Florida workers rank near the top in how much they pay for health insurance
Workers are spending a larger chunk of their paychecks on health insurance, and Floridians are some of the worst off. For years, the cost of insurance has outstripped incomes and the trend continues, according to a recent study from the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit that advocates for improvements to the health care system. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Flu season off to a faster, ‘unusual’ start in Florida. Here’s what you need to do now
This year’s flu season has had its fastest start in Florida, and among other southern states and Puerto Rico, in 15 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Seasonal influenza activity in the United States has been elevated for four weeks and continues to increase,” the CDC reported on Nov. 30 at the end of week 48 of the year. [Source: Miami Herald]
Florida nursing homes grapple with backup generator requirements
Time is ticking for the state’s long-term care providers to comply with a requirement to have backup generators and fuel or face fines or even the possible revocation of their licenses. The backup emergency-power mandate was approved in state rules more than two years ago, after residents died at a Broward County nursing home following Hurricane Irma in September 2017. [Source: WJCT]
Medical marijuana: Panel wants answers why 9% of doctors account for most pot use approvals
Florida medical board members, confronted with a state report that details how a relatively small number of doctors have approved most patients to use medical marijuana, are seeking more information about why that is happening. Members of a joint panel of the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine and the Florida Board of Medicine say they want to better understand the numbers in a 384-page report that tracks the amount of medical marijuana ordered in the state. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Thousands of people with dementia and other neurological impairments have participated in “music enrichment” sessions from Homestead to Port St. Lucie since 2014. The sessions are hosted by a local non-profit organization called Mind and Melody. “Music enrichment sessions have three basic components: trained musicians, participants and instruments,” said Cristina Rodriguez, president and co-founder of Mind and Melody. [Source: Health News Florida]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Gov. DeSantis budget would reward Florida hospitals with high ratings [Tampa Bay Times]
Gov. Ron DeSantis has proposed creating a program that would increase funding for high-performing hospitals, a move that could mean more money for 66 hospitals across Florida, including Tampa General, according to an analysis by a statewide hospital association. The Medicaid proposal — dubbed the Top Outcome for Patients, or TOP, program — was included in the $91.4 billion budget plan DeSantis’ unveiled last month.
› UCF medical students give free Hep A shots, care to homeless [AP]
For more than nine months now, a group of volunteer UCF medical students have been giving free hepatitis A shots to the homeless in Orlando. Once a month, on a Tuesday evening, they set up their portable tent and a few tables at the corner of a church parking lot in downtown Orlando and triage their patients. They vaccinate as many as 25 people during the 90-minute clinic.
› The Villages announces new partnership with University of Florida Health [Villages News]
The Villages and University of Florida Health have announced their intent to develop a comprehensive health care campus that will offer a full portfolio of education, research and advanced health care and wellness services for The Villages community, including construction of a new general acute care hospital.
› Justices urged to approve Medicaid ballot proposal [WGCU]
Disputing arguments raised by the state House and Senate, a political committee urged the Florida Supreme Court to sign off on a proposed constitutional amendment that would expand Medicaid coverage. The committee Florida Decides Healthcare is seeking to take the issue to voters in 2022 after Republican lawmakers have refused repeatedly in recent years to expand Medicaid to low-income adults who currently don’t qualify for coverage.