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The Weekly Checkup: July 23, 2021

The Weekly Checkup: July 23, 2021

Welcome to The Weekly Checkup!

In this weekly newsletter, you will find the latest health care policy news, legislative and regulatory updates, upcoming rule and regulatory workshop information, action alerts, and more.

The Weekly Checkup is published weekly by the News Service of Florida, of which HCAF is a paid subscriber. Per terms of use and our agreement with the publisher, this material is for HCAF members only. Posting or forwarding this material without permission is prohibited.

How High Will Medicaid Enrollment Go?

By Christine Sexton • July 23, 2021

4,835,582: That’s how many people state economists in March predicted would be enrolled in the Medicaid program during the state fiscal year 2021-2022, which covers the 12-month span from July 1 through June 30, 2022.

4,846,412: That’s how many people were enrolled in Florida's Medicaid program as of June 30.

Even before the new fiscal year, the number of people enrolled in the program that provides health care to poor, elderly, and disabled people exceeded the number economists had predicted earlier this year.

Members of the Social Services Estimating Conference meet today to sharpen their pencils and adjust the enrollment estimates made at the end of March. 

While the latest projections most likely won't be available until Monday, don’t expect enrollment to drop any time soon.

That's because U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra this week extended the public health emergency due to the pandemic, which has been in place since January 2020. 

The 90-day extension means that the state will continue to receive an additional 6.2-percent hike in the enhanced federal Medicaid match rate through Dec. 31, 2021.

So long as the state receives the additional funds — and there’s no indication that Florida is going to turn them down — people, for the most part, cannot be disenrolled.

There are some exceptions, though. For instance, people can voluntarily ask the state to terminate their Medicaid coverage. Additionally, the state can remove from the program people who have passed away or people who have moved to another state.

After finalizing the enrollment estimates, economists will meet again to determine how much the state will have to spend to cover the costs of care. When economists last met, they estimated that it would cost $32 billion. 

Expect the cost estimates to increase also, but the state’s share of the costs will be offset by the additional federal funding that the state will receive for the remainder of the year.

In other news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there have been 54,157 new COVID-19 cases in Florida between July 16 and July 21.

Meanwhile, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are underway.

It’s worth noting that 51 athletes on the U.S. Olympic Team call Florida home, putting the state in second place for the number of athletes on the team, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

California has the most athletes on Team U.S.A., with 126 athletes either hailing from California or identifying it as their home state. Colorado, Texas, and New York round out the top five states, with 34, 31, and 27 athletes, respectively.

Colorado, meanwhile, has the highest number of athletes per capita.

There are 339 medal events in 33 sports at the Tokyo Olympics. There are four new sports this year: karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. A roster of the athletes and their recognized hometowns is here.


The Department of Health proposes developing Rule 64D-3.042 to require emergency room departments to conduct STD testing during pregnancy and to require attending practitioners to test at delivery. The change also requires assessment of HIV care followed by treatment or referral for treatment, if appropriate. More here.

The Department of Health proposes developing a new regulation, Rule 64D-3.048, that sets out reporting requirements for all practitioners and other enrolled COVID-19 vaccine providers administering COVID-19 vaccines. More here.

The Agency for Health Care Administration proposes amending Rule 59A-35.040 to remove multiphasic health testing centers and to add language related to home-health agency exemptions. More here.

The Agency for Health Care Administration proposes amending Rule 59A-35.110, to add sunset language and strike a requirement that approval of revisions to emergency management plans be reported within 21 days of occurrence. More here


Matt Bryan, David Daniel, Thomas Griffin, Jeff Hartley, Lisa Hurley, and Teye Reeves have registered to lobby for Southern Healthcare Management, LLC.

Week in Review

Open and shut … Gov. Ron DeSantis has drawn national attention for bucking federal health care officials over the handling of the novel coronavirus, but a group of Florida physicians said Thursday the governor’s push to reopen the state and block precautions are a main reason for a sharp increase in the number of residents suffering from COVID-19. More here.

Race for the prize … FAMU puts $1 million in cash, prizes to incentivize campus community to get vaccinated. More here.

Big gap … Florida health department reports 20 percent difference between vaccinated white and Black Floridians. More here.

What will happen next? … Overhaul of Florida program to aid brain-damaged kids now in hands of a powerful politician. More here.

In the dark … Florida not sharing which nursing homes have COVID-19 as overall cases rise. More here.

Another try … Debbie Wasserman Schultz files legislation to encourage more breast cancer screening. More here.

Wrong direction … Florida leads nation in new HIV cases. More here.

Responding … Tampa General hopes COVID antibody treatment can ease burden on ICU as cases soar. More here.

As surge continues … All systems yellow: AdventHealth limits visitors, ponders staff vaccine mandate. More here.


The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) published its July 2021 data book that summarizes health care spending in the Medicare program. Access the post-acute care report here.

Beginning August 2, there will be new forms that medical providers and insurance carriers must use when filing a petition for resolution of workers' compensation reimbursements disputes. The forms are contained in Rules 69L-31.003 and 69L-31.004, the former for medical providers, the latter for insurance carriers or self-insurance funds.

For the first time in 30 years, the University of Florida College of Medicine has added a new clinical department, upgrading physical medicine and rehabilitation from a division in the department of orthopedics and rehabilitation to its own department. Kevin Vincent, M.D., Ph.D., founding chair of the department, said elevating physical medicine and rehabilitation to its own department will enable it to better compete for federal grants and research funding. More here.

The Florida Policy Institute published its summary of the FY 2021-22 budget by issue area here.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s analysis of how the pandemic affected Black and white households here.

The Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families Say Ahhh! blog is here.


July 26

9:00 AM – The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Strategic Visions Committee meets. Meeting link here. Contact for a copy of the agenda.

2:00 PM – The Department of Children and Families meets to make a recommendation for DCF ITN 2021 006, Community-Based Care Lead Agency for Circuit 7. Link to meeting here. Contact for a copy of the agenda.

July 27

9:00 AM – The Florida Children and Youth Cabinet meets. Contact for a copy of the agenda.

1:00 PM – The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) DATA Committee meets. Meeting link here. Contact for a copy of the agenda.

July 28

1 p.m. The Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council meets. Meeting link here. Contact for a copy of the agenda.

July 29

8:00 AM – The Health Care Coalition Task Force meets to discuss the state's emergency preparedness efforts at the City of Orlando Emergency Operations Center, 110 George Desalvia Way, Orlando, or link to the meeting here. Contact for a copy of the agenda.

9:30 AM – The Florida Trauma Systems Advisory Council meets. Meeting link here. Contact for a copy of the agenda.

July 30

10:00 AM – The Agency for Health Care Administration FX Executive Steering Committee will meet to discuss the FX Program. Place: Agency for Health Care Administration, 2727 Mahan Drive, Building 3, Tallahassee.

July 31

1:00 PM – The Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Foundation Board of Directors meets at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, 14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane, Orlando.

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