Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Lower Medicare premiums, more cost savings ahead for Florida seniors

Lower Medicare premiums, more cost savings ahead for Florida seniors

Open enrollment for Florida’s Medicare beneficiaries comes with some positive news: Most seniors will see cost savings in 2023. For the first time in more than a decade, Floridians will see a reduction in their premiums in 2023 for Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage plans. The much-celebrated decrease will save Floridians about $5.20 a month on their premiums for the part of Medicare that covers doctor’s services, outpatient hospital services and certain home health services. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Baptist Health Care expands focus on diagnosis, treatment of breast cancer

Kelly Ward, a social worker and breast health navigator, highlights Baptist Health Care’s expanding focus on diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. “We started out with a department of about four people, and now we have 19,” she says. Genetics screening and scalp cooling to reduce hair loss during chemo are among new treatments. [Source: Florida Trend]

A Florida pediatrician suggests protections to keep kids healthy as RSV cases increase

Respiratory syncytial virus, more commonly known as RSV is on the rise here in Florida. The increase in cases is worrying some doctors as the surge is starting well ahead of the typical winter month increase. The common respiratory virus causes mild flu-like symptoms in most people, but can lead to more severe illness and even hospitalization in children under 1 year old. Dr. Sally Elias is a pediatrician at Nemours Children’s Hospital. Elias says she’s urging her families with infants to put protections in place during the busy holiday season that begins in just a few weeks. More from  WMFEand the Tampa Bay Times.

Walmart will pay $215 million to settle Florida opioid allegations

Walmart will pay the state $215 million to Florida as part of a settlement agreement to resolve claims its pharmacies helped contribute to the opioid crisis in the state. Attorney General Ashley Moody on Thursday announced that as part of the settlement, Walmart has agreed to dispense 672,000 naloxone kits to first responders for 10 years. Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids. According to the settlement, Walmart "denies each and all of the claims and allegations of wrongdoing." [Source: Health News Florida]

Gas station chain to sell medical marijuana at 10 Florida locations

International convenience store chain Circle K will team up with marijuana company Green Thumb Industries to sell cannabis at gas stations in Florida next year. Green Thumb, a national cannabis company that owns dispensaries selling marijuana products under the name Rise Dispensaries, said the rollout will start with 10 select locations in 2023 before potentially expanding in the future. More from the The Hill and WPLG.


› Alachua authorities see a rise in opioid emergencies despite naloxone program
Alachua County has seen an overall increase in opioid-related 911 calls over the past six years — more than twice as many calls from 2021 compared to 2015. Numbers from 2022 are still rising. Florida saw nearly five times as many opioid-related emergencies from 2021 compared to 2015. In response, the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County has been providing naloxone, a medicine that can stop an opioid overdose, to people in overdose situations since January.

› Despite falling case numbers, COVID-19 deaths increase in Brevard for first time in month
Despite falling COVID-19 case numbers, and although Brevard County remains a low-tranmission community, the number of deaths from the coronavirus on the Space Coast has increased for the first time in about a month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said Friday. For the first time since the second week of September, deaths from COVID-19 increased in Brevard, the CDC said. The agency reported 13 deaths between Oct. 13 and Oct. 19. Two weeks ago, between Sept. 30 and Oct. 6, there were fewer than 10 deaths, though the CDC did not provide an exact number.

› HCA Florida hospital taps 2 new nursing leaders
HCA Florida Blake Hospital in Bradenton has selected Todd Haner, DNP, RN, to serve as chief nursing officer and Shelly Castro, MSN, as assistant CNO. Dr. Haner has nearly 30 years of experience in nursing leadership, the 383-bed hospital said. Ms. Castro began her career in nursing as a medic in the Air Force and has since spent more than 30 years in nursing.

› Florida has country's worst adult flu shot vaccination rate in 2022
Just in time for the start of another flu season, Florida's adult flu vaccination rate has hit rock bottom. The Sunshine State ranked 51st in that category of WalletHub's annual States that Vaccinate the Most report, which included the District of Columbia and assessed 17 medical metrics. Florida completed its journey to the bottom of the list, down from 50th in 2021 and 49th in 2020. The state in 2022 had half the adult flu vaccination rate of Rhode Island, which topped the list.