Florida sets new record for Affordable Care Act enrollment
A record 2.7 million Floridians have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act for 2022, a 600,000 increase from last year. The federal program, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010, is more popular than ever nationwide, too. A record 14.5 million people signed up for this year, surpassing the previous high by almost 2 million. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
What happened to the flu season in Florida?
Several weeks into 2022 and Florida’s flu season appears to be nearly non-existent. For the first three weeks of the new year, typically the height of the season, flu has been at low levels across the state. Doctors and nurse practitioners throughout South Florida attribute fewer cases of flu to multiple factors, and don’t expect to see a repeat of the horrid flu season the state endured in early 2020 just as COVID was arriving. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Medical malpractice fight emerges again in Florida Legislature
The Florida House on Thursday refueled a debate about whether parents should be able to seek damages for mental pain and suffering when their adult children die because of alleged medical malpractice. The debate centers on an unusual part of Florida law that involves wrongful death claims in medical malpractice cases. That part of the law bars parents from seeking pain-and-suffering damages when their adult children do not have surviving spouses or children. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Free N95 masks are arriving at community health centers in Florida. Where to get one
Free N95 masks have begun to arrive at some pharmacies across the country, with seven community health centers in Florida also planning to distribute masks soon. The free masks are part of the federal government’s new strategy to combat the more contagious COVID-19 variant omicron and comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to say that well-fitting NIOSH-approved N95 respirator masks offer the highest level of protection. [Source: Miami Herald]
Two years after the start of the pandemic, doctors around the country are beginning to face discipline for contributing to false or misleading information about COVID-19. From questioning vaccines to promoting bogus or unproven treatments, according to the Federation of State Medical Boards, so far at least 12 state medical boards have taken disciplinary action against doctors for spreading false or misleading information. But Florida is not among them. [Source: WFTS]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Florida Senate passes telehealth bill that allows providers to use telephones to deliver care [Florida Politics]
A bill that updates Florida’s telehealth laws to allow the use of telephones cleared the Senate unanimously Thursday. Sponsored by Senate Health Policy Committee Chairman Sen Manny Diaz, the measure (SB 312) strikes the prohibition in current law that bans the use of “audio only” devices for telehealth. Moreover, the bill also would allow physicians to renew prescriptions for Schedule III, IV or V controlled substances via telehealth, which cannot be done under Florida’s current telehealth statutes.
› 'Protections of Medical Conscience' bill causing controversy in Florida [WEAR]
Florida lawmakers are moving a bill forward that could impact the way you're treated by medical professionals. It's something you've probably thought you'd never encounter, a doctor denying you care because it doesn't line up with what they believe.
› Appeals court rules there's no ‘legal right' to force a hospital to treat COVID patient with ivermectin [News Service of Florida]
A state appeals court on Thursday said a family did not have a “legal right” to force Mayo Clinic Jacksonville to administer the controversial drug ivermectin to try to keep alive a COVID-19 patient who was on a ventilator. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal released a 12-page opinion that detailed reasons that it upheld a decision by a Duval County circuit judge to reject efforts by the wife and son of patient Daniel Pisano to spur the hospital to use the drug.
› Florida ranks near bottom for booster shots in nursing homes [Health News Florida]
Florida ranks near the bottom when it comes to the percentage of nursing home residents who’ve gotten the COVID-19 vaccine booster. And just last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data confirming that the booster shots confer powerful protection against hospitalization from the omicron variant of the coronavirus, especially among seniors.