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Florida's New Law on Controlled Substance Prescribing

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Apr 13, 2018 2:16:20 PM

HB 21, signed into law by Governor Rick Scott on March 19, 2018, imposes a number of legal requirements on health care practitioners who prescribe controlled substances, particularly opioids.  This new law encompasses 205 pages and imposes new obligations on practitioners that carry penalties for noncompliance. The purpose of this article is to provide a summary of the provisions of HB 21, and provide practitioners with the information they need to comply with the new law.  Unless otherwise noted, the provisions of this law go into effect on July 1, 2018.

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Topics: News, Continuing Medical Education

Medical Tourism Could Be More Than You Bargained For

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Apr 13, 2018 10:06:32 AM

As deductibles rise and co-pay amounts get higher, the number of people leaving the country to have lower cost surgery elsewhere continues to grow. This “medical tourism” has previously been mostly limited to cosmetic surgery and and dental work that is not generally covered by insurers, but now more and more people are looking for other types of surgeries internationally, either to save costs, find a shorter waiting list or to get access to treatments not approved by the FDA.

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Topics: News

Why Medical Associations are Important

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Apr 10, 2018 9:47:33 AM

As one of over 750,000 practicing physicians in the United States, it seems impossible that you could influence the field by advocating for change on your own. Think of what you might accomplish though, if you were to add your name to the roster of a more powerful force, a medical association with thousands of members? Wouldn’t that lend your voice real power and strength?

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Topics: News

Opiate Epidemic: What Can Be Done?

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Mar 23, 2018 11:44:51 AM

Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. This is a shocking number, especially considering that many of these opioids were prescribed by a doctor. The misuse of and addiction to opiate painkillers is a major crisis in our country that has reached epidemic proportions. Not only does it affect the health and wellness of our citizens, it impacts the social and economic welfare of our communities.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse in the United States is about $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and involvement by the criminal justice system.

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Topics: News, Continuing Medical Education

How Will the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Affect You?

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Mar 9, 2018 2:27:11 PM

As promised, the the most sweeping rewrite of the tax code in more than 30 years, commonly known as The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, arrived on President Donald Trump’s desk before Christmas and on the 22nd of December, he signed it into law. We have all heard that this is a major overhaul that may limit or end many deductions we currently use.  How much is really changing though? And how will it affect us as medical providers?

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Topics: News

Protecting Your Data in the Digital Age

Posted by Emerald Coast Medical Association on Feb 23, 2018 10:07:09 AM

From smart refrigerators to door locks you control with your phone, virtually every aspect of our lives has gone digital. Our healthcare is no exception. Medical devices such as insulin pumps and implantable cardiac pacemakers are going “online” which means that just like computers and their networks, these devices can be vulnerable to security breaches.

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Topics: News

Opioid Addiction Crisis

Posted by Michelle Flaat on Oct 13, 2017 4:02:49 PM

The United States is in the midst of a public health crisis. Opioid addiction is taking mothers, fathers, and children; destroying lives, breaking up families. In the first part of 2016, approximately 2,600 people died from opioid overdoses in Florida and the epidemic shows no sign of slowing.

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Topics: News

Telehealth Expansion Legislation Progressing

Posted by Michelle Flaat on Oct 5, 2017 3:47:19 PM

Following another failed attempt to repeal-and-replace the Affordable Care Act, the notably bipartisan bill, Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017, unanimously passed through the Senate Floor on Wednesday.

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Topics: News

Correlation Between Opioid Abuse and Infectious Disease

Posted by Michelle Flaat on Sep 15, 2017 10:15:05 AM

Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. It turns out, that may be an underestimate. The opioid abuse epidemic is already bad enough but doctors may be missing quite a few cases because of the way deaths are reported.  People who take the painkillers may be more susceptible to infections, and opioid drugs also suppress the immune system, making it harder to fight off those infections, researchers told a meeting at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Opioid use can make people more likely to die from infections in two ways, the CDC’s Victoria Hall stated. “It kind of dampens your immune system,” she said. "It can make immune system cells less effective at fighting off illness," Hall said.  Also, opioids make people breathe more shallowly and more slowly, which in turn raises the risk of developing pneumonia.

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Topics: News

Insurance Fraud and Opioid Addiction at an all Time High

Posted by Michelle Flaat on Aug 4, 2017 8:47:26 AM

Scammers are hard at work in today's rise of opioid addiction.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield has been the biggest target due to their generous benefits and the few restrictions that are in place to seek care from out-of-network treatment programs.

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Topics: News

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