These new Florida health care laws hit the books Friday
Nearly 150 laws that Florida legislators passed this year are set to hit the books Friday. The new laws range from a record $109.9 billion budget to naming a state dessert. In all, lawmakers sent 280 bills to Gov. Ron DeSantis. Of that total, 149 had July 1 effective dates. Seventy-five took effect immediately when signed. Others are slated to take effect Oct. 1, Jan. 1 or at other times. Of those that are health care-related, the focus may be on the new abortion ban, but there are others affecting Medicaid, medical marijuana and telemedicine. [Source: News Service of Florida]
99% of Florida residents at ‘high’ risk of COVID-19
Florida’s COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations remained stable at “high” levels for the third week in a row. The state recorded 10,640 cases each day last week, on average. By Friday, Florida hospitals had 3,457 confirmed COVID-19 patients, up 4% from the week before. Test positivity hit 22.7% in the past week, the highest rate since January. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida pediatrician removed from state board for criticizing COVID vaccine delay for kids
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is pushing out a pediatrician from a board in charge of running the state’s Healthy Kids program because of her viewpoints on vaccines for children under five. Patronis’ office notified Dr. Lisa Gwynn, who is also serving as the president of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, in an email sent on Wednesday. More from Florida Politics and the Tampa Bay Times.
A new listeria outbreak tied to Florida accounts for 23 illnesses and one death
One death and nearly two dozen hospitalizations are being tied to a new listeria outbreak of unknown origin. Health officials said Thursday that they have not identified a food that might be spreading the deadly bacteria. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say nearly all the 23 people known to have been infected in the outbreak either live in, or traveled to, Florida about a month before they got sick. The CDC website says the illness has been found in 10 states as of Friday. [Source: AP]
As the overturn of Roe v. Wade sparks conflict between states that wish to restrict abortion rights and states expanding those rights beyond their borders, abortion medications are in the crosshairs. Abortion medications can be prescribed online and delivered to patients in the mail, which means that a physician doesn’t have to be in the same state, or the same country, as a patient seeking an abortion. As Republican-led states, including Florida, impose more restrictive abortion laws, residents are looking to out-of-state organizations to provide the medications. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Flu cases are declining in Florida but still higher than normal
Flu cases in Florida are steadily declining but remain much higher than usual for this time of year. Flu season typically ends in May and starts again in October. But cases spiked at the end of last month in parts of the state. State data show the numbers have been coming down for the past couple weeks, but the percent of emergency department visits with a discharge diagnosis of influenza statewide are still well above the previous three-season average for late June.
› Winter Park therapist says calls for mental health help are on the rise since Roe was overturned
Some Floridians are finding themselves struggling with their mental health after the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. Winter Park therapist Cherlette McCullough says she’s receiving calls from people who support abortion rights, and are angry and sad, and also people who are anti-abortion bothered by the intensity of debate or division within families.
› State awards seven-year, $140M Medicaid IT contract
Florida is going with Automated Health Systems (AHS) to handle a multiyear, $140 million IT contract involving the state’s massive Medicaid program. The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) initially awarded the contract to AHS earlier this month. The company’s competitors had until June 27 to submit written notice to the agency if they wanted to challenge the decision.
› First ‘probable’ case of monkeypox reported in Polk County
Florida health officials are reporting the first probable case of monkeypox in Polk County – this comes weeks after two infections were confirmed in Pinellas County. According to the state health department, the Polk County case was identified last week, but it’s unclear how or where that person may have contracted the disease. Health official said the case is isolated.
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