How much do undocumented patients cost Florida’s hospitals? State requests details
One of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ top health officials on Thursday wrote a letter to the head of the Florida Hospital Association to ask how much money state hospitals spent last year on caring for people living in the country illegally. The letter, written by Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller, is part of a broader effort by the DeSantis administration to account for the ways in which the state is paying to support immigrants who are in the country illegally. More from the Tampa Bay Times and Florida Politics.
Florida residents suffering from lack of access to mental health care
Florida ranks as one of the worst states for mental health care, in which nearly 20% of people with a mental illness do not have insurance at a time when a lot of people are struggling. 3 million people in Florida are diagnosed with mental health issues, yet Florida is not the best place to get access to mental health care. [Source: WINK News]
Walgreens reaches $683 million opioid settlement with Florida
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA.O) said on Thursday it has reached a $683 million settlement with Florida to resolve claims that the pharmacy chain exacerbated an opioid epidemic in the state. The settlement includes $620 million to be paid to Florida over 18 years, plus $63 million for legal fees. Florida is the first state to settle its opioid claims against major pharmacy chains Walgreens and CVS Health Corp (CVS.N), collecting more than $1.1 billion from the two companies. [Source: Reuters]
A dozen companies and individuals apply for black farmer medical marijuana license
A dozen companies and individuals have applied for a potentially lucrative medical-marijuana license that state lawmakers targeted to Black farmers. After voters approved a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana, the Legislature passed a law creating a framework for Florida’s cannabis industry. Part of that 2017 law required health officials to grant a license to “one applicant that is a recognized class member” in decades-old litigation, known as the “Pigford” cases, which addressed racial discrimination against Black farmers by federal officials. [Source: News Service of Florida]
In what could result in a seismic shift of hundreds of billions of Medicaid dollars among managed care providers, the state has begun taking the steps necessary to re-procure Florida’s Medicaid managed care program. The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) released on Friday a five-page request for information (RFI) asking entities with experience in the Medicaid managed health care and Medicaid managed long-term care industries to provide AHCA with some innovative ideas and best practices to improve Medicaid for the patients who receive the care as well as the providers who render the services. [Source: Florida Politics]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Gulf Coast Hospital debuts $18M inpatient medical, surgical unit. And there's more to come. [Panam City News Herald]
As the county is experiencing a population growth spurt, HCA Florida Gulf Coast Hospital is quickly finding ways to meet those needs. The Panama City medical center last week completed a $18 million expansion with a new 24-bed inpatient medical and surgical unit. And there are more units to come in 2022.
› Gainesville doctors are working to break the stigma on physicians' mental health [Health News Florida]
About 400 doctors die by suicide in the United States each year. That’s the size of a medical school’s graduating class. Dr. Steven Reid, 68, said those 400 physicians translate to roughly 1 million U.S. patients who lose their doctors annually. Yet the retired Gainesville neurosurgeon said the general public doesn’t recognize this problem.
› Black wife, husband open women’s health clinic ‘to fill a void’ in Jacksonville [WJXT]
Providing culturally competent quality healthcare to all. That’s the goal of Life Tree Women Care, a clinic that just opened this week on Jacksonville’s westside. The founders are husband and wife and they’ve been working towards this for more than 20 years. They say it’s the first Black-owned women’s health clinic that is owned by a nurse practitioner in Northeast Florida. And they say they are ready to make an impact in the community. “I’m here to fill a void in this area,” said founder Jamie Neal.
› Destin nursing home gets stay on emergency license suspension, still can't admit new residents [Northwest Florida Daily News]
Destin Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, which had been scheduled to have its license suspended at 5 p.m. May 2 by the state Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) over agency concerns about inadequate staffing that compromised patient care, has been granted a stay of that emergency suspension by Florida's First District Court of Appeal.