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Hurricane Season Blowing in Fast, but Generators Still Lacking

April 18, 2019 - 9:00am
After Irma: The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills

Just weeks before another hurricane season, large numbers of Florida nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the storm-battered state continue to struggle to meet requirements that they have backup power generator to keep facilities cool.

State records show that 89 long-term care facilities have told Florida officials in the last month that they won’t have generators by June 1 --- which is when the six-month hurricane season kicks off. Some forecasters have predicted it could be a normal hurricane season resulting in as many as two to four major hurricanes.

Senate Won't Act this Year on Surgeon General

April 4, 2019 - 9:00am
Scott Rivkees

Citing a past sexual harassment investigation at the University of Florida, Senate President Bill Galvano said Wednesday the Senate will not vote during this year’s legislative session on confirming the state’s new surgeon general.

The move could put physician Scott Rivkees, named surgeon general Monday by Gov. Ron DeSantis, in limbo for months.

New Surgeon General Rivkees' Tainted Past Likely to Surface during Senate Confirmation Hearing

April 2, 2019 - 7:30pm
Scott Rivkees

A doctor tapped by Gov. Ron DeSantis to become the state’s surgeon general has been embroiled in legal squabbles and investigations while working at the University of Florida.

Scott Rivkees has been the subject of a university sexual harassment investigation, was found by a university auditor to have not properly filed financial-disclosure information and has sued a one-time colleague for libel and slander.

DeSantis’ communications director, Helen Ferre, said Tuesday that Rivkees is an “outstanding candidate for state surgeon general.”

Drug Imports Could Extend to State Workers

March 29, 2019 - 7:45am
Bill sponsor, left, Rep. Tom Leek

State employees have been thrown into the drug importation mix.

Amid a push by Gov. Ron DeSantis to allow Canadian prescription-drug imports, the House Appropriations Committee this week approved a bill that would require the Florida Department of Management Services to offer an international prescription-drug program as a benefit to state employees.

The proposal is included in a bill (HB 5009) that would conform state law to the House’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019-2020. The Senate has not included the drug-importation option in its budget bills.

Workers' Comp Changes Might Get Scuttled

March 28, 2019 - 9:30am
Cord Byrd

A push by Florida’s business community to tackle the state’s workers’ compensation insurance laws could be poised to fail again this year.

As legislators near the midway point of the 60-day session, the possibility is fading that groups representing major corporations, retailers and small businesses can win changes to the complicated system designed to provide health benefits to injured workers.

A House panel this week unanimously approved a proposal (HB 1399) that could result in a 5 percent reduction in the workers’ compensation insurance rates paid by employers.

DeSantis Drug Importation Plan Wins House Support

March 13, 2019 - 9:00am
Tom Leek

Gov. Ron DeSantis was criticized last year for not having a health care platform while he campaigned for the state’s top job.

But DeSantis’ recent announcement that he wants the state to begin importing drugs from Canada is getting praise from Florida lawmakers.

Members of the House Health Quality Subcommittee on Tuesday voted 15-2 to approve a bill (HB 19) that would help carry out DeSantis’ plan.

Proposal to Fill Dental Hole Draws Debate

Nursing Homes Get More Time for Generators

December 22, 2018 - 6:00am

About 300 nursing homes across the state have been given another six months to meet a state mandate that they have generators and fuel that can help keep buildings cool.

Nuñez: Nursing Home, ALF Backup Power Likely an 'Ongoing Discussion'

December 6, 2018 - 6:00am
Jeanette Nunez

The incoming administration of Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis may tinker with one of Gov. Rick Scott’s signature acts, pushed in response to Hurricane Irma.

Feds OK Florida Plan to Save $100 Million on Medicaid

December 3, 2018 - 12:00pm

Despite fears that the move could cut access to health care for poor residents, Florida has won approval from the federal government for a change that will let the state reduce how much it spends on Medicaid.

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