Florida hospitals on high alert as feds warn of cyber attacks
Federal officials warned of impending cyber attacks targeted at hospitals. Five health care facilities have already been hit across the U.S., experts said, and more could be coming. Florida hospitals say they take the threat seriously. “Florida’s hospitals are facing a significant and serious threat with the potential for damaging consequences and massive disruption to our health care system,” said Florida Hospital Association President and CEO Mary Mayhew — who resigned last month as the head of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida study suggests kratom could treat opioid addictions
A UF study suggests kratom, a plant native to southeast Asia, could be an all-natural treatment for opioid addictions. Researchers found that kratom tea alleviated some withdrawal symptoms, such as difficulty breathing in morphine-addicted mice, said Jay McLaughlin, a project researcher and UF pharmacy professor. So far, kratom has also provided pain relief with less addiction withdrawal symptoms than morphine. [Source: WUSF]
Florida groups fear loss of health insurance for many ahead of oral arguments in Obamacare lawsuit
Dozens of groups and individuals sent a joint letter to Attorney General Ashley Moody this week, asking her to withdraw Florida from the list of plaintiffs in the California v. Texas lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act. Florida joined the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as Obamacare — in 2018, under former Attorney General Pam Bondi. Moody inherited the case. More from WUWF and WLRN.
Coronavirus test results still taking days for many Floridians
Labs in Florida are processing coronavirus tests more quickly than they were when the pandemic began seven months ago. But on average, it's still taking between 24 and 72 hours for most people to get their test results. Health experts say those delays can impact contact tracing and quarantine efforts that prevent the disease from spreading. [Source: Health News Florida]
In Florida alone, roughly 1.5 million people would be eligible for coverage under Medicaid expansion. It's a number that has grown recently because of the economic trouble and job losses triggered by the pandemic. The Trump administration has given states ways to restrict spending on the government insurance program for low-income Americans. A Biden administration would expand Medicaid coverage. [Source: WUSF]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› University of Florida College of Medicine makes history by naming a woman as its dean [WCJB]
A woman is named as the dean of the University of Florida College of Medicine for the first time in the college’s 64-year history. Colleen G. Koch, M.D., M.S., M.B.A was announced as the new dean of the college on Friday. “Dr. Koch brings with her a distinguished record of visionary leadership, scholarly accomplishments and demonstrated excellence in academic health and clinical administration,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health.
› South Florida ‘sober homes’ operator gets long prison term in healthcare fraud case [Miami Herald]
A former South Florida operator of “sober homes” for drug addicts was sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison on Friday after being convicted of bilking healthcare insurers while taking advantage of patients at his chain of treatment facilities. Sebastian Ahmed 42, of Delray Beach, was found guilty in March of leading a multimillion-dollar healthcare fraud conspiracy along with multiple counts of fraud and money laundering.
› Home care agency promotes two to vice president of operations roles [Business Observer]
Home care agency Doctor’s Choice Home Care Inc. promoted Deborah Strehan Dyer and Sue Tamburin to vice president of operations roles. In their new roles, Strehan Dyer and Tamburin will be responsible for developing strategies to create operational efficiencies and execute on new initiatives to drive growth and improve financial and clinical performance. Additionally, they’ll be responsible for the achievement of established performance goals for compliance, quality outcomes and patient experiences.
› Healthcare magnate spends $24M on sixth South Florida nursing home [The Real Deal]
A healthcare magnate continued his South Florida nursing home buying spree, paying $23.95 million for a 245-bed unit in North Miami. It marks his sixth nursing home purchase in two years, totaling more than $100 million in deals.