Study finds employees in Florida pay among the highest rates for health insurance
Employees in Florida paid more for their health insurance in 2020 than workers in nearly every other state, a new study from The Commonwealth Fund found. The study compared employee health insurance costs, including insurance premiums and deductibles. The average amount that Florida workers paid for premiums – which come out of their paychecks – and deductibles was $9,284 in 2020, or 16% of the state’s median income. Ten years ago, Florida’s workers paid $5,205 – or 11% of the state’s median income. [Source: Health News Florida]
Florida Trend Exclusive
Stress-relief, family-friendly cancer care for Florida pediatric cancer patients
Two non-profit Pensacola organizations have joined forces to help pediatric cancer patients and their families relieve some of the stress and financial strain while their children undergo prolonged treatment periods. IMPACT 100, an all-woman philanthropic group, recently awarded a $101,820 grant to the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research to create a business-center style office space at the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola. [Source: Florida Trend]
Statewide reports shows how bad mental health support is in Florida
A report released in December paints a bad picture for mental health in Florida. The Third Interim Report of the 20th Statewide Grand Jury was released by the Florida Attorney General’s Office in December of last year. It’s a sobering account that outlines a laundry list of issues in Florida’s mental health system. “Our mental health care ‘system,’ if one can even call it that, is a mess,” the report states. [Source: Wink News]
Consulate nursing homes are changing names. Are they changing ownership?
The largest nursing home chain in Florida is rebranding. On its website, Consulate Health Care Services no longer lists any long-term care facilities in the state. In the wake of a bankruptcy filing and a slew of bad press over the last few years, the privately held chain — the sixth-largest nursing home company in the nation — has quietly divided its Florida facilities into three separate companies. All three appear to still be affiliated with Consulate. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida Trend Exclusive
People infected with HIV are 500 times more likely than those without the disease to get a type of soft tissue cancer called Kaposi sarcoma. They’re 12 times more likely to get non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and three times more likely to get cervical cancer, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Data also show that HIV-positive cancer patients are more likely to die from cancer than HIV-negative patients with the same cancers. The Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida, has formed a multidisciplinary team to improve care for HIV-positive cancer patients. [Source: Florida Trend]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Suspension of Dr. Pino comes as administration tightens muzzle on public health, critics say [Orlando Sentinel]
The suspension of Orange County’s Dr. Raul Pino — after urging his health department staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 — is the most blatant example yet of the state’s increasingly tight muzzle on health authorities fighting the pandemic, critics say, making Florida one of the most repressive in the nation when it comes to public health matters.
› South Florida health centers, pharmacies ready to distribute free N95 masks [WPBF]
The Biden administration will distribute 400 million N95 masks across the country as soon as next week for Americans to pick up at community health centers and pharmacies for free. Experts said they provide better protection against COVID-19 than other masks. They are also more difficult to find than other masks and there are many counterfeit versions as well. "We were very recently notified we are eligible to be among the first group of community health centers to receive N95 masks,” said Dr. Wilhelmina Lewis, president and CEO of Florida Community Health Centers.
› Project Opioid launches Central Florida campaign aimed at tackling overdose deaths [Health News Florida]
A new campaign throughout Central Florida aims to make it easier for people struggling with addiction to get help during the pandemic. Project Opioid’s Everyone Campaign will run billboards, public service announcements and social media adverts aimed at getting people help with addiction. Project Opioid CEO Andrae Bailey says these advertisements will hopefully prompt people struggling with addiction along with their loved ones to go to everyonecampaign.org and sign up to be connected with free recovery resources.
› Florida Senate passes health care liability shield [Tampa Bay Times]
The Florida Senate last week approved a proposal that would extend COVID-19 legal protections for hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 22-13 along nearly straight party lines to pass the measure (Senate Bill 7014), sponsored by Sen. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills.