No change to Obamacare premiums in 2020 in Florida
State insurance regulators released their annual list of approved health insurance plans for 2020 on Friday, projecting no change to the average cost of premiums. That’s a reprieve after several years of premiums hikes, which increased by an average of 5% this year and by 45% in 2018. Nine insurance companies are offering individual plans on and off the Obamacare marketplace next year. This year, there were seven. The majority have reduced their premiums compared to what they offered this year. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the Miami Herald.
Four people are facing charges in connection with the heat-related deaths of 12 patients at a Hollywood nursing home after its air conditioning stopped working in the days after Hurricane Irma in 2017. Jorge Carballo, a former administrator of the now-shuttered Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, turned himself in Monday. Supervising nurse Sergo Colin and two other nurses, Althia Meggie and Tamika Miller, also surrendered to police. More from WPLG, the AP and CNN.
A month after federal health officials signaled they would reverse course and plan to open up prescription drug importation by states and businesses from abroad, Florida officials are pushing ahead with a plan they say could save the state about $150 million by bringing in medications from Canada alone. Though it has been illegal to import prescription drugs from Canada, many Americans do so regardless — and federal officials largely have not enforced the ban. Canadian drugs are cheaper in part because its government limits how much pharmaceutical companies can charge, unlike the U.S. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
The families of two children who were paralyzed after heart surgeries at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital will receive $26 million and $12.75 million in settlements with the hospital, state records show. Although the identities of the children are not public, the records describing their cases match two of the patients featured in a Tampa Bay Times investigation into the hospital’s troubled heart unit. Both families were struggling with the costs of caring for a permanently disabled child with no relief in sight. A third family that lost a child after heart surgery will receive $750,000. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Last Thursday marked the grand opening of Mayo Clinic’s new Discovery and Innovation Building, home to a pioneering technology that will increase the number of lungs available for transplant as well as a new hub for Northeast Florida’s entrepreneurs to get together, share ideas, develop new products and services, and create new companies. [Source: WUSF]
› Feds plan crackdown as Florida fentanyl deaths rise [WFSU News]
The White House announced the federal government will be cracking down on international fentanyl trafficking. Fentanyl is a pain reliever used for treating severe pain, but in recent years the addictive drug has been used recreationally - causing more than 28,000 deaths in 2017. That’s more than half the deaths caused by opioids overall that year. Making it the biggest contributor to the opioid overdose. Fentanyl has taken the lives of thousands of Floridians over the past years.
› Orlando Health acquires cardiology practice [Orlando Sentinel]
Orlando Health Heart Institute continues its expansion, this time by acquiring Cardiology Consultants of Orlando, an independent practice in Central Florida. The acquisition, which went into effect on Aug. 1, brings up the institute’s number of physicians to 56 and a total of 22 locations.
› New Tampa mental health clinic to treat thousands of Florida veterans, military families [WFLA]
A new mental health clinic for veterans and military families celebrated its grand opening Monday in Tampa. The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic will provide life-saving mental health care to more than 230,000 post-9/11 Florida veterans and military families.
› Lung illness with suspected link to vaping found in Florida [Health News Florida]
Florida is now one of 16 states where federal and state officials are investigating lung-related illnesses that have suspected ties to e-cigarette use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The evidence so far suggests the illness isn't an infectious disease, but in all 153 reported cases as of Wednesday, patients used e-cigarettes – also called vaping, according to the CDC.