December 1, 2023
Medicare expands the roster of available mental health professionals

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Medicare expands the roster of available mental health professionals

| 11/7/2023

Medicare expands the roster of available mental health professionals

Medicare is expanding access to mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists come Jan. 1. But the belief that seniors who suffer from mental health problems should just grin and bear it remains a troubling barrier to care. [Source: Health News Florida]

Walmart Health signs care coordination agreements with Florida health system, insurer

Retail giant Walmart's healthcare arm, Walmart Health, announced that it has signed coordinated care agreements with Florida health insurer Ambetter from Sunshine Health and Orlando Health, a Florida-based network of community and specialty hospitals. [Source: Mobi Health News]

Tampa Bay Wave and USF accelerator plan to launch healthtech program in 2024

The nonprofit announced the new program, HealthTech|X Accelerator, last Wednesday at a kickoff event. The initiative comes from a collaboration with USF and a $2 million grant from the United States Economic Development Administration. The collaboration seeks to further the Tampa Bay area’s tech ecosystem and develop it as a health tech hub. [Source: Tampa Bay Inno]

Florida pedestrians, bicyclists call for stronger protections against drivers

Vince Dyer runs a pedestrian safety initiative program in Orlando called Best Foot Forward. Dyer’s group has been working with state and local leaders for the past 10 years, to help find ways to keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe. He believes there should be changes to major crossings and better state traffic laws that better explain what drivers can and cannot do to avoid causing an accident. [Source: WUSF]

Florida attorney general, against criticism, seeks to keep abortion rights amendment off 2024 ballot

Florida's Republican attorney general has asked the state Supreme Court to keep a proposed abortion rights amendment off the ballot, saying proponents are waging “a war” to protect the procedure and ultimately will seek to expand those rights in future years. But proponents of the proposed amendment said Attorney General Ashley Moody is playing politics and that her arguments fall legally short given what the call the clear and precise language of the proposed measure. [Source: ABC News]


› Straight “A” streak continues for all Lee Health Acute Care Hospitals
The Leapfrog Group released its Fall 2023 Hospital Safety Grades, awarding HealthPark Medical Center, Cape Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital an “A” grade, which is the highest honor that can be received.

› Florida medical marijuana retailer fights ‘exponential’ licensing fee increase
A medical marijuana company in Florida is challenging a $1.3 million biennial renewal fee approved by regulators last December and backed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. Sanctuary Cannabis, which operates five MMJ dispensaries in the state, argued the fee hike was “an exponential increase” from previous assessments and is seeking an administrative hearing with the Department of Health.

› How lawmakers in Texas and Florida undermine Covid vaccination efforts
Though Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis initially promoted Covid vaccination, his stance changed as resistance to Covid measures became central to his presidential campaign. In late 2021, he appointed Joseph Ladapo surgeon general. By then, Ladapo had penned Wall Street Journal op-eds skeptical of mainstream medical advice, such as one asking, “Are Covid Vaccines Riskier Than Advertised?”

› Medical providers expanding to keep up with St. Johns County's booming population growth
The latest acquisition of Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine by UF Health indicates a growing focus on Northeast Florida's consistent population growth and the health care needs that come with it. UF Health St. Johns President and CEO Carlton DeVooght said the integration with Flagler Health has created a good presence, especially in southern St. Johns County.

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