Record numbers are signing up for Obamacare in Florida as enrollment period draws to a close
With just four days left to enroll for health insurance on the federal exchange, advocates for the Affordable Care Act say Florida is headed for a record-breaking year. Florida has the most enrollees out of any state that offers the federal exchange, with 802,711 people having signed up as of Dec. 2. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
» Floridians gained coverage since Obamacare, but some are worse off
» Price hikes push health insurance shoppers into hard choices
» As health premiums rise, small businesses seek alternatives
Florida Atlantic University is hoping to become home to some of the top young scientists in the United States. The goal is to create a pipeline for future scientists in South Florida who can help develop cures and treatments for ailments such as Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, schizophrenia, autism, and epilepsy. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) is reporting the first flu-related death of the season. While rare, there are flu-related deaths each season. Last season, FDOH received 11 reports of flu-related pediatric deaths, most of those occurring in unvaccinated children with underlying health conditions. [Source: WTXL]
Legislation to expand workers’ compensation benefits for firefighters, paramedics, EMTs and other first responders unanimously passed its first Senate committee last week. In part, the bill would require workers’ comp to cover mental conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. [Source: WMFE]
Senate President Joe Negron said Friday he thinks Florida's nursing homes should be paid more for providing care to the state's elder and frail residents. Negron, R-Stuart, said increasing Medicaid rates paid to nursing homes is a “very strong priority” of his for the upcoming legislative session. [Source: WLRN]
› Four Orlando Health hospitals earn Top Hospital designations [News Release]
Orlando Health’s Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC), Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies have been designated as Top Hospitals in the country by The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization.
› New health care program in Bradenton-Sarasota offers guaranteed employment [Bradenton Herald]
A new training program with guaranteed employment for eligible participants in the Bradenton-Sarasota region is available for those interested in a health care career.
› Democrats seek vote on expanding Medicaid in Florida [Health News Florida]
Two Democratic lawmakers are calling for voters to decide next year whether Florida should expand the Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act.
› Reasons elusive as Pinellas EMS demand skyrockets [Tampa Bay Times]
EMS calls have been on the rise in Pinellas County, especially in the last two years. Earlier this year, Clearwater Fire & Rescue tried out what's called a peak unit to run medical calls at the busiest times of the day to handle the higher demand.