Florida doctors: Don’t let COVID-19 fears stop you from getting necessary health care
While the number of coronavirus cases in Florida continues to rise statewide, doctors say they’re also growing more concerned about patients with other medical needs not related to COVID-19. Toward the beginning of the pandemic, some patients were encouraged to avoid seeking care at hospitals over fears that they could take up bed space that might be needed by a seriously ill COVID-19 patient, while others were avoiding hospitals over fears they might contract the novel coronavirus. [Source: WKMG]
Rare brain-eating amoeba infection confirmed in Florida, health officials say
The Florida Department of Health confirmed a case of what is commonly referred to as a brain-eating amoeba in the Tampa area. According to the department, one person in Hillsborough County contracted Naegleria fowleri, which is a single-cell amoeba that attacks brain tissue and is usually fatal. [Source: CBS News]
Budget vetoes a 'big hit' to Florida's health care system
Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed more than $140.5 million in health care spending from the state’s new budget Monday as he brought the spending plan in line with reduced revenues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. In trying to balance the 2020-2021 budget, which takes effect Wednesday, DeSantis vetoed scores of health care-related projects but also cut into what is known as the “base budget,” which includes programs funded with recurring dollars. [Source: WUSF]
Commentary: Seniors need home health access more than ever
While the Sunshine State has been a haven for seniors to live out their golden years, the COVID-19 national health emergency is creating unprecedented challenges for Florida’s growing population of seniors — and the health-care professionals who serve them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 80 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the United States have been in adults 65 years old and older, while three-quarters of patients hospitalized with the novel coronavirus are over age 50, as of June 25. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Florida’s largest nursing home provider is again facing a quarter-billion-dollar judgment for fraud that company leaders have said could cause its “immediate economic extinction.” An appeals court last week affirmed part of a jury’s finding that Consulate Health Care, which operates a tenth of all Florida nursing homes, systematically defrauded the government by providing medically unnecessary treatments to patients. [Source: Naples Daily News]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› University of North Florida to develop ‘MedNexus’ [Jax Daily Record]
The University of North Florida’s MedNexus received $6 million in funding through the 2020-21 state budget passed by the Legislature and signed June 29 by Gov. Ron DeSantis. It will be the nation’s first comprehensive, university-based medical and health care facility to connect health care providers with university students, faculty and researchers, according to a news release from UNF.
› Doctors, interns volunteer with Florida Cares to build landing ramp for Havana woman [WTXL]
Medical interns are trading their stethoscopes for hammers and nails to give a Florida woman a sense of freedom in her own home. While many people are starting the holiday weekend early, a few future doctors have all hands on deck working to make a difference in the community.
› Central Florida Foundation donor leaves legacy for future nurses [Florida Trend]
The College of Central Florida Foundation recently announced an $88,756 planned gift to establish the Frances M. Lowe Endowed Nursing Scholarship at the college. The donor, Frances Lowe, was a resident of Inverness. Lowe had a passion for education expressed by her interest to help future generations achieve their dreams of becoming nurses.
› Sarasota doctor pays $4.8 million to resolve health care fraud claims [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
A longtime Sarasota eye doctor and his practice will pay $4.8 million to resolve federal claims of health care fraud. Ophthalmic Consultants and Dr. Robert K. Snyder were accused of submitting false charges to Medicare and other government health care programs for drugs used to treat patients with wet age-related macular degeneration and other eye diseases.