With court ruling, Florida may be forced to defend putting sick kids in institutions
An Atlanta appeals court has ruled that the U.S. Department of Justice may proceed with a lawsuit alleging Florida systematically discriminates against severely disabled and medically complex children by leaving them no choice but to live in institutions — in violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, and other laws. [Source: Miami Herald]
Florida’s vaping ‘hole’: Nobody has authority amid health crisis
While the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation regulates tobacco, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Division of Food Safety regulates ingested products like CBD food and drink, the state is left with a major question. Who is responsible for regulating CBD vaping products that line shelves at head shops and convenience stores statewide? [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Agencies seek money for drug importation
Despite a possibly tight budget next year, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration submitted a legislative wish list this week that seeks hundreds of millions of additional dollars for health and social-service programs. Top officials from six health care-related agencies appeared Wednesday before the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee and made pitches for spending boosts. More from WOFL and WGCU.
State hiring part-time workers to combat hepatitis A
The state has hired part-time workers to help abate the growing hepatitis A public health emergency, Department of Health Secretary Scott Rivkees told lawmakers on Wednesday. Rivkees told the House Health Quality Subcommittee that his department has used $3 million in funds from county health departments to hire additional workers. [Source: Health News Florida]
About two dozen registered nurses demonstrated outside Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah on Friday, saying they are stretched too thin to do their jobs well, and calling for higher nurse-to-patient ratios. The rally was part of a strike organized by National Nurses United. It extended to Florida Medical Center in Lauderdale Lakes, another hospital owned by Tenet Healthcare. More from the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Setninel.
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ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› At least 3 strains of flu virus circulating, health officials say [Palm Beach Post]
As the summer draws to a close and the flu season approaches, health officials are encouraging Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast residents to get their flu vaccinations soon. Modest increases in influenza and influenza-like illnesses are expected in the coming weeks as the traditional flu season hits the state, the Florida Department of Health said in its most recent influenza report.
› Insurance regulators back Tampa-based Wellcare-Centene merger [WUSF]
Insurance regulators in Florida and 16 other states have approved a proposed merger between Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans and Centene Corp., the managed-care companies said Thursday. The proposed $17.3 billion merger, announced in March, would combine two of the largest players in Florida’s Medicaid managed-care system.
› Out-of-state providers show interest in telehealth [WGCU]
The Florida Board of Medicine has received about 200 email inquiries about the state’s new telehealth law, with about half coming from out-of-state providers, members of a House health-care panel were told this week. But Claudia Kemp, staff director of the Board of Medicine, was hesitant to predict how many out-of-state physicians would register this year and begin caring for Florida patients as allowed under a new telehealth law.
› Florida hospitals file suit, demand compensation from opioid companies [Miami Herald]
Twenty-seven Florida hospitals are the latest to join a flurry of litigation against big-name opioid manufacturers, distributors and retailers, claiming millions of dollars in damages for uncompensated care related to the opioid epidemic.