October 4, 2022
Hospitals divert primary care patients to health center ‘look-alikes' to boost finances

Florida Trend Health Care

Hospitals divert primary care patients to health center ‘look-alikes' to boost finances

| 9/13/2022

Hospitals divert primary care patients to health center ‘look-alikes’ to boost finances

A growing number of hospitals, in Florida and aroudn the nation, are outsourcing often-unprofitable outpatient services for their poorest patients by setting up independent, nonprofit organizations to provide primary care. Even though they are not part of a hospital system, many of the hospital-formed look-alikes have clinics on hospital campuses or within a short distance. As a result, the clinics can help divert patients without urgent needs from expensive emergency rooms. That helps reduce losses, especially from uninsured patients who might have been using the ER for primary care. [Source: Health News Florida]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Non-profit created by children of doctors helps seniors stay connected with their physicians

The shift to telemedicine has been heralded as one of the silver livings of the COVID-19 crisis, but it hasn’t been a simple shift for everyone, says Arjun Verma, a 2022 graduate of Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando. His parents are both doctors, and “many of their patients, especially elderly patients, didn’t have access to the devices they needed to connect to their virtual health care appointments” during the pandemic, he says. Aiming to help solve the problem, Arjun Verma and his sister, Hannah Verma, launched a non-profit called TeleHealth Access for Seniors that takes donated iPhones, iPads and other smart devices and provides them to seniors and others so they can connect with their doctors. [Source: Florida Trend]

A new lawsuit is challenging Florida Medicaid's exclusion of transgender health care

A new federal lawsuit has challenged the state of Florida's effort to exclude gender-affirming health care for transgender people from its state Medicaid program, calling the rule illegal, discriminatory and a "dangerous governmental action." A coalition of legal groups filed the lawsuit on behalf of four Florida Medicaid recipients, who are either transgender or parents of transgender youth, in the Northern District of Florida. [Source: NPR]

New COVID-19 boosters available as Florida deaths exceed 80,000

The Florida Department of Health reported Friday that at least 80,386 Floridians have died from COVID-19, with nearly 6,000 of those deaths added since early June. Nationwide and in Florida, documented cases, hospitalizations and deaths are far below those of last summer. But in two Central Florida counties — Polk and Marion — the CDC says the COVID-19 Community Level is high. At that level, the CDC recommends wearing a high quality mask indoors in public. [Source: WMFE]

State Board of Governors will discuss how to spend a $40 million boost for nursing education

State higher-education officials are slated to discuss how universities plan to spend $40 million aimed at bolstering the number of “high-quality” nursing graduates in Florida. The Legislature this year approved spending $100 million to create what’s called the Prepping Institutions, Programs, Employers and Learners Through Incentives for Nursing Education fund, or PIPELINE. Along with money for universities, the PIPELINE fund included $40 million for nursing programs at state colleges and $20 million for nursing education at career and technical centers. [Source: News Service of Florida]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Florida receives $14 million federal grant for health insurance navigators
Florida received $14 million last week in federal grant funding to assist health insurance navigator programs in the state. As open enrollment for the 2023 plan year is set to begin November 1st, navigators are preparing to deliver information and services to those who need to apply for or change their coverage.

› Trulieve adds $5 million to pot initiative
The medical-cannabis company Trulieve contributed another $5 million last week to a ballot initiative aimed at legalizing recreational use of marijuana, according to a newly filed finance report. In all, Trulieve has contributed $10 million to the Smart & Safe Florida political committee, which is trying to get the initiative on the 2024 ballot. The committee had not received any other contributions as of Sept. 2, according to its finance report.

› Inter Miami, Florida Blue sign partnership, including naming rights for training center
Inter Miami on Monday announced a multi-year partnership with Florida Blue, the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plan. As part of the deal, which goes through 2027, Florida Blue will get naming rights for the team’s $60 million Fort Lauderdale training facility and become the club’s Official Community Partner. Among the initiatives, Florida Blue will be the presenting partner of Inter Miami’s Special Olympics Unified Team, a team of special needs youth that travels to play other MLS-sponsored special needs teams.

› $250,000 grant to help Naples center expand behavioral health services to families, children
A new $250,000 grant will allow the David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health in Naples to expand access to behavioral health services for children and families. The social and human services grant was presented to Collier County’s only comprehensive, not-for-profit behavioral health provider from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation’s Board of Directors.A new $250,000 grant will allow the David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health in Naples to expand access to behavioral health services for children and families. The social and human services grant was presented to Collier County’s only comprehensive, not-for-profit behavioral health provider from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation’s Board of Directors.

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