November 29, 2022
Omicron could drive 40,000 COVID cases a day in Florida, UF model shows

Florida Trend Health Care

Omicron could drive 40,000 COVID cases a day in Florida, UF model shows

| 12/21/2021

Omicron could drive 40,000 COVID cases a day in Florida, UF model shows

University of Florida researchers are projecting the highly contagious omicron variant will lead to about 40,000 new COVID cases a day in Florida by its February apex, around 75 percent higher than what the state witnessed during the peak of the delta variant. But the new COVID wave will be less lethal for Floridians than delta, according to the University of Florida model published Friday. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Rural Florida pharmacies are struggling. The pandemic isn't helping

Rural pharmacies across the country are struggling to keep doors open. Reasons include insurance company practices, online sellers and COVID.  Joey Mattingly, a University of Maryland professor of pharmacoeconomics, said store location is a major factor in the vitality of independent pharmacies. “If I’m a CVS, and I own 8,000 pharmacies across the U.S., I have an advantage over somebody who owns one pharmacy in north Florida,” Mattingly said. “It’s David versus Goliath.” [Source: Health News Florida]

Florida is getting about 3,100 doses of preexposure COVID antibody treatment for cancer and transplant patients

Gov. Ron DeSantis says Florida is getting thousands of doses of an antibody treatment that protects immunosuppressed people and those allergic to the COVID-19 vaccines. The two-shot antibody treatment called Evusheld offers about six months of protection if administered before a patient is exposed to the virus. The treatment received an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday. [Source: WMFE]

Opinion: Florida’s healthcare system is in trouble; legislators must act fast

Today almost every industry is facing a workforce shortage. But unlike restaurants and retail, most healthcare entities need to be staffed 24-7, 365 days a year. For healthcare frontline workers there has been little to no break for more than 18-months and making matters worse, they are now experiencing a compounded crisis exacerbated by high burnout rates. These are fields that cannot replace workers at the same pace at which they’re leaving. [Source: Tallahassee Democrat]

State now accepting applications from home- and community-based providers for Medicaid grants

The state Agency for Health Care Administration on Friday announced it is opening the application process for home- and community-based service providers to tap into hundreds of millions in additional federal Medicaid funds. Applications are being accepted for $403 million in one-time payments to aid eligible home- and community-based service providers in recruiting and retaining qualified staff. AHCA also is accepting applications from providers interested in tapping into $266.6 million being made available for retaining employees and recruiting new ones. [Source: Florida Politics]


› Florida State University Center partners with Simply Healthcare to increase education and awareness around trauma
Florida State University’s Center for Prevention & Early Intervention Policy (CPEIP) announced a new partnership with Simply Healthcare Plans (“Simply”) to improve patient outcomes by recognizing the role trauma plays in overall health through specialized training and educational programming for Simply team members.

› State gives initial approval for five new hospice programs
The Agency for Health Care Administration announced Monday preliminary approval of five new hospice programs across the state to launch in January 2023, one more than what health care regulators said was needed. Health care regulators announced approval for new hospice programs in Escambia, Marion, Polk, Indian River, and Palm Beach counties, choosing as providers Peoples Hospice and Palliative Care of Florida, LLC; Cornerstone Hospice & Palliative Care, Empathy Hospice LLC; Brevard HMA Hospice, LLC; and MorseLife Hospice Institute, Inc., respectively.

› Flagler Health+ purchases 70 acres for medical complex
Flagler Health+ has purchased approximately 70 acres in the City of Palm Coast from Florida Landmark Communities, LLC. The property, located on the west side of US-1 where Palm Coast Parkway and US -1 currently meet, will be used to develop a comprehensive health complex, including an inpatient hospital. The health enterprise also recently announced a clinical agreement with UF Health which will include expansion of graduate medical education programs and an array of clinical services across Northeast Florida.

› Department of Health Escambia County closing multiple days for holidays
The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County will be closed on Thursday and Friday -- as well as Dec. 30-31 -- in light of the holidays. COVID testing services will be available by appointment on Thursday and Dec. 30 at the Fairfield Drive location. To schedule an appointment, call 850-595-6500 option 6.

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