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Human trafficking bill calling for locked facility passes first Senate Committee



Senators resolved to continue with a human trafficking bill that would implement a pilot locked facility for young victims, after a fortnight delay and warnings from industry experts.

Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, said in debate that SB 7088 may not be perfect but other committees would undoubtedly lend more expertise.

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Senate Panel approves medical marijuana bill
A Senate committee heard from a cancer patient and parents of children stricken with intractable epileptic seizures on Monday, March 24, and then voted to let doctors prescribe a "non-euphoric" strain of marijuana that has shown promise in treating people who have run out of options.

The bill by Senator Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and Rob Bradley, R-Orange Park, would strictly control use of an oil derivative of marijuana. The specially developed plants would have to contain no more than .5 percent tetrahydrocannabinol — the "THC" element that gets users high — and at least 15 percent cannabidol, an element known as CBD that has been used to treat seizures in several medical experiments.

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Bill expanding medical powers for nurses passes Senate Committee



The Senate Health Policy Committee just barely voted in favor of a bill that would expand medical authority to advanced practice registered nurses despite staunch opposition from some panelists.

SB 1352, by Senator Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, passed the committee on Tuesday, March 25, with a vote of 5-4 after roughly 30 people chiefly from various nursing associations spoke in favor of it. Grimsley's proposal gives advanced practice nurses authority to prescribe controlled substances and initiate the Baker Act on a patient who may require an involuntary psychiatric evaluation. Also, the bill would allow nurses to release patients brought in for the involuntary test.

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Senate telemed bill in turmoil



The Florida Senate's telemedicine bill, which is less onerous to the Florida Medical Association than the House bill, swiftly became a target for critics during a committee appearance Tuesday morning. Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, threw on a number of amendments to stanch the bleeding.

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Grimsley wants to curb trauma center costs



The House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee passed a plan to allow trauma centers that have been open for 12 consecutive months to remain in operation. The measure is designed for the benefit of HCA trauma centers. The Safety Net Hospital Alliance has been fighting that provision in HB 7113.

Representatives of the non-profit alliance argue that new for-profits put an unnecessary strain on resources to run trauma centers. It appears that lawmakers are rejecting the argument. "A disruption in the operational status of a trauma center may disrupt the availability of needed trauma services for residents of and visitors to Florida," read the legislative findings of the bill.

Senator Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, has added an amendment to her trauma center proposal capping the "response fee" for one year at $15,000. The move comes days after the Times unveiled a year-long investigation about how fees charged by HCA-run centers were far higher than the state average. SB 1276 was passed by the Senate Health Policy committee on March 25, 2014.

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House, Senate budgets incredibly close - will Democrats get extremely loud?
Budget figures for the initial House and Senate spending plans for the 2014-2015 fiscal year are not that far apart, especially compared to recent years, but the specter of election year politics hangs over the debate of how to spend upwards of $75 billion.

House Democratic leaders took shots at their chamber's $75.3 billion budget during a House Appropriations Committee meeting Monday, saying that with a $1.2 billion projected surplus lawmakers should put more money into education, efforts to reduce waiting lists for critically needy disabled patients, environmental projects and affordable housing programs.

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Statewide Medicaid managed care program
In 2011, the Florida Legislature created a new program called the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) program. Because of this program, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) will need to change how some individuals receive their healthcare from the Florida Medicaid Program.

There are two different programs that make up the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care:
  • The Long-term Care (LTC) Managed Care Program
  • The Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) Program
Medicaid recipients who qualify and become enrolled in the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care – Long-term Care program will receive long-term care services from a long-term care managed care plan. Medicaid recipients who qualify and become enrolled in the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care - Managed Medical Assistance program will receive all healthcare services other than long-term care from a managed care plan.

View Summary Here

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House bill increasing number of pharmacy technicians passes final committee



A House bill that would increase the number of pharmacy technicians a pharmacist may supervise passed the Health and Human Services Committee with a promise from the sponsor.

HB 323 would leave the number of pharmacy technicians a pharmacist can supervise up to the state Board of Pharmacy. Under current law, a pharmacist may only supervise up to three, with board position.

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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:         

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Upcoming webinar
Please join the ACEP Trauma and Injury Prevention Section and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) for a co-sponsored webinar entitled ‘Naloxone Distribution from the ED for patients at-risk for Opioid Overdose’ on Friday, April 25th at 2 p.m. EDT.

Poisoning or drug overdose recently surpassed motor vehicle crash as the number one cause of injury-related death in the United States. There has been a rapid increase in fatal overdose since the mid-1990's which is largely attributable to the increase in prescribed opioids as well as prescription opioid misuse and abuse. Additionally, heroin-related overdose deaths are also increasing and many new-initiates of heroin report first misusing prescription opioids. Along with this rise in fatal overdose, there has also been an increase in opioid related ED visits secondary to non-fatal overdose or misuse.

The distribution of naloxone, an opioid agonist, has been associated with a with a decline in fatal overdoses in population based studies, has been long used by community-based/public health programs and is increasingly used in medical settings including primary care and emergency departments. This webinar will discuss recent research and programs on provision of take-home naloxone to ED patients at risk for opioid overdose, as part of a strategy to reduce opioid related harms and substance abuse. Lastly, we will highlight a successful take-home Naloxone program to discuss the real-world application and implementation of a take-home Naloxone program. At the end of the webinar, there will be time for a question and answer period and we hope to generate conversation and enthusiasm around this important topic.

Please register here
Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7507287630181846274

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Save the date!
April 8, 2014 FCEP Board Conference Call
May 7, 2014 FCEP Committee Meetings
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 ClinCon
Aug. 7-10, 2014 Symposium by the Sea
Aug. 7, 2014 FCEP Board of Directors Meeting
Aug. 7-8, 2014 FCEP Committee Meetings

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SAVE THE DATE!
August 7-10, 2014



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SAVE THE DATE!
July 17-20, 2014



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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.

www.saintlukeshealthsystem.org/forensic

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EMERGENCY MEDICINE IN THE NEWS


Study: Blood test can rule out heart attacks in ERs
The Associated Press via Fox News
Heart attacks are a major health issue and they worry many adults. Recently, a study found that a simple blood test, along with the usual electrocardiogram of the heartbeat, was able to rule out heart attacks when people come to emergency rooms complaining of chest pain. Only 15 percent of patients in the study who were deemed low-risk went on to suffer a heart attack in the following month, and no one died.
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Rising ED visits driving demand for nurses
Star News
Catastrophes like the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco and the Boston Marathon bombings have highlighted the extraordinary work of emergency departments and their indispensable role in healthcare. While disasters such as these are rare, emergency medicine plays a pivotal role in our nation's healthcare system every day. Emergency nurses, in particular, play an integral role in minimizing devastation when tragedy strikes.
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ACA: In Florida, 90 percent qualify for subsidy
Orlando Sentinel
Nine out of 10 Floridians who have enrolled in health insurance through the federal marketplace have qualified for a taxpayer subsidy, according to a new state-by-state report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Designed to make health insurance more affordable, and thus get more Americans covered, the Affordable Care Act provides taxpayer subsidies to low- and middle-income applicants who buy health insurance through the exchange.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword(s): Easier access to healthcare.


Nitroglycerin, a staple of ERs, is in short supply
The New York Times
The drug nitroglycerin has long been an emergency room staple, a front-line drug that is often the first thing doctors try when a patient shows up with a heart attack. So when Baxter International, the country's only manufacturer of injectable nitroglycerin, recently told hospitals that it was sharply cutting shipments of the drug, the news sent pharmacists and emergency room doctors into a panic. Hospitals have been struggling for years with intermittent shortages of the drug, but with the latest news, doctors worried they could actually run out.
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Telemedicine could be useful for nighttime patient admissions
FierceHealthIT
The low number of nighttime admissions to hospitals may reveal an opportunity for leveraging telehospitalist physicians to deliver inpatient services during that time, a new study published in Telemedicine and e-Health finds. Nighttime could be one of the most useful times to employ telemedicine, study authors argued, because "telemedicine is most effective when applied where physician resources are scarce, patient care is time sensitive and service volume may distributed across a network." For the study, researchers analyzed the Florida state hospital discharge dataset to investigate the potential market for a nighttime telehospitalist service.
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Study upends reform wisdom on ED use
Healthcare Finance News
Emergency rooms across the country need to prepare themselves for an increase in ER visits as more uninsured people gain insurance under healthcare reform. A recent study found a "small but consistent increase" in emergency room use following implementation of Massachusetts' individual mandate and insurance subsidy system – meaning ERs across the country should prepare for increased visits.
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6 ways to manage your impulses in EMS
EMS1
One minute, we are sitting on the street corner waiting for our next call, laughing with our partners and singing to songs on the radio. The next minute, we are working a pediatric arrest that we are unable to resuscitate. EMS is a very emotionally charged career. Being able to keep our emotions under control is an important part of our self-preservation, and ability to grow into successful EMS leaders. It is up to us to set the standards for others to follow. For all the good we do, one single outburst, or emotionally charged statement, can destroy your credibility and ruin your ability to lead your workforce.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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