Hello and happy Friday
As the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Florida rises, the DeSantis administration is cancelling weekly phone calls with health care providers meant to keep them abreast of the state’s coronavirus policies and procedures.
Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Mary Mayhew and State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees held their last regularly scheduled weekly phone call with nursing-home providers Thursday. The last regularly scheduled meeting with hospitals was June 1.
Mayhew and Rivkees routinely used the calls --- which initially were held on a daily basis but were pared back to just once a week --- to convey the administration’s policies to providers and to answer their questions directly.
It was during the weekly phone calls with the nursing home industry when Mayhew first announced that the state would push back the deadline for nursing homes to submit monthly quality-assessment payments for April and May (both are due on June 15.)
The Florida Health Care Association, the state’s largest nursing-home association, facilitated the calls with the long-term care industry. FHCA spokeswoman Kristen Knapp said the calls had a capacity for 2,000 long-term care providers to join and hear first hand what the DeSantis administration had to say. Each call was at capacity, she said.
The decision to end the calls comes as the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Florida increases. The Department of Health on Friday reported that 1,885 Florida residents were diagnosed with COVID 19 on June 11. That is the highest number of positive tests since the state first started reporting cases on March 1.
There were 1,613 residents in long-term care facilities that have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Thursday, according to the latest data. Another 2,497 residents who were infected at long-term care facilities have been transferred, mostly to hospitals, bringing the total number of infected long-term care residents to 4,110 as of Thursday. The number of Floridians who have died from COVID-19 as of Thursday totaled 2,877. Long-term care residents and staff account for more than 52 percent of the death toll.
But that’s not the only change on the COVID-19 front.
Medicaid officials on Friday announced that many of the prior-authorization requirements for Medicaid managed-care plans that had been lifted in the wake of COVID-19 will be reinstated on June 19.
According to the notice, AHCA is reinstating prior-authorization requirements for the following services: hospital nursing home; physician advanced-practice registered nursing; physician assistant; home health; ambulance transportation; and durable medical equipment and supplies.
The state will continue to waive prior-authorization requirements for Medicaid-covered behavioral-health services, which include community behavioral-health services, inpatient behavioral-health services, and targeted case-management services.
The Division of Medical Quality Assurance proposes amending Rule 64B-9.007, regarding temporary certificates for active duty military health care practitioners. More here.
The Board of Osteopathic Medicine proposes amending Rule is 64B15-13.001, regarding continuing education requirements for the continuing medical education regarding the five most misdiagnosed conditions. More here.
The Board of Acupuncture proposes amending Rule 64B1-9.001, to update its disciplinary guidelines. More here.
The Board of Occupational Therapy proposes amending Rule 64B11-2.003, which requests information pertaining to student-loan defaults or late payments. More here.
The Board of Occupational Therapy proposes amending Rule 64B11-5.001, to allow instructors for online continuing education courses to interact in real time, including live chats. More here.
The Board of Medicine proposes amending Rules 64B8-42.001 and 64B8-42.002, regarding licensure of nutritionists and dieticians. More here.
The Division of Disease Control proposes amending Rules 64D-5.001, 64D-5.002 and 64D-5.003, regarding reporting requirements for syringe exchange programs. More here.
The Division of Disease Control proposes amending Rules 64D-4.002 and 64D-4.007, regarding eligibility determination for the AIDS Drugs Assistance Program. More here.
Rivkees this week issued final orders in the following cases: the suspension of registered nurse Adenike Adebiyi’s license; the voluntary relinquishment of occupational therapist Ahsley Albani's license; and the voluntary relinquishment of chiropractor Susan Arlene Windland's license.
Also, an administrative complaint has been filed this week against massage therapist Daniel Edwards. The details of administrative complaints are not public record.
WEEK IN REVIEW
—What’s happening? ... Florida flattened the COVID curve. Then, amid upbeat talk, the numbers began to rise. More here.
—Data driven? ... The Florida COVID-19 data said one thing while Gov. DeSantis sometimes said another. More here.
—Still testing ... Two-thirds of nursing home, assisted living facility residents and staff have been tested for COVID-19. More here.
—Troubling ... Florida migrant towns become coronavirus hot spots in the U.S. More here.
—No reply ... Florida hoarding nearly 1 million doses of hydroxychloroquine for unproven COVID-19 treatment. More here.
—Vetting? ... How a St. Petersburg company with no history in medical supplies won a $10 million coronavirus contract. More here.
—Comeback ... A Keys hospital is closer to rebuilding, three years after Hurricane Irma destroyed it. More here.
—Sick inmates ... At least 16 Florida inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been hospitalized, including four prisoners who are on ventilators, state corrections officials told The News Service of Florida on Thursday. More here.
—Getting the word out ... Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has notified Florida doctors and safety-net health providers about the availability of more than $25 billion in additional federal COVID-19 relief money. More here.
—Worse than expected ... As Floridians lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, tens of thousands of people enrolled in the state’s safety-net health program. The 4.14 percent spike in enrollment in May is greater than what state Medicaid officials initially anticipated. More here.
—Really? ... A state medical licensing board has disciplined a faculty member with the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville because of a procedure, even though he had a signed consent form from the patient authorizing the operation. More here
—Appellate court reviewing ... With a potential $28 million price tag looming, a federal appeals court heard arguments in a long-running dispute about whether Florida is providing proper treatment to prisoners with hepatitis C. More here.
—Spend it ... Twenty-eight Florida hospitals will see bumps in their Medicaid reimbursement rates under a plan the Agency for Health Care Administration has announced. More here.
—Still an issue ... Florida has seen a drop in cases of hepatitis A this year after a massive outbreak in 2019 --- but still has a higher-than-usual number of infections. More here.
—No insurance? No service ... North Shore Medical Center in Miami has agreed to pay $2,000 to settle allegations that it refused to accept two uninsured patients who required emergency medical services after inquiring about their health insurance and that it violated corporate policies about emergency care. More here.
11 a.m. The Board of Nursing Home Administrators holds a general board meeting. Call (888) 585-9008; participant code:136103141. For more information, email Anthony.Spivey@flhealth.gov
1:30 p.m. The Department of Health meets to review research studies involving human participants to make sure research studies comply with regulations and the department’s ethical standards. Place: 2585 Merchants Row Blvd, room 320P, Tallahassee.
2 p.m. The Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer Advisory Board meets to review and give final approval to the FY 2020-2021 Financial Opportunity Announcement. Call (888) 585-9008; participant code: 852642835.
3 p.m. AHCA holds the second of two public meetings on the two-year extension request for Florida Medicaid’s 1115 Managed Medical Assistance Waiver. Meeting link here.
9 a.m. The Board of Pharmacy meets to review cases where probable cause has been found. Call (888) 585-9008; participant code: 599196982. Agenda here.
9 a.m. The Board of Orthotists and Prosthetists holds a general board meeting. Call (888) 585-9008; participant code: 744469610. Agenda here.
1:30 p.m. The Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board meets to review drug use criteria and standards for both prospective and retrospective review and to view and report the results of drug use reviews and recommend and evaluate educational intervention programs. Zoom meeting link here. For a copy of the agenda, email vern.Hamilton@ahca.myflorida.com.
8:30 a.m. The Medicaid Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee meets to make recommendations on drugs to include and exclude from the preferred drug list. Zoom meeting link here. Or, call (312) 626-6799 or (646) 558-8656. Information the committee will review is here.
2:30 p.m. The State Child Abuse Death Review Ad-Hoc Committee Conference meets to discuss the messaging that will be used for child safety during COVID-19. Call (888) 585-9008; participant code: 574649225.