Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Why Florida leads the nation in Affordable Care Act enrollment

Why Florida leads the nation in Affordable Care Act enrollment

Florida leads the nation in health insurance enrollment through the Affordable Care Act, according to a release from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Over 3.2 million people in the state signed up for the benefits through the Marketplace. That’s nearly 500,000 more than last year. Nationwide, more than 16.3 million people chose the marketplace health plan during open enrollment, which wrapped up Jan. 15. This is the 10th year of the ACA marketplace, also known as Obamacare. More from Health News Florida and the Tampa Bay Times]

Florida Trend Exclusive
A gentler approach to cancer care

Brain metastases are a significant problem for women with breast cancer, particularly those with HER2+ breast cancer, an aggressive subtype that tends to grow and spread quickly. But revolutionary changes in treatments over the last several years have “dramatically altered the options that are available to women in this situation and dramatically improve the outcomes for these women,” says Ramakrishna, who chaired a panel that created new treatment guidelines published in August by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. [Source: Florida Trend]

Fraudulent nursing diploma scheme leads to federal charges against 25 in South Florida

Federal authorities in Florida have charged 25 people with participating in a wire fraud scheme that created an illegal shortcut for aspiring nurses to get licensed and find employment. Recently unsealed federal grand jury indictments allege the defendants took part in a scam that sold more than 7,600 fraudulent nursing degree diplomas from three Florida-based nursing schools, federal officials said during a news conference in Miami on Wednesday afternoon. More from the AP and CBS News.

COVID rising in one Florida region's sewage as cases fall statewide

Florida’s COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continue to fall from their early January peaks as sewage in some locales show viral loads climbing again. Hospitals statewide tended to 2,376 COVID-positive patients Friday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department reported. That’s down from more than 2,900 during the first week of this month. State health officials logged about 22,000 new infections this past week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. That’s about 10,000 fewer than the second week of January. [Source: Palm Beach Post]

Florida gets an F on the American Lung Association's tobacco control report card

Florida’s lack of tobacco control and efforts to prevent smoking has earned the state failing grades in an annual report from the American Lung Association. "With the 2023 state of tobacco control report, Florida, unfortunately, was listed as one of the states with the worst policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use," said Janelle Hom, director of the Central Florida Lung Association office. Florida was given an F on nearly all groupings of tobacco control in the 2023 report card, including pouring more money into prevention funding, enforcing more taxes and restricting flavored products. [Source: WMFE]


› Florida group wants to create law that allows terminally ill people to decide their death
A Florida group is advocating for terminally ill people to have the right to request a doctor to provide them medication to end their suffering after a 76-year-old woman fatally shot her husband in a Daytona Beach hospital, according to Daytona Beach authorities. Florida Death With Dignity is proposing the Florida End of Life Options Act, which would allow terminally ill individuals to ask their doctor for medication to help them pass peacefully.

› FGCU nurse anesthesiologists will be doctors for first time
Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers has been training nurse anesthesiologists since about 2006, but it’s still not a well-known specialty. “Nurse anesthesiology is basically the same as medical anesthesiology in that we provide perioperative care to any patients needing surgery or anesthesia for procedures,” says Robert Bland, who teaches in the program. This is the first year that all graduates of the program will have a doctorate of nursing practice.

› Scholarship addressing the need for more Hispanic doctors
According to the American Association of medical colleges, a little over five percent of physicians identify as Latinos. A number that the University of South Florida is hoping to increase. Ely Olivares spends most of her day inside her room, studying for lectures and preparing for exams. She describes her program as a job. “You have to commit 60 hours of studying.” Ely is a graduate student at the University of South Florida, with a goal of becoming a doctor. She says it’s a career you really must love. “It’s hard, but you know this career is a very hard field. You have to be determined, you have to be motivated to just keep going.”

› UF scientist is part of a research team looking to make fentanyl less dangerous
A group of scientists, including a University of Florida researcher, may have found a way to alter the chemical components of fentanyl and lessen its deadly side effects. Jay McLaughlin, a neuroscientist and a professor of pharmacodynamics at the UF College of Pharmacy, is working with scientists at Washington University, the University of Southern California and Stanford University who've discovered a safer version of it.