December 5, 2022
Florida could surpass record Affordable Care Act enrollment in 2023

Florida Trend Health Care

Florida could surpass record Affordable Care Act enrollment in 2023

| 11/8/2022

Florida could surpass record Affordable Care Act enrollment in 2023

The window to enroll for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act began this week with many experts predicting that participation in 2023 will likely surpass the record 14.5 million people who signed up for insurance through the federal program this year. Florida, which led the nation with 2.7 million enrollees in 2022, could also surpass that number next year, said Jodi Ray, executive director of Florida Covering Kids & Families, which provides navigators across the state to help people pick and enroll in federal marketplace insurance plans. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

State faces challenges on Medicaid minimum wage

Three health-care groups this week challenged how the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration is carrying out a requirement that “direct care” workers get paid a minimum of $15 an hour. The Florida Assisted Living Association, the Florida Ambulance Association and the Home Care Association of Florida filed the challenges at the state Division of Administrative Hearings. The same groups in late September filed a lawsuit in Leon County circuit court to try to block part of this year’s state budget that could open Medicaid providers to litigation if they don’t pay the $15 minimum wage. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida medical boards vote to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth

Florida health leaders moved forward with plans to prohibit gender-affirming treatments for minors in the state. Under the rule, medical professionals in Florida are restricted to provide sex reassignment surgeries and puberty-blocking hormones and therapies for those under the age of 18. Minors currently being treated prior to the rule may still continue with their treatments. More from WTSP and The Hill.

Employers are concerned about covering workers’ mental health needs, survey finds

Almost three years after the COVID-19 pandemic upended workplaces, mental health coverage remains a priority for employers, according to an annual employer survey fielded by KFF. Nearly half of surveyed large employers — those with at least 200 workers — reported that a growing share of their workers were using mental health services. Yet almost a third of that group said their health plan’s network didn’t have enough behavioral health care providers for employees to have timely access to the care they need. [Source: WUSF]

Florida's attorney general launches the One Pill Can Kill website to combat fentanyl

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has launched the One Pill Can Kill website with resources about the dangers of fentanyl. More and more, she says the opioid is being hidden in drugs like marijuana and cocaine, unbeknownst to the user. “People need to know that just one pill laced with fentanyl is enough to kill a full grown adult," Moody says in a video about the website. "Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death for American adults between the ages of 18 and 45.” [Source: Health News Florida]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Tampa grower launches another challenge over the state's medical marijuana licenses
Heeding a legal blueprint laid out by an appellate judge, a Tampa-based orchid grower has filed a lawsuit accusing the Florida Department of Health of violating the state Constitution by delaying the issuance of nearly two-dozen medical marijuana licenses. The lawsuit, filed Monday in Leon County circuit court, is the latest attempt by Louis Del Favero Orchids to enter the state’s medical marijuana market. The company’s other administrative and legal challenges over the past four years have fizzled.

› A Florida-based electronic health records firm will pay $45 million over false claims
A Florida-based health records company has agreed to pay $45 million to resolve allegations that it improperly generated sales and caused users to report inaccurate information, the U.S. attorney's office in Vermont announced Tuesday. The government alleges in the civil case that Modernizing Medicine Inc., of Boca Raton, violated the False Claims Act and the anti-kickback statute through three marketing programs that increased its business and that of a laboratory company it was working with.

› Sarasota County's first modern hospital marks 97th anniversary, closes in on century mark
Sarasota Memorial Hospital marked its 97th anniversary on Nov. 2. When the 32-bed facility opened on that date in 1925, it was the county’s first modern hospital. In the years since, it has grown into a thriving regional medical center with acute care hospital campuses in Sarasota and Venice and plans to break ground on a third hospital in North Port as part of its 100th-anniversary celebration. It cost $40,000 to build that first facility. In contrast, it cost $255 million to build the Venice campus that opened about a year ago.

› Hospital employees face turning over personal text messages in malpractice case
An appeals court rejected an attempt by employees of Ascension St. Vincent’s hospital to shield text messages from being disclosed in a medical malpractice case against a former physician at the Jacksonville medical center. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal sided with former patients who filed a consolidated malpractice lawsuit last year against physician R. David Heekin.

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