Florida lawmakers aim to make opioid abuse a priority in upcoming session
Florida Governor Rick Scott is promising to make the opioid crisis a top priority in the coming legislative session. As reported earlier, the governor is proposing $50 million to combat the epidemic. Scott has the backing of leadership in the House and Senate for his proposal, but details of how he plans to spend the $50 million haven’t been released. Scott's plan is in contrast to earlier this year, when his administration came under fire for favoring enforcement over treatment. In June, the governor signed a measure implementing mandatory minimum sentences for fentanyl possession, but at the same time, the state budget cut $11 million in mental health and substance abuse treatment. Full story from WFSU, here.
» Addressing the opioid crisis in Walton County
Florida regulators said most of the average rate hike — 31 percentage points — came from standard plans sold on the ACA exchange at healthcare.gov. Insurers raised rates for those plans due to the political uncertainty that has plagued the healthcare debate. See the full news release from Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation, here. Also read more at the Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and the AP.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up an appeal by a Jacksonville-based hospital system about the disclosure of records in medical-malpractice cases. The records issue focused on whether hospitals are required to disclose certain records to plaintiffs during medical-malpractice lawsuits. [Source: Palm Beach Post]
A group that represents nursing homes and assisted living facilities is challenging Florida Gov. Rick Scott's order to install generators at the facilities by Dec. 1, saying the deadline is impossible to meet and the order is simply a reaction to one incompetent nursing home where 11 people died in sweltering heat after Hurricane Irma. [Source: AP]
Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier this week shepherded through the Florida Health Insurance Advisory Board a recommendation to ban what is known as “balance billing” for emergency medical transportation, despite concerns from several board members. [Source: Florida Politics]
› Federal judge blocks Florida abortion law [Health News Florida]
A federal judge has blocked a Florida law that would require people and groups that provide abortion advice to register with the state and furnish women with a detailed explanation of the procedure and alternatives.
› Zika infections are well below Florida’s 2016 level [The Real Deal]
Reported cases of Zika infection have plunged in Florida this year, sparing the state from further declines in tourist traffic due to the mosquito-borne virus.
› Is my mole cancerous? Miami health-tech startup is developing a hand-held device to evaluate risk [Miami Herald]
DermaSensor is a Miami-based health-tech startup that is developing a medical device that aims to detect the risk of skin cancer. A user would scan a mole or lesion with the device and the technology inside the device would determine whether the lesion is potentially cancerous, based on its data and algorithm.
› Central Florida Health Care clinic in Lakeland earns perfect score from federal inspection [Lakeland Ledger]
For Ann Claussen and others on the staff and board at Central Florida Health Care, a recent site visit from federal inspectors ended with cause to celebrate.