Herald]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Sunsetting VistA

Despite its digital success, the VA is in the midst of an “EHR modernization” effort that will replace VistA with Cerner’s EHR platform, Millennium. The decision to retire VistA grew out of concerns about costs of maintaining the 30-year old legacy system, “deficient interoperability” between the VA and the Department of Defense (DOD) and congressional mandates that the department systems communicate better. [Source: Florida Trend]

Nursing homes seek shelter from lawsuits

Florida's largest advocacy group for long-term care providers is requesting protection from lawsuits for health care professionals engaged in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Florida Health Care Association sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis this month requesting "immunity from any liability, civil or criminal" under certain conditions for nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities. More from USA Today and Florida Politics.

To ‘keep the lights on,’ doctors and hospitals ask for advance Medicare payments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced in late March that it would implement for the first time a national accelerated Medicare payments program to help ease the financial strain for health providers. Thursday, officials said they had disbursed $51 billion to hospitals, doctors and other care providers. More from Health News Florida and Kaiser Health News.

Florida Trend Exclusive
A public health success

A few years ago, Dr. Jeff Beal, medical director of the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of HIV/AIDS, said the department noticed an “alarming” trend: An uptick in HIV cases in the Southeast and nearly 5,000 new cases every year in Florida. Beal and Mary Agens, the health department’s executive nursing director for clinical informatics, worked on a plan to tackle the problem. Agens suggested they use the state’s electronic health record system to step up surveillance and get high-risk Floridians on preventive treatment. [Source: ]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Science Center starts Sarasota project to protect health care workers
The Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab in Sarasota has organized more than 100 volunteers to sew face masks, manufacture face shields, deliver supplies and collect and distribute the personal protective equipment to health care workers in Southwest Florida. The center recognized that most of the surgical masks ordered by government agencies would go to workers in hospitals and primary care facilities, leaving health care workers in nonprimary facilities like nursing homes and assisted living facilities without basic protection.

› Mayo clinic to begin furloughs, pay cuts
Mayo Clinic confirmed Friday night that it is beginning furloughs and pay cuts for some staff members beginning at the end of the month, the result of economic disruptions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. The furloughs and salary reductions are scheduled to take effect on April 28.

› Some ABA clinics close, move to telehealth to keep social distance
Behavior clinics that serve children on the autism spectrum were already facing closures because of changes to the state Medicaid system and costly licensure requirements. To cut costs and continue to serve as many children as safely as possible, some behavior analysis clinics are taking advantage of relaxed telehealth rules during the coronavirus pandemic.

› Hospice of Palm Beach County ranked among the top five hospices in the state
Dexur, after an in-depth analysis of the Medicare Claims data, released a report enlisting the top hospices in Florida, based on case volume, from Oct 2016 to Sep 2019. The ranking insights in the definitive list will be pertinent for hospice providers and other healthcare professionals to better comprehend market position and dynamics, and plan their operational growth strategies accordingly.

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Watch Navy’s Blue Angels salute South Florida’s healthcare teams and first responders
Watch Navy’s Blue Angels salute South Florida’s healthcare teams and first responders

The Navy’s Blue Angels promised to pay tribute to South Florida’s healthcare workers with a flyover Friday afternoon. And, sure enough, with a thrilling sense of roar and might, six F-18 Hornets flew in formation over hospitals in the tri-county area from Boca Raton in the north to Homestead in the south.

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