Florida lawmakers pass Medicaid plan
SB 1950 passed after the House agreed to drop a controversial proposal that dealt with disputes between managed-care plans and “essential” providers, such as children’s hospitals and teaching hospitals. The House proposal could have led to withholding what are known as Medicaid “supplemental” payments from essential providers that do not reach agreements to be part of managed-care networks. The House proposal included a mediation process designed to try to help spur essential providers and managed-care plans to reach agreements. [Source: WINK]
After two years of neglecting medical care, patients are flooding clinics — and many conditions have become dire
For Floridians lacking insurance or easy access to care, forgoing doctor follow-ups and preventative screenings has had particularly harsh consequences. With diabetes, heart disease and other diseases out of control, patients must navigate the high costs of medication and limited access to care amid a rush of people finally seeking treatment. [Source: South Florida SunSentinel]
Florida limits COVID data to every 2 weeks, state says via meme
Florida officials have again rolled back access to the state’s COVID-19 data, and will now only release key pandemic metrics such as the number of people who have been infected, died and vaccinated once every two weeks instead of every week. The state did not announce the new policy in any traditional fashion, such as issuing a press release or an official statement via its social media accounts. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
FHCA applauds legislature for funding the front line of care in state budget
The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) today applauded the Florida Legislature for prioritizing Florida's long-term caregivers and the residents entrusted to their care. Specifically, the state budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year includes a 7.8% increase in Medicaid reimbursement for nursing centers, which amounts to an additional $293 million in funding – approximately $419,000 per care center. [Source: FHCA]
EPA approves pilot project to release genetically modified mosquitoes into Florida Keys despite widespread opposition
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved an experimental use permit submitted by a British biotech company to release millions of genetically engineered mosquitos into the Florida Keys in an effort to combat Dengue fever, Yellow fever, and the Zika virus. All three diseases are transmitted by the Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) in certain parts of the world. [Source: The Center Square]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› United Way announces $1 million mental health effort for Central Florida [Orlando Sentinel]
Two weeks after announcing a $49 million “gap” in Orange County’s mental and behavioral health care system, the Heart of Florida United Way on Wednesday took what the agency called the first step in addressing the problem — a $1 million awareness campaign in English, Spanish and Creole to help overcome the lingering stigma of seeking help.
› The movement to expand methadone access to treat opioid addiction [Tampa Bay Times]
The rules for using the synthetic narcotic are five decades old. There’s a movement to change them, but for-profit clinics may stand in the way.
› Florida to spend more than $700 million on Pasco Moffitt cancer complex [Tampa Bay Times]
The funding is a major step for the cancer research nonprofit’s plan to build out a 775-acre parcel of land east of the Suncoast Parkway and south of State Road 52.
› Thousands of UnitedHealthcare members could lose in-network access to Broward Health hospitals in contract dispute [South Florida SunSentinel]
UnitedHealthcare plans that would be affected are employer-sponsored, individual, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans branded under UnitedHealthcare’s name or affiliates Preferred Care Network, WellMed, Medica and Neighborhood Health Partnership.