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Florida might be making a 'dent' in opioid epidemic, new numbers suggest

Florida might be making a 'dent' in opioid epidemic, new numbers suggest

Florida might finally be seeing some relief from the opioid crisis. New numbers from state officials show a dent in overdose deaths. The state’s Medical Examiners Commission released its interim 2018 data last week. It shows a couple of big takeaways from the first half of last year; overall drug-related deaths were down five percent and opioid-caused deaths were down 13 percent. The data was compared to the same time for 2017. More from and WFTS.

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» Attorney Amy Furness is defending the opioid manufacturer of Percocet

Further changes to certificate of need program proposed

Eliminating the certificate of need program for hospitals may have been the easy part, but how to license them in the future may be more complex. Tallahassee health-care regulators on Wednesday started the layered process of reshaping the state’s certificate of need program, moving ahead to focus it on nursing homes, hospices, and institutions for individuals with developmental disabilities. [Source: Health News Florida]

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Sarasota Memorial Hospital uses robot to find lung cancer nodules

Among the challenges in diagnosing and treating lung cancer is the difficulty of detecting malignant nodules in hard-to-reach areas within the lung. Doctors at Sarasota Memorial Hospital have begun using a robot that they hope will make it easier to find those cancerous areas. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida officials hope CDC partnership curbs hepatitis A outbreaks

The Florida Department of Health is working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address a hepatitis A outbreak and hopes the “partnership” will help expand vaccinations, state officials said Wednesday. The department issued a news release about the effort but did not detail how the agencies would work together on what Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez described as increasing “our vaccination outreach.” [Source: ]

New law will hasten Orlando’s already healthy hospital building boom

Ten years ago, there was no such thing as Free Standing Emergency Department in Central Florida. Now the there’s over a dozen of them open or in development, representing over $200 million in investment by the region’s three largest hospital companies. And the health care building boon is just getting started. [Source: ]

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Florida Water ForumFlorida Association of Health Plans Annual Conference


Florida’s Health Plans: Connecting Florida’s Health Care Community | Join us for the 2019 Florida Association of Health Plans Annual Conference, Sept. 4-6, at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, Orlando. Register at FAHP.net today! 


› 17,500 patients left to scramble after Boca Raton Regional Hospital drops UnitedHealthcare
Boca Raton Regional Hospital has ended its contract with UnitedHealthcare, leaving about 17,500 patients scrambling to find another health facility or go out of network. Boca Regional, part of the Baptist Health system as of July 1, has been in negotiations with UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurer, for the last month regarding a replacement agreement to its contract with the insurer, which expired June 30.

› More cases of flesh-eating bacteria reported in Florida
In the last two weeks, doctors have seen at least five cases of flesh-eating bacteria. Those infections all originated at beaches on the west coast of Florida. Victims range from a 77-year-old woman, who died from the infection on Anna Marie Island, to a 12-year-old who needed several surgeries after being infected in Destin.

› Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point honors its nurses of the year
Regional Medical Center Bayonet recently honored Maria Paulter, RN, and Julia Wise, RN, as its Nurses of the Year. Maria Paulter was honored as the RN Nurse of the Year and Julia Wise was honored in the category of New RN of the Year. Both Ms. Paulter and Ms. Wise were recognized at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point’s annual Nursing Gala.

› Fort Myers medical practice expands with globally trained physician
Eye Centers of Florida added its 17th doctor: the Fort Myers-based eye care provider hired Dr. Carmen Wilson to practice in its Immokalee office. To meet the patient needs of the area, Wilson, like many of the staff at that location, speaks both Spanish and English. Wilson has participated in several medical mission trips in underserved communities in Brazil, Haiti, Turks and Caicos and Jamaica. She most recently worked in Montego Bay, Jamaica.