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September 26, 2020
Florida hospitals lose billions due to pandemic measures

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Florida hospitals lose billions due to pandemic measures

| 8/24/2020

Florida hospitals lose billions due to pandemic measures

Florida hospitals say they have collectively lost nearly $4 billion in the past four months because of the coronavirus. Even with financial aid from the government, hospitals around the state said they are hemorrhaging money due to increased staffing costs, testing and other protective equipment, along with lost revenue from patients delaying care or canceling elective surgeries. [Source: AP]

How starving public health fueled a COVID fire in Florida

Florida is both a microcosm and a cautionary tale for America. As the nation starved its public health system, staffing and funding fell faster and further in the Sunshine State, leaving it especially unprepared for the worst health crisis in a century. Although Florida’s population grew by 2.4 million since 2010, a joint investigation by KHN and The Associated Press has found, the state slashed its local health departments’ staffing â?• from 12,422 full-time equivalent workers to 9,125 in 2019, the latest data available. More from Health News Florida, the AP, and Kaiser Health News.

Plan to let pharmacists treat more medical conditions — heart disease and mental health — hits snag

After the state Legislature approved a law that expanded the types of health care that pharmacists can provide, a deal between physicians and pharmacists to fast-track collaborative practice arrangements might be unraveling. The Florida Board of Pharmacy announced this week that it was revisiting a proposed rule to include “heart/cardiovascular disease” and “mental health” on a list of chronic medical conditions that pharmacists would be authorized to treat. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Effort to expand flu vaccinations dies in the Florida Senate

In the flu season that ended in the spring, thousands of Florida children got the flu and 14 died. Most of those who died hadn’t gotten a flu shot. In a recent year, only 46.1% of Florida minors got a flu shot, placing Florida second only to Wyoming in the lowest percentage nationally. (Rhode Island led the nation at 76%.) One of the most convenient channels for adults to get flu shots — the pharmacist at the drugstore or supermarket — isn’t open to children in Florida. [Source: Florida Trend]

Thousands could lose network coverage in dispute between Memorial Healthcare and Florida Blue

Tens of thousands of southern Broward County residents insured by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida will lose coverage for services at Memorial Healthcare System hospitals — except treatment for COVID-19 — if the two entities fail to agree on a new long-term pricing contract by Sept. 1. Letters recently sent to Memorial patients and Florida Blue policyholders warned of the impending loss of in-network coverage. Each entity blamed the other for the impasse in negotiations. [Source: ]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Prominent health care institution woos new leader from national entity
Dr. Patrick Hwu has been appointed president and CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. According to a press release, Hwu is a world-renowned tumor immunologist — with 33 years of oncology experience — who comes to Moffitt from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he serves as head of the cancer medicine division. He will begin his new role at Moffitt on Nov. 10.

› Phase two of the Wolfson Children's Hospital expansion
Wolfson Children’s Hospital completed the first phase of a multi-year, $200-million construction project in May. The hospital, one of five owned by Baptist Health, placed a 110-ton steel skybridge over Palm Avenue in Jacksonville. A soon-to-be four-lane, divided street, Palm Avenue will separate Baptist Health’s parking garage from a new seven-story tower, which will serve as the entry building for Baptist Health and Wolfson Children’s Hospital’s critical care facilities.

› World Laparoscopy Hospital and University of South Florida jointly offer laparoscopic surgery courses
World Laparoscopy Hospital, Gurugram, India, has signed an agreement with the University of South Florida, USA, to provide training in laparoscopic surgery to international students. The institute has designed various multifaceted, comprehensive training programs to enrich the surgical community with their years of surgical experience. The training courses at World Laparoscopy Hospital are systematically designed to provide participants with an understanding of specialized minimal access surgical techniques.

› New technology at TMH reduces chemotherapy hair loss
For cancer patients on chemotherapy, hair loss is often a dreaded result of the treatment. But there's a new tool at Tallahassee Memorial's Cancer Center to reduce hair loss for many of those patients. TMH Medical Oncologist Dr. Karen Russell said the Dignicap technology is actually pretty simple.

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Struggling doctors turn to telemedicine to keep practices afloat
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