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Workers' comp insurers fight Florida's hospital payment plan

Workers' comp insurers fight Florida's hospital payment plan

Several workers’ compensation insurance companies are challenging a new state proposal that would set payment amounts to hospitals for inpatient care. The case centers, at least in part, on a proposed rule setting what are known as “maximum reimbursement allowances” that workers’ compensation insurers would pay to hospitals for inpatient care. The challenge said the proposed rule would lead to paying $7,000 a day for inpatients who do not need surgery or intensive care; $11,000 a day for patients who need surgery; and $13,000 a day for intensive-care unit treatment.  [Source: News Service of Florida]

The 988 mental health line is reaching more Floridians in crisis two months into launch

More people are calling for help in a mental health emergency since the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline replaced a 10-digit suicide prevention hotline this summer. Experts had anticipated a surge in calls, hoping the shorter number would be easier for people experiencing mental health emergencies to remember and dial. So far, they were right. In August, the first full month 988 was operational, the U.S. reported a 45% increase in overall calls, texts and chats compared to August 2021, according to data released this past week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [Source: Health News Florida]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Tampa General Hospital's new $53-million central energy plant ensures continual power - even in a hurricane

With Tampa General Hospital embarking on a $550-million construction plan that includes multiple components, from 12 new operating rooms to a 2,000-space parking garage, the hospital chose to address one crucial element early on: Making sure that — no matter the weather or the condition of Tampa’s electrical grid — it would never lose power. Now, with its new $53-million central energy plant, the hospital will be able to generate its own electricity indefinitely. [Source: Florida Trend]

UF Health study shows older adults need to socialize to aid in mental, physical health

Did you know that making time to visit friends, or taking a walk in the park to socialize and meet new people are more than a social necessity? They are good for your physical and mental health. A study by a team of University of Florida Health researchers found that older adults who reported a worsening of their sleep patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to restrict their movement outside the bedroom and into the wider world. [Source: Gainesville Sun]

OTC hearing aids could be a first step toward better hearing for many Florida seniors

The nonprescription hearing aids for adults are expected to bring down the cost from thousands to hundreds of dollars. Hearing aids are not paid for by Medicare, though some Medicare Advantage plans do cover them. Unlike prescription hearing aids, over-the-counter devices won’t necessarily come with the valuable assistance of an audiologist or hearing aid specialist. And those who buy them may still need that help. [Source: WUSF]


› Disrupter creates 'Uber for nurses' to fight staffing challenges
Over the past decade, thanks to platforms such as Uber, PostMates, Instacart and DoorDash, the gig economy has fundamentally changed the way tens of millions of people of work. According to Pew Research Center data from last year, 16% of all American adults have earned income from sort of online gig work. For Tampa entrepreneur Tony Braswell, the gig economy is nothing new. He pioneered on-demand employment for nurses and caregivers in the 1990s, when he created Per Diem Medical Staffing Inc.

› Northwest Florida Health Network will lead area adoption and foster care services
A new management agency will be taking over the child protection services in Northwest Florida. In August, Northwest Florida Health Network was awarded the child protection contract previously held by FamiliesFirst Network of Lakeview. Administrators for both networks said the change will ease some of the administrative and financial tension on the Lakeview Center and allow the organization to focus on what it does best — case management services.

› Florida health system adopts conversational AI to enhance patient experience
Baptist Health North Florida announced that it would implement conversational artificial intelligence (AI) company Hyro’s offerings to enhance patient and employee experience across its call centers. Like many healthcare organizations, Baptist Health North Florida is turning to clinical intelligence and automation to optimize workflows and reduce repetitive tasks with low clinical value. The health system’s adoption of Hyro’s conversational AI aims to help address call center and service desk challenges, which the press release states are common across the healthcare industry.

› HCA Florida Orange Park: New facilities to meet community growth
Over the past 48 years, HCA Florida Orange Park Hospital says it has grown from a small-town community hospital to a large teaching hospital, offering high-acuity specialized services. In response to Clay County’s rapid growth, the health system is adding services and facilities, including a 20-bed intensive care unit, adding to its 28 ICU beds. The hospital is building two inpatient units that will add 48 private patient rooms.