September 22, 2021
'Work to be done' as Florida's COVID-19 numbers continue decline from summertime peak

Florida Trend Health Care

'Work to be done' as Florida's COVID-19 numbers continue decline from summertime peak

| 9/21/2021

'Work to be done' as Florida's COVID-19 numbers continue decline from summertime peak

Coronavirus case numbers, hospitalizations, and positivity rates are dropping across Florida. But despite the encouraging trend, health experts say, it's still too early to let our guard down. The most recent data shows COVID-19 infections in Florida continue to drop from summer highs. The daily average of new cases last week was the lowest we've seen since the end of July. [Source: WTVT]

South Florida still No 1 in healthcare fraud. Ripoffs cost Medicare billions a year

South Florida continues to rank No. 1 in the nation for healthcare fraud, draining massive sums of money from the taxpayer-funded federal program, Medicare, and private insurance carriers, authorities say. The region recently accounted for $308 million, or 20 percent, of the $1.4 billion in false healthcare claims nationwide, according to a six-week snapshot of criminal cases released Friday by the Justice Department in South Florida and other parts of the country. [Source: Miami Herald]

Fried asks Biden to delay reductions to COVID-19 treatments

A day after Gov. Ron DeSantis pledged to “fight like hell” to maintain Florida’s supply of monoclonal antibody treatments for people with COVID-19, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried asked President Joe Biden to hold off on changing Florida’s allotment of the therapeutics. Fried, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in 2022, asked for planned changes to the national distribution of antibody drugs to be delayed until the COVID-19 caseload is “further reduced” in Florida. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Medical board to hold in-person meetings in October

The Florida Board of Medicine announced Friday it plans to hold its first face-to-face meeting in nearly two years, scheduling a two-day meeting in Orlando Oct. 7-8. Though the agenda has not been published, the Florida Board of Medicine is expected to discuss updating its rules regarding the care and treatment of patients using medications to lose weight. The rules need to be updated so they comply with the state’s telehealth laws. [Source: Florida Politics]

Report finds Florida tied for highest COVID nursing home death rate in nation this summer

As the delta variant of the coronavirus caused Florida to become a hotspot for COVID-19 in late July and August, the state’s nursing homes also felt the brunt. Using federal data, the senior-advocacy group AARP released a report Wednesday that said 237 Florida nursing-home residents died of COVID-19 during a four-week period that ended Aug. 22 -- tied for the highest death rate in the nation. Also, the report pointed to other indications of continuing struggles with COVID-19 in the state’s nursing homes, including lagging vaccination rates of workers and residents. [Source: News Service of Florida]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Mental health grants for Jacksonville-area nonprofits total nearly $600,000
Eleven nonprofit groups in Northeast Florida are receiving nearly $600,000 in collective grants from the Partnership for Mental Health. The money is meant to increase access to mental health services and provide behavioral health care. One of the first-time recipients is the Steven Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone in Jacksonville. It was awarded $77,000 to expand mental health support for female veterans.

› Broward Health CEO Shane Strum on leading through a pandemic
Amid the ongoing threat of Covid-19, South Florida’s health care systems continue to lead in the fight in the region to lower infection and death rates. As one of South Florida's largest and oldest public health systems, Fort Lauderdale-based Broward Health positioned itself as a key player in efforts to care for the sick and encourage education about Covid-19 across its 30 locations countywide. The system joined with federal, state and local partners to expand access to services such as Covid-19 screenings and telehealth offerings.

› Florida Center for Nursing will reopen and begin tracking staffing shortages
The Florida Center for Nursing (FCN) will establish a partnership with the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa to track nursing shortages and potential solutions, WUSF Public Media announced last week. A USF College of Nursing faculty member will be selected as FCN’s interim executive director until the center selects 10 additional board members.

› The people and organizations driving health care innovation in Northeast Florida
Health care is a booming industry in Northeast Florida. Over the past decade, the number of people employed by area hospitals alone grew to 31,400 as of July, up 30%. Extending that to include education and health services, about 131,900 people are employed, up 53%, state and U.S. numbers show. With that growth comes innovation.

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