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Lawmakers discuss medical marijuana implementation



Florida doctors who prescribe marijuana for patients with crippling afflictions will have to be specially trained and selected, to prevent medical usage from becoming a sham, the chairman of a key House committee said Monday, March 31.

Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, took part in a 90-minute symposium on the future of medical marijuana with two Democrats, Representative Katie Edwards of Plantation and Senator Jeff Clemens of Lake Worth. The three lawmakers are sponsors of bills to legalize research and prescription of marijuana for patients under controlled circumstances.

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Senate telemedicine bill clears first committee; panelists question accountability



A bill that would lay the groundwork for telemedicine passed its first committee on Tuesday, April 1, amid objections by two panelists.

The bill, titled the Florida Telemedicine Act, would define how doctors could qualify to provide services via teleconferencing technology if they don't have a Florida license. SB 1646 sponsor Senator Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville, said the bill was a good start toward preparing Florida medicine for coming generations. He said the concept may seem new to some of his colleagues. The bill started in the Health Policy Committee and went through two workshops before moving on to Tuesday's Communication, Energy and Public Utility meeting.

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House and senate adopt separate plans to spend $75 billion
Separate budget plans to spend about $75 billion passed through both chambers of the Legislature on Thursday, setting up negotiations between the House and the Senate.

The House version is $75.3 billion, slightly larger than the $74.9 billion Senate plan.

Both chambers provide record total funding of education, but per student funding in the House of $6,988 for preK-12 schools is about $50 short of the peak reached before the Great Recession.

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Senate passes nursing home lawsuit bill



A bill that would protect passive investors of nursing homes from lawsuits passed the Senate this afternoon with a vote of 36-3.

SB 670, by Senator John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, would clarify the parties, who could be sued, create safeguards that require businesses to pay damages and open medical records for patients or families. Senators Greg Evers, R-Crestview, Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange and Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, voted in opposition to the bill.

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Needle exchange pilot passes House panel
The House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed a bill on April 4, 2014, creating a needle-and-syringe exchange pilot program in Miami. The proposal had died in the committee in the previous legislative session. HB 491 has one more committee of reference to pass before heading to the chamber floor. The Senate version, SB 408, has already passed all of its panels and awaits action by the entire chamber.
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Viability bill passes final committee



A measure that bans abortions when the fetus is determined to be able to survive outside of the womb unless the health of the mother is threatened passed its final House panel on April 4, 2014. HB 1047 replaces the state's existing ban on third trimester abortions. The vote was nearly along party lines with Representative Daphne Campbell, D-Miami, voting yes with the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee. It now moves to the chamber floor.

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The POLST educational program is being held at The Florida State University on May 12. To learn more about the program click here.

For those who wish to view this program via live streaming, go to http://lectures.med.fsu.edu and click on the link for this event, which will be available right before the start time.

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'Dashed Hopes'
A new, groundbreaking study shows that nearly 4 million people with mental illnesses who are uninsured reside in the 25 states that have refused to participate in the Medicaid Expansion program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many of these individuals have severe mental health conditions and currently have no health insurance coverage through any public or private plan, but will be denied the opportunity to obtain coverage for treatment since those states have refused to participate.

Learn More Here

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Child safety devices in motor vehicles (booster seats)



On Tuesday, April 1, HB 225 by Representative Keith Perry unanimously passed the House Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee. HB 225 and its companion, SB 518 by Senator Anitere Flores, revise Florida's child restraint requirements for children who are younger than a specified age. On Friday, April 4, HB 225 passed out of its final committee, the House Economic Affairs Committee. HB 225 is now ready to go before the full House of Representatives for a vote. SB 518 has one remaining committee stop, the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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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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FCEP
May 7, 2014 FCEP Committee Meetings at FEP Offices*
May 8, 2014 FCEP Board Meeting at FEP Offices*
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

*FEP OFFICES: 500 Winderley Pl #115, Maitland, FL 32751

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SAVE THE DATE!
August 7-10, 2014


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SAVE THE DATE!
July 17-20, 2014

Register Online Now!
Book Your Hotel Room Now!



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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


Emergency doctors more likely to miss signs of stroke in the young
NPR
Stroke symptoms can be so tricky to spot that sometimes, even emergency room doctors get it wrong. A study from Johns Hopkins University suggests that ER doctors may be up to 30 percent more likely to overlook signs of stroke in women and minorities. And for patients under 45, the odds are much greater than for those who are older. "Younger people are less likely to have a stroke, but when they have that stroke, they're much more likely to be missed," says Dr. David Newman-Toker, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins and the study's lead author.
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What's next for healthcare?
The New York Times
The first open enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act has just ended, and consumers, insurers and federal officials now face many immediate chores and challenges that will help determine if the law works as intended. Many questions about the law's potential impact on the healthcare system remain, and the following are some preliminary answers.
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Need for more HCA trauma centers not clear-cut
Tampa Bay Times
Officials at one of the nation's largest hospital chains have made a powerful argument to defend their unprecedented expansion of Florida's trauma system: Hospital Corporation of America is saving lives. For months, HCA has handed out reports portraying improved survival rates. HCA supporters have suggested that people will die if state courts force the company to close its new trauma centers. Judging by positive votes the company has received in the Legislature, it appears lawmakers are accepting the claims, which HCA paints as settled fact.
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Medical students could be healthier, learn better with more humane schedules
EmaxHealth
It has been traditionally said that the rigorous schedule of medical students makes them better doctors, but recent research says this is not so. Unfortunately for the medical students it's true that their rates of drug and alcohol abuse, divorce, and suicide have appeared to be unusually high for a long time. Furthermore, medical students are sometimes ruined with allegations by medical professors of having bad attitudes about their professional careers if they complain about their rigorous work schedules and dwindling personal lives. Yet, recent research shows that a kinder, gentler approach to medical students may benefit them greatly.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword(s): Staying healthy on hectic work schedule.


High consumer demand in Florida, nation on last day of Obamacare enrollment
Miami Herald
The six-month period to enroll for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act ended this past week much as it began in October: With computer problems that prevented consumers from signing up through the HealthCare.gov website. But unlike the glitch-addled launch of the federally-run website that serves 36 states — including Florida — the closing day included tangible measures of success, with the Sunshine State emerging as a leader in enrollment. Of the more than 6 million Americans who selected health plans through February, more than 440,000 were Floridians — exceeding every other state relying on the federally-run insurance exchange, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
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Telemedicine expands the reach of medical capabilities
Medgadget
Telemedicine, which connects physicians and patients via electronic communication, is traveling at warp speed toward a bright, collaborative future between technology and medicine that will benefit the entire healthcare system. New gadgets are educating patients on their own bodies and allowing them to monitor their health from home. Innovative tools now enable doctors to advise and treat patients from around the world, and improved data storage and processing devices are allowing patients and physicians to input, read, and share medical records with the touch of a few buttons.
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Study: More ERs treating headaches with narcotics
HealthDay News
There's been a big increase in prescriptions for powerful narcotic painkillers given to headache patients at hospital emergency departments, a new U.S. study finds. This increase has occurred even though guidelines from a number of medical groups, including the American Academy of Neurology and the American College of Emergency Physicians, say these pain drugs should not be used as a first-line treatment for headache.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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