June 23, 2021
Budget deal avoids health cuts, includes postpartum Medicaid extension

Florida Trend Health Care

Budget deal avoids health cuts, includes postpartum Medicaid extension

| 4/27/2021

Budget deal avoids health cuts, includes postpartum Medicaid extension

After a week of largely out-of-sight budget negotiations, Florida lawmakers have ironed out many major spending differences and are on track to wrap up the 2021 regular legislative session on time. House and Senate budget chiefs on Friday night publicly accepted compromises on spending on health care, education and prisons. Some of the key decisions included backing off hundreds of millions of dollars in proposed Medicaid cuts for hospitals and nursing homes that have spent the past year dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida is number 1 state for COVID-19 variants, CDC data show

Federal data show that Florida has more COVID-19 cases tied to newer, more transmissible strains of the coronavirus than any other state. According to the CDC, Florida has racked up more than 3,000 cases of the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7, which originated in the U.K. and is more contagious than the original strain. That’s in keeping with how medical experts expect viruses to behave, according to University of Florida Health Jacksonville Director of Emergency Medicine Dr. Ashley Norse.  [Source: WJCT]

Lawmakers OK bill on minority maternal health program

Florida lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a bill (HB 1381) that would establish pilot programs in Duval and Orange counties aimed at improving maternal health outcomes for minority women. The programs would be required to use telehealth to coordinate with prenatal home-visiting programs to provide services and education to pregnant women and to provide training to health care professionals. The House and Senate both unanimously passed the bill Wednesday, sending it to Gov. Ron DeSantis. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Where are the millions who aren’t getting vaccinated? Florida won’t say.

As officials work to ramp up the number of Floridians getting coronavirus vaccines, a key element is knowing which pockets of a community aren’t getting the shots, experts say. The Florida Department of Health has said it would keep track of that information by ZIP code. But in response to records requests, it has released just a sliver of the data to the public. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

'Like hand-to-hand combat': Florida health system battles vaccine hesitancy 1 employee at a time

Memorial Health Care System has had to go beyond typical efforts to get its staff and community vaccinated with various demographics in the community being vaccine-hesitant. The West Florida health system's CEO, David Verinder, told Becker's that hospital leaders anticipated a slowdown in demand because of vaccine hesitancy, and the health system is "definitely in that mode right now." While the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause certainly did not help, Mr. Verinder said the hospital was already having to develop a strategy to combat hesitancy since a portion of the demographics the health system serves "don't believe in vaccines." [Source: Becker's Hospital Review]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› For cutting-edge health care, Tampa General partners with renowned Israeli hospital
To provide cutting-edge health care, Florida’s foremost hospital is teaming up with an Israeli-based health care and medical innovation leader. Tampa General Hospital and Sheba Medical Center, located outside of Tel Aviv, announced a partnership this week to boost their shared commitment to fast-tracking medical innovation and developing best practices.

› Jacksonville health care organizations ask for input on where federal money should go
If you want a say in where money goes when it comes to public health in your community, you have two more days to give input. The Jacksonville Nonprofit Hospital Partnership teams up with the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida to conduct the mandatory survey on the First Coast every three years. The survey asks for community members' thoughts on what needs to be prioritized health-wise in their neighborhoods.

› USF will study allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines
The University of South Florida is participating in a clinical trial to determine whether people with a history of severe allergies are at greater risk for allergic reactions to the Moderna or Pfizer coronavirus vaccines. As of Tuesday, 132,321,628 people have received at least one dose of either vaccine in the United States. Of those who received the Pfizer shot, 10 to 12 people per million experienced anaphylaxis. With Moderna, that number fell to less than 3 per million.

› Orlando Health plans hospital campus in central Florida
Orlando  Health is planning to build a hospital campus in southeast Orlando, according to the Orlando Business Journal. The campus, which will be built on 15.1 acres of land, is expected to be completed in four phases. Phase 1 includes building a three-story, 42,000-square-foot freestanding emergency room. Construction has already begun on the facility and it is slated to open this summer.

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