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New crackdown on synthetic drugs sought
This legislative session, Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General spoke at Emergency Medicine Days highlighting synthetic drugs that are now being sold right here in Florida. This legislative session, Pam Bondi is working with bill sponsors, Senator Rob Bradley and Representative Clay Ingram, and the Florida legislature to add an additional six synthetic substances to the Schedule I of controlled substances, making it a third-degree felony for an individual to "sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver" these dangerous drugs.
The drugs typically are marketed to young adults and teenagers as a safe and legal alternative to controlled substances such marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy. Some are designed to make them appear similar to street drugs, such as a white powder made to resemble cocaine or an herbal substance dyed green to resemble marijuana.
View video here.
Florida Supreme Court rules cap on non-economic damages unconstitutional
The Florida Supreme Court has rejected the centerpiece of the 2003 medical malpractice fix, criticizing the legislature for creating an "alleged medical malpractice crisis" and concluding, in a 5-2 ruling, that the cap on wrongful death non-economic damages violates the equal protection clause of the state constitution.
The lawsuit limits were part of a law that then-Republican Governor Jeb Bush pressed in 2003 in an effort to lower the cost of malpractice insurance rates and to keep doctors from moving out of state. Supporters at the time called skyrocketing insurance rates a crisis.
"This is extremely disappointing for emergency medicine and all of medicine in Florida," states FCEP President Michael Lozano, Jr., M.D., FACEP. "FCEP worked so diligently in the years preceding the final victory during the 2003 legislative session when emergency medicine was afforded a $150,000 cap." Early predictions indicate malpractice insurance may go up approximately 6 percent.
FCEP will be reviewing the analysis of the ruling and will continue to provide FCEP members with updates.
To view the Court's ruling, click here.
Accuracy in damages
The Accuracy in Damages bill, HB 379 by Representative Hood, has been voted out favorably in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee by a vote of 9-4. The next stop is the House Judiciary Committee.
The Senate companion bill is SB 1128 by Senator Richter.
Representative Neil Combee with Florida EM residents
Representative Ray Pilan with Dr. Kelly Gray-Eurom and Dr. Ashley Booth-Norse
Representative Jimmie T. Smith with Dr. Michael Lozano, Jr., and Dr. Joel Stern
Representative Cary Pigman with Dr. Larry Hobbs and Dr. Andy Bern
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi with Dr. Steve Kailes
Florida Medical Association calls on TaxWatch to correct report, cites 5 serious flaws
Florida TaxWatch a self-described "independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit" organization released the report falsely suggesting that Florida's healthcare system could save up to $339 million by allowing nurse practitioners to practice independently.
Read more here.
Florida Senate backs medical tourism bill
The state will spend $5 million next year to entice people to bring their aches and pains to Florida, under a measure that completed its first Senate committee exam on Monday.
The Commerce and Tourism Committee unanimously backed the "medical tourism" measure (SB 1150) by Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach. The bill would require Enterprise Florida, the state's public-private business recruitment organization, and Visit Florida, the state's tourism arm, to promote healthcare options in Florida.
"Florida can and should be a top-tier healthcare destination," said Bean.
Medical tourism can range from seeking specialized cardiac surgery and orthopedics to routine procedures for dental care or cosmetic surgeries, according to a legislative staff report.
In support of the proposal, Layne Smith, representing Mayo Clinic Hospital in Jacksonville, said officials with the medical facility estimate the center draws more than 20,000 people a year to Florida for services at the facility.
"Patients that come as medical tourists tend to be sicker, because they're seeking answers," said Smith. "When a person comes as a medical tourist, a lot will bring their family as a support group with them. They're staying for the long haul."
Visit Florida would receive $3.5 million to set up a four-year plan to promote Florida's medical providers, their services and specialties.
Visit Florida would also be directed to use $1.5 million of its state funding to establish a matching grant program for local and regional economic development organizations that have medical tourism marketing programs.
Meanwhile, Enterprise Florida would be directed to work with the Department of Economic Opportunity to market Florida as a health care destination.
The proposal must still go through the Health Policy and Appropriations committees.
The House companion bill (HB 1223) has yet to make any of its three scheduled stops: Finance and Tax Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; and Economic Affairs Committee.
Dear FCEP Members,
FCEP Councilor Positions Available for the Upcoming ACEP Council
Interested members wishing to be considered as an FCEP Councilor for the ACEP Council are encouraged to submit letter (email) of interest.
Per FCEP Bylaws:
Candidates must meet the following criteria:
Councilors will be elected for two-year term with term beginning immediately upon election.
- Member of Chapter for at least two years prior to nomination.
- Active involvement in Chapter as evidenced by committee membership and/or attendance at the meetings of the Board of Directors.
- Plans to attend Councilor meetings for two-year term.
Should a Councilor resign or be elected to office that is a designated Councilor, then the remaining Councilors will elect an Alternate Councilor to fill the unexpired term. If there are no Alternate Councilors available to be seated, then the Executive Committee shall have the right to name Alternate Councilors to be seated or designated as Councilors.
Please email email@example.com no later than March 28, 2014.
Follow @FCEP and @FCEPprez on Twitter
FCEP has been working to grow our social media reach using popular channels; one of those is Twitter, twitter.com/fcep.
We intend to use Twitter as a means of communication; most tweets will be done in conjunction with the latest news regarding FCEP's legislative hot topics and to let you know of any changes happening around here.
Connect with FCEP:
Save the date!
|April 8, 2014
||FCEP Board Conference Call
|May 7, 2014
||FCEP Committee Meeting
|May 8, 2014
||FCEP Board Meeting at FCEP
|May 18-21, 2014
||ACEP Leadership and Advocacy Conference
|June 10, 2014
||FCEP Board Conference Call
|June 16, 2014
||FCEP Board Conference Call
|July 17-20, 2014
|Aug. 7-10, 2014
||Symposium by the Sea
|Aug. 7, 2014
||FCEP Board of Directors Meeting
SAVE THE DATE!
August 7-10, 2014
SAVE THE DATE!
July 17-20, 2014
Saint Luke's Health System is sponsoring their 7th Annual Forensic Investigations Conference, May 14-16, in Kansas City, MO! ACEP is trying to improve the availability of specific medical-forensic content for ACEP members (sexual assault, domestic violence, elderly and child abuse), as well as our forensic colleagues in nursing, criminal justice and advocacy. Last year we had over 480 participants who came to KC for forensic education, fun and great BBQ!
ACEP will offer a specific Pre-Conference, an "Advanced Sexual Assault Medical-Forensic Course for Physicians," on May 12 & 13. This ACEP Category I CME approved course has been well received by physicians, residents and program directors across the country and it concentrates not only on up-to date necessary clinical forensic skills, but important sexual assault program medical director, court room and legal issues. This intense 2-day presentation is taught by physician colleagues with over 50 years of experience in these medical-forensic areas.
Please click on the below link to access the full conference brochure details and registration.
EMERGENCY MEDICINE IN THE NEWS
Healthcare sign-ups near 450,000
More than 145,000 Floridians signed up in February for health insurance through the federal HealthCare.gov online exchange, according to administration figures recently released. That brings to 442,087 the number of state residents who have accessed coverage — the largest number by far among the 36 states where the federal government is either running or helping to run an online exchange where consumers can shop for health coverage.
The ED is now the admissions department
D Healthcare Daily
Increasingly, the hospital emergency department is becoming the admissions department. The ED now accounts for more than one-half of hospital admissions, according to a recent Rand Corp. study. The ED accounted for only about one-third of admissions in the early 1990s, and the number has grown by more than 50 percent since then.
Florida hospital tracks nurses' footsteps, work patterns
A Florida hospital says electronic tracking of nursing personnel is helping it refine their workflow and work habits and lay the groundwork to replace the obsolete "midnight census" method of determining staffing requirements. Florida Hospital Celebration Health is using Real Time Locating System tags and sensors from Stanley Healthcare, a division of Stanley Black & Decker that provides inventory, security and safety products for the healthcare industry.
Researchers examine experiences of transgender patients in EDs
The Medical News
A new study out of Western University (London, Canada) has found the majority of transgender patients have had a negative experience when it comes to receiving emergency department care. The findings, by first author Greta Bauer, PhD, are in press at the Annals of Emergency Medicine, and are now posted online. The study used respondent-driven sampling, a methodology developed to specifically address the challenge of studying hard-to-reach populations.
Doctors testing Google Glass to get real-time patient data
While the general public appears to still be making up its mind about Google Glass and the idea of wearing a face computer, in some fields of work the wearable could be a helpful asset. One such field is medicine. By using Glass, doctors won't have to use their hands to dig through files, search computers, or look up facts on a tablet. With a simple nod of the head or blink of the eye, they could get all of the real-time information they need without having to leave a patient.
Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword(s): Technology in the ER.
ERs are no place for the elderly
The New York Times
The number of older people seeking healthcare is expected to increase significantly over the next 40 years, doubling in the case of those older than 65, potentially tripling among those over 85. In a healthcare system already critically short of primary care providers and geriatrics specialists, many of these older patients will likely end up in emergency rooms. But given longstanding trends in American medicine, it's hard to imagine a healthcare setting more ill-suited for the elderly than today's emergency rooms.
Unneeded brain scans for headaches cost $1 billion per year
HealthDay News via Health News & Views
Too many patients are getting unnecessary brain scans for headaches, and that use is growing, according to a new study. Since most headaches are benign, guidelines have recommended against routine MRIs or CT scans. Yet doctors frequently order these expensive scans anyway, the researchers say.
Multilingual healthcare providers for a multilingual nation
By Jon Jiliani
Over the past several decades, the United States has become an increasingly multilingual society. Since 1990, the number of Americans whose primary language is not English has nearly doubled, from 32 million to over 60 million. The American healthcare industry has been under particular pressure to respond to a huge uptick in demand for services by non-English speaking patients. According to the most recent United States census, 80 percent of hospitals encounter patients with limited English proficiency on a frequent basis.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Priscilla Lauture, FCEP Communications Specialist, 407.281.7396, ext. 232
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