Florida ‘pill mills’ were ‘gas on the fire’ of opioid crisis
Florida survives on tourism, but a decade ago, thousands of visitors made frequent trips to the state not to visit its theme parks or beaches. Instead, they came for cheap and easy prescription painkillers sold at unscrupulous walk-in clinics. For a while, few in authority did much about it even though it was all done in the open with little oversight. More from the AP and WUSF.
Public schools will be required to teach students at least five hours of mental health instruction beginning in 6th grade, under a mandate approved by the state Board of Education Wednesday and hailed by Florida's top educator as a “life saver.” Education officials proposed the change to the statewide school curriculum in June, following discussions with First Lady Casey DeSantis, who has made the mental health issue one of her top priorities. [Source: Health News Florida]
A market that's expected to exceed $3 billion in the next five years, healthcare simulators have been popping up all over the world. Miami Dade College's new center joins the University of South Florida and Florida Atlantic University in providing healthcare simulation in medical education. Among the advantages of mechanized medical education is the level of control instructors have over the conditions each faux patient experiences, allowing students to gain experience dealing with conditions and crises that they may not encounter in the field. [Source: News & Observer]
Without a paying job or even at minimum wage, the cost of health insurance in Florida is too high among the many costs of living. Over 2.5 million Floridians go without health insurance and hope that problems like backaches don’t escalate into something far worse. [Source: Gainesville Sun]
Lawmakers ordered Florida disability administrators this year to restructure its community-based Medicaid program that delivers healthcare to tens of thousands of people with disabilities. But as two state agencies begin to devise the new structure of the program, clients, caregivers and service providers worry that the coming changes to lower the agency’s budget might cut critical services to people who need them. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
› Nationwide blood shortage impacts North Central Florida [WCJB]
A nationwide blood shortage has impacted North Central Florida. LifeSouth says they are back-ordered over 100 units of blood for Gainesville area hospitals. They are also experiencing a shortage of blood and platelets in Lake City and Ocala.
› Hospital system scores big gains in residency program [Business Observer]
With successful results of its family medicine residency program serving as precedent, Lee Health believes it has the prescription for addressing a shortage of medical doctors in Southwest Florida. To attract more doctors to the growing region, the hospital system will collaborate with Florida State University College of Medicine to create an internal medicine residence program at Cape Coral Hospital.
› Changes Coming for Florida Developmental Disabilities Medicaid Waiver Program [Helath News Florida]
The head of the Florida agency that helps people with disabilities told a large crowd of people Wednesday not to worry about an impending redesign of the state’s Medicaid home and community-based waiver program. “I know that some of you think that doom and gloom is here because of this, but it’s not,” Agency for Persons with Disabilities Director Barbara Palmer said at a public meeting. “It’s a great opportunity for us to make a difference in the people’s lives.”
› Temperatures rise on repeal of CON laws [Jacksonville Daily Record]
While the Northeast Florida health care market has been busy the past several years, a bill that took effect July 1, repealing most of Florida’s certificate of need laws, may make it even busier. Florida was one of 35 states with a certificate of need law.