February 24, 2021
Florida to get $40 million in opioid settlement

Florida Trend Health Care

Florida to get $40 million in opioid settlement

| 2/9/2021

Florida to get $40 million in opioid settlement

Florida will receive $40 million as part of a $573 million settlement between McKinsey & Company and dozens of states because of the global consulting giant’s role in the opioid epidemic, according to court documents. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said Thursday the agreement will bring “millions of dollars into our communities, fighting the opioid epidemic, at a time when resources in Florida are very stressed, very limited.” More from the News Service of Florida and WUSF.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Effects of coronavirus on the heart still aren't fully known

Dr. Jeffrey Goldberger, a cardiologist and chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, says many COVID-19 survivors — even those who experienced mild or no symptoms — have ongoing heart inflammation as a result of their infections. Complications may include arrhythmia or heart failure. “We don’t know for sure how this is going to heal. Everything about this virus is sort of new,” Goldberger says [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida nursing homes facing financial crisis

The Senate Pandemic Committee was updated by the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Health Care Association on the situation at long term care facilities on Thursday. Lawmakers were told 97% of nursing home residents and 98% of staff are currently COVID-free and that nearly all facilities have either received or are scheduled to receive their first dose of vaccine. Emmett Reed, Executive Director of the Florida Health Care Association said a critical issue facing facilities are increased costs from the pandemic compounded with a 15% decline in residents. [Source: WJXT]

Florida distributes nearly 2 million coronavirus vaccine doses

Florida has administered nearly 2 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, according to information released Sunday by the Florida Department of Health. So far, 1.99 million people have received coronavirus vaccines in the state, with 667,830 receiving both doses. Another 6,624 people tested positive for the coronavirus since Saturday’s daily report from the state Department of Health. [Source: WUSF]

See also:
» For Florida’s ‘extremely vulnerable,’ getting COVID vaccine becomes exercise in frustration

Florida Senator pushes mental health hotline for veterans

For veterans, mental health struggles aren’t unusual. But Sen. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, says for many, COVID-19 has made addressing those mental health concerns more difficult. "Not only do they have the challenges from PTSD frequently, reintegrating back into our communities, but today with COVID the isolation that people feel and the difficulty that there is makes it even more difficult for them," Harrell says. Now, Harrell wants to ensure getting help is as simple as picking up the phone. She’s sponsoring a bill that creates a statewide program to let veterans dial a dedicated support line staffed by their peers. It will help get those veterans linked up with the services they need. [Source: Health News Florida]


› DeSantis changes leaders at state agencies that fight COVID, provide social services
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration announced Friday that it is shaking up the leadership in agencies on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Top staffers responsible for fighting the virus, combating the negative social consequences of the pandemic and getting unemployment claims processed are all leaving their current roles.

› First-of-its-kind cancer treatment being used in Southwest Florida
Every year, 115,000 cancer cases are diagnosed and reported in Florida, giving the state the second-highest cancer burden in the U.S. Fortunately, a cancer diagnosis isn’t a death sentence. Nationally, cancer deaths are going down. The National Cancer Institute finds cancer death rates have gone down nearly 2% in men and nearly 1.5% in women and children. Dr. Chaundre Cross, a radiation oncologist at GenesisCare, says the achievement is due to better screening procedures and better treatments.

› Franklin has fewest COVID-19 deaths among Florida counties
Franklin, Dixie and Glades counties reported the lowest total deaths with 10, 13 and 13, respectively. Levy County reported 24 deaths. Of the counties that reported having few total deaths, Gulf County, with 34 among its population of under 9,000, had the highest rate per capita. The lowest rate per capita was in Monroe County — only 41 of its 73,170 residents reportedly died from COVID-19.

› Health Foundation of South Florida has new leadership, and new care programs to fund
The South Florida Health Foundation has about a $162 million endowment to help fund its decades-long work to make health care more equal and accessible to low income people. Now it has new leadership to carry out its work, including a new president and chief executive officer, Loreen Chant, who comes to the foundation from Easterseals South Florida. When she starts March 1, she’ll be the first woman to lead the foundation since it started 28 years ago.

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Struggling doctors turn to telemedicine to keep practices afloat
Struggling doctors turn to telemedicine to keep practices afloat

Virtual physician visits have been just what the doctor ordered for struggling family practices in the age of COVID-19. Dr. Jay Wolfson, an associate vice president at University of South Florida Health, said the medical community was reluctant to regularly use telemedicine, but that changed in 2020.

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