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August 11, 2020
AHCA warns medicaid costs could soar by $1 billion

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AHCA warns medicaid costs could soar by $1 billion

| 5/12/2020

AHCA warns medicaid costs could soar by $1 billion

Florida’s economic collapse due to the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to cause ballooning Medicaid enrollment that might blow a $1 billion hole in the state budget, according to new projections by the agency that oversees the health-care safety net program. The dramatic rise in costs could exert additional pressure on Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature to cut the budget as businesses shutting down and scaling back have dramatically reduced the main sources of tax dollars used to pay for state spending. [Source: Health News Florida]

See also:
» Five Questions For AHCA Secretary Mary Mayhew

Florida Trend Exclusive
State halts admissions to Miami nursing home over inability to stem spread of COVID

Fair Havens Center, a nursing home in Miami Springs, has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Miami-Dade County and is among the hardest hit in the state. As of last week, 58 residents and 32 staff members have tested positive and eight have died, according to state data. Thirty-eight residents have been transferred out of the facility after contracting the virus. In an emergency order issued Friday, the state halted admissions to Fair Havens, stating that the facility has “demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to ensure that its practices minimize the risk of contagion within the Facility.” [Source: Florida Trend]

Federal money gives boost to COVID-19 testing

The federal government on Thursday awarded $28.6 million in grants to 47 Florida health centers to expand coronavirus-testing efforts. “As our state looks forward to reopening its economy, it is critical that we increase our testing capacity,” U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in a prepared statement. “These federal funds will help Florida health centers continue to identify patients with COVID-19 so we can continue to slow the spread of this disease.” [Source: WJXT]

Florida Supreme Court justices order more briefs in medical marijuana fight

Just a day after hearing arguments in the case, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ordered attorneys to file additional briefs in a battle about whether the state has properly carried out a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana. The Florida Department of Health appealed to the Supreme Court after lower courts sided with Florigrown, a Tampa-based company that argues a 2017 state law conflicts with the constitutional amendment. [Source: WUSF]

Changes will be noticeable when visiting doctors for checkups

As more medical facilities like general practice doctors, eye doctors, dentists and others reopen their doors this week, the medical community wants to reassure people that it is safe to return to your doctor. “We’ve seen here at Health First and we’ve also read about it in the media, people with heart attacks, even appendicitis that did not seek care because they were afraid of the unknown, so to speak, but the reality was they suffered the complications of what was occurring,” said Dr. Jeff Stalnaker, Chief Physician Executive for Health First. “So we’re open and it’s safe to come here.” [Source: ]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Bay Area man was sick, possibly with COVID-19, long before first known case in Florida
The novel coronavirus might have been in our community much longer than doctors have been able to test for it, medical experts said Thursday after finding out about a recent positive antibody test dating back to early February.

› Florida oncology network that bilked cancer patients gets $67 million in COVID-19 aid
A Fort Myers-based oncology network that was Florida’s largest recipient of federal coronavirus relief dollars for healthcare facilities admitted last week to participating in a criminal conspiracy that limited treatment options available to cancer patients in order to maximize profits.

› Florida Blue launches new HMO for small, medium businesses
Florida Blue has launched a new health insurance product for small- to medium-sized employers. Called Truli for Health, the HMO is launching in Central and South Florida on July 1. “Unlike many HMOs and PPOs that are in the market today that give people unlimited choice to go just about anywhere, we actually have what we call curated a high-performing network,” which includes selected groups of community doctors and health systems, said Andy Marino, Truli for Health president, in an interview.

› New Jacksonville facility will care for recovering coronavirus patients only
A new long-term care center in Jacksonville will dedicate its facility to treating recovering coroanvirus patients in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday. Dolphin Pointe Health Care, located along the St. John’s River, was slated to open its 120-room health care and rehabilitation center sometime in 2020, according to its website.

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