December 2, 2023
Feds: Florida's poor oversight of psychotropic meds puts foster kids at risk

Florida Trend Health Care

Feds: Florida's poor oversight of psychotropic meds puts foster kids at risk

| 10/3/2023

Feds: Florida’s poor oversight of psychotropic meds puts foster kids at risk

The use of powerful psychotropic and opioid medications in Florida’s child welfare system is supposed to be strictly regulated and documented. But a federal audit of 115 records of children prescribed those medications selected at random by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found lax record-keeping and multiple cases of child welfare workers failing to follow Florida regulations on psychotropic or opioid medication. More from the  Tampa Bay Times and Orlando Medical News.

Report: Nearly half of the 500,000-plus individuals who have lost Medicaid benefits in Florida are children

Roughly 250,000 children have been terminated from the health insurance program since April, with state programs picking up only a small fraction of those. Florida also has not taken advantage of available federal flexibility to improve the redetermination process, as every other state in the nation has done. More from the Tampa Bay Times and Florida Politics.

Florida lawmaker brings back proposal to cover skin cancer screenings

A Senate Republican has proposed a bill that would require health insurance policies to cover annual skin cancer screenings performed by dermatologists. Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Chair Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, filed the bill (SB 56) for consideration during the legislative session that will start in January. It would require policies to cover skin cancer screenings by Jan. 1, 2025, and would bar imposing deductibles, co-payments or other types of cost-sharing requirements on patients. [Source: Health News Florida]

State’s mental health task force deployed to help people affected by Hurricane Idalia  

Historically speaking, it’s generally local nonprofits, faith-based organizations and private counselors volunteering time to provide mental health support for people who have been impacted by a natural disaster. But, in the weeks after Hurricane Ian a year ago, Florida deployed the first-ever State Emergency Response Mental Health Task Force. Now, the task force has been deployed a second time to help people in the Panhandle impacted by Hurricane Idalia. [Source: WUSF]

COVID case count in Florida decreases again, but deaths pass 91,000 mark

New data from the state Department of Health showed continued decreases during the past two weeks of reported COVID-19 cases. The state had 10,925 reported cases during the week that started Sept. 15 and 9,540 reported cases during the week that started Sept. 22, according to the report issued Friday. Two weeks earlier, the state noted the first drop in case counts since a late-summer increase. [Source: WUSF]


› Getting a clip job at Golisano Children’s Hospital helps to fund-raise for pediatric cancer patients
Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida treats, on average, 90 children for cancer each year. In recognition of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, community supporters helped raise money for those children – by letting them shave their heads. “You are brave! Time to shave!” resonated through the lobby of the Golisano Children's Hospital Friday as the sixth annual Clips for Cancer fundraiser kicked off its second and final day of head shaving for the year.

› Lee Health to consider transition from public to private nonprofit status
Lee Health, one of Florida’s largest healthcare networks, is considering a change from operating as a publicly-funded nonprofit to a privately-funded nonprofit. In deliberating the transition, Lee Health has consulted Kaufman Hall, a healthcare advisory firm, to undergo assessments. If the evaluation, which may take up to 180 days, finds that the system would financially benefit by moving to a privatized governing structure, discussions with the Lee County Commission will follow, according to the health system. .

› Fake South Florida nursing school diploma scheme leads to federal convictions
Twenty people pled guilty or were convicted for their participation in a scheme that sold fake nursing school degrees from South Florida-based schools, prosecutors said Thursday. The defendants, comprised of Florida residents and residents of other states, were charged with operating and recruiting for three nursing schools — Sacred Heart Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Sienna College of Health in Lauderhill and Palm Beach School of Nursing in West Palm Beach — in a scam that sold more than 7,600 fraudulent nursing diplomas. All three schools are closed.

› Jackson Health's beleaguered heart transplant center gets a new chief
A beleaguered heart transplant center in Miami is getting a new chief. Jackson Health System has named thoracic surgeon Dr. Hari Mallidi as new head of the heart transplant program. The move is widely considered the first step in restructuring Jackson Health’s cardiac care after it was closed down for five months this year.

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