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EMERGENCY MEDICINE IN THE NEWS — AROUND FLORIDA


Florida Board of Medicine — Are you renewal ready?
Florida Board of Medicine
The Florida Department of Health will now verify your continuing education records when you renew your professional license. You are invited to join live webinars hosted by the Department so you can better understand this change. You will learn how the process will impact your license renewal. You will also see a demonstration of the continuing education tracking system, including how to create a Free Basic Account, view your course history and report continuing education. Participants will be able to ask questions at the end of the session.
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5th Annual National Hospital Disaster Planning, Preparations and Response Symposium: An All-Hazards Approach
Friday, Feb. 13, 2015
Miami, Florida
This symposium is jointly sponsored by Jackson Health System and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Click here to learn more.

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Legislative delegation meetings
FCEP encourages members to participate in their local legislative delegation meetings. These sessions provide a great opportunity for FCEP members to learn about their individual legislator’s priorities as well as to contribute to the discussion. FCEP would be happy to provide talking points on our 2015 legislative priorities.

Background:
County Legislative Delegations are nonpartisan groups of members of the Florida Senate and House of Representatives who represent each of Florida's 67 counties in Tallahassee.

The delegation is responsible for holding annual meetings in each county; developing the county's legislative program which includes all local bills, community appropriation requests and county and municipal legislative priorities; and serving as a liaison between the Florida Legislature and local governments and community organizations.

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Can Medicaid expansion advocates get a Florida win in 2015?
News-Press
A coalition of business leaders and health industry groups will push this year for an expansion of Medicaid eligibility to an estimated 800,000 of Florida's low-income residents without health coverage. Their "Healthy Florida Works" plan envisions a semi-private Medicaid program requiring beneficiaries to pay modest premiums and participate in health and job training programs. Financing would come from the estimated $50 billion in federal funds available to Florida over the next decade if the state expands the Medicaid program.
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Level II NICU coming to Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center
WTVT-TV
Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach has received a Certificate of Need exemption for a Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) designation. The exemption was approved by the state Agency for Health Care Administration after baby Lydia Blair Baker was born at the hosptial on Nov. 23 becoming the 1,500th infant born at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in a rolling year – from December 2013 through November 2014.
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EMERGENCY MEDICINE IN THE NEWS — NATIONAL


ED bed coordinator speeds patient admissions
Medscape (free login required)
The implementation of an emergency department (ED) bed coordination program can reduce ED boarding time and hospital overcrowding, according to a new a study. In a comparison of patient flow metrics before and after the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California, repurposed an ED nursing position to a bed coordinator on Oct. 15, 2013, the intervention was associated with significant reductions in the time spent in the ED between the decision to admit and the actual move to a room (boarding time).
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Dehydration, poor diet fuel painful kidney stones
Las Vegas Review-Journal
It may be quick and filling to chomp down that fast-food burger and fries, washing it away with a pint of soda or two and then later in the day hitting your favorite coffee joint for an afternoon pick-me-up. But just remember, consuming a steady diet of all these sodium-laden junk foods and caffeine refreshments (including the buffet of energy drinks on the market) comes with the risk of developing kidney stones.
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Limiting rest is found to help young concussion patients
The New York Times
Experts recommend that young people who have suffered a concussion get one or two days of rest at home, until symptoms start resolving, before gradually returning to school and physical activity. But scientific evidence to support this approach is sparse, and some doctors have recommended that young patients remain inactive for even longer periods after a concussion.
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'Obesity paradox' apparent in heart failure
MedPage Today
Overweight and obese heart failure patients outlived their normal-weight patients even after adjustment for various factors, researchers found. Among patients with incident heart failure, overweight and obese patients had lower mortality rates compared to normal-weight patients, (hazard ratio [HR] 0.72, and 0.70, respectively), Umair Khalid, M.D., of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and colleagues reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
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Best practices for improving emergency room flow for pediatric patients
HealthDay News via Healthcare Professionals Network
Best practices for improved flow and care for pediatric patients in the emergency department are discussed in a technical report published online Dec. 29 in Pediatrics. The need for emergency medical services outstrips available resources on a daily basis. With this in mind, Isabel Barata, M.D., and colleagues from the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine discuss best practices for improving flow, reducing waiting times, and improving the quality of care of pediatric patients in the emergency department.
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Cancer, heart disease, stroke deaths down, life span stays put
Medical Xpress
Heart disease and cancer, which cause of deaths of half of Americans who die each year, continued to loosen their deadly grip in 2013, while rates of deaths attributed to flu and pneumonia surged, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention said recently. Posting its year-end "data brief" on mortality in the United States in 2013, the CDC reported no change in expected life spans for Americans: On average, an American woman can expect to live to 81.2 years of age — 85.5 if she makes it to the age of 65. A man can expect, on average, to live to 76.4 years of age. A man still alive at age 65 is likely to live, on average, to almost 83.
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Chronic disease management complicated by economic insecurity
Health IT Analytics
Proper chronic disease management for diabetes is significantly more difficult for patients facing economic insecurity that makes it a hardship to secure basic needs, finds a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine this month. Patients with multiple economic concerns, including buying food, paying utility bills, and housing instability, were more likely to also report poor control of their diabetes while accessing more outpatient healthcare services.
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End of Medicaid fee bump could impact emergency departments
RevCycle Intelligence
Last month, this blog covered news that the “fee bump” for Medicaid reimbursement would end on Dec. 31, 2014. This has been in place for the last two years as a way to increase Medicaid fees for primary care services to Medicare levels. The bump was created to counteract part of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion. More than 7.5 million Americans have enrolled in Medicaid since the third quarter of 2013. However, with low physician reimbursement rates, there has been concern that some primary care physicians would stop treating these patients because of the headache it creates.
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Diabetes patients' unmet needs may impact disease control
HealthDay News via The Clinical Advisor
Unmet material needs are associated with poor diabetes control and increased health-care resource use for adult patients with diabetes mellitus, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests. “How specific material need insecurities relate to clinical outcomes and the use of health-care resources in a setting of near-universal access to health care is unclear,” wrote Seth A. Berkowitz, M., MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.
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FDA approves a fast-acting Ebola test
The Science Times
The fight to stop Ebola continues to rage on across the world as researchers continue to find new ways to both detect and treat the deadly virus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved a new test to detect the virus in patients believed to be suffering from the virus.
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Nearly 6.5 million people in 2015 HealthCare.gov plans
Reuters
Nearly 6.5 million people either selected or were enrolled in a new individual insurance plan for 2015 on the HealthCare.gov website through Dec. 26, the U.S. government health agency said. HealthCare.gov sells plans for 37 states while the remaining states sell individual insurance on their own online exchanges. In 2014, the 37 states represented 68 percent of the total nationwide enrollment of around 7 million people, the agency said.
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FDA hands tied in powdered caffeine abuse cases
U.S. News & World Report
The federal substance abuse administration has reported that complications involving energy drinks bring nearly 21,000 people to the emergency room every year. Now, consumer advocates are worried that pure powdered caffeine — a newer, lesser-known product that can be purchased online — could be a cause of death that even medical examiners don't detect. It has already killed two young men in known cases this year.
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CDC: Flu has reached epidemic levels, 15 child deaths so far
USA Today
Flu season can pose a dangerous threat to kids. Fifteen child deaths from the flu have been reported so far this year from nine states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Four were reported during the week of Dec.15, according to spokesman Jason McDonald. The states include Arizona (1), Colorado (1), Florida (2), Minnesota (2), North Carolina (2), Nevada (1), Ohio (2), Texas (3) and Virginia (1).
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Britain: Nurse infected with Ebola is in critical condition, hospital says
The New York Times
The hospital treating a British nurse who contracted the Ebola virus in West Africa said that her condition had deteriorated to critical. The nurse, Pauline Cafferkey, the first person found to have Ebola on British soil, returned to Britain on Dec. 28 from Sierra Leone. She is being treated in an isolation unit at London’s Royal Free Hospital with an experimental antiviral drug and with plasma from a recovered patient containing Ebola-fighting antibodies. She was working as a volunteer nurse in Sierra Leone.
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FCEP EMnews

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Jessica Taylor, Senior Medical Editor, 202.684.7169  
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