November 29, 2021
Florida's Medicaid enrollment projected to top 5 million

Florida Trend Health Care

Florida's Medicaid enrollment projected to top 5 million

| 8/10/2021

Florida's Medicaid enrollment projected to top 5 million

By June 2022, more than 5 million Florida residents are expected to be enrolled in Medicaid — the state and federal health program that serves as a safety net for low-income people, according to new estimates by state economists. As Florida continues to wrestle with the COVID-19 pandemic, the economists predict that about 5.04 million people will be covered by Medicaid by the end of the current fiscal year on June 30. Nearly 80 percent of them will be enrolled in some form of a Medicaid managed-care plan. The total is up from an estimated Medicaid enrollment of 4.524 million people for the recently completed 2020-2021 fiscal year. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida again sets daily record with 23,903 new coronavirus cases

Florida again set a record for daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Just one day after reporting a new high of 22,783 cases, the state reported 23,903 positive coronavirus tests to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday. The cases were recorded on Friday but reported by the CDC on Saturday. The number of hospitalizations due to complications from COVID-19 rose by more than 300 from Friday to a record 13,747. Of those, 2,753 patients were in intensive care beds, according to information from the Department of Health and Human Services. [Source: Health News Florida]

Florida Trend Exclusive

Protection against HPV has fallen dramatically during the pandemic

Vaccinations have gotten an enormous amount of attention this year, as a result of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines that protect against COVID-19. But the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination — recommended for children and adolescents as a cancer-prevention tool — hasn’t gotten much attention at all. Early during the pandemic, for example, HPV vaccination rates among adolescents fell by 75%, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that, since March 2020, an estimated 1 million doses of the HPV vaccine have been missed by adolescents with public insurance. [Source: Florida Trend]

Schools expand mental health resources for students to adjust from pandemic, head back to classroom

In Tampa Bay area school districts, new mental health programs are launching to help students return to the classroom. “We’re doing a whole lot of creative and innovative things this year to try to help support our students and families,” said Donna Sicilian, Executive Director of Student Services for Pinellas County Schools. There’s an even bigger focus on mental health this year because leaders say many students may be struggling due to the pandemic. [Source: WFTS]

DeSantis objects to vaccine mandates for hospital workers

Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t want Florida businesses to require customers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations to get served or enter establishments, so he swayed lawmakers this spring to pass legislation banning “vaccine passports.” Now, the governor says he also doesn’t support hospitals requiring their staff members to get vaccinated. DeSantis would not say Thursday whether he would ban hospitals from requiring staff to get vaccinated but made clear he’s not a fan of the idea. [Source: News Service of Florida]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Hospital leaders, DeSantis tout COVID antibody treatment
Florida hospital leaders and Gov. Ron DeSantis are urging more people to take advantage of monoclonal antibodies, a COVID-19 treatment that is proving to be very effective at preventing serious illness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently expanded its emergency use authorization for the therapy. It's meant for people who recently tested positive for the virus or are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19.

› FAU medical school applications soar to more than 6,000 for 66 spots
Facing intense competition, members of this year’s incoming class of Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine were selected among more than 6,000 applicants nationwide. The medical school received 6,032 applications for 66 spots, up 61 percent from last year. This upward trajectory in medical school applications is a national trend, which indicates that aspiring physicians were not deterred by the stress of COVID-19 and they are eager to do their part.

› Pediatricians in Palm Beach County seeing 'alarming rise' in children being hospitalized
Pediatricians across Palm Beach County are taking on social media, television and email to warn of a surge in COVID-19 cases among children both locally and across the state. They are concerned not only about the growing number of cases among the young but also about the severity of illness they are witnessing.

› Armistead returns as UF Health Jacksonville CEO
Former UF Health Jacksonville CEO Russell Armistead again will lead the hospital, effective Aug. 9. He steps in for Leon Haley, who died July 24. Armistead served as CEO from 2013 until his retirement in 2017. Before becoming CEO he served as associate vice president for finance and planning for UF Health in Jacksonville and Gainesville for nearly a decade.

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