November 5, 2021
Health Care Groups Put Spotlight on Workforce 'Crisis'
A broad coalition of health care groups Monday tried to ratchet up attention on staffing and financial problems, saying the state needs to take steps to help address what industry officials describe as a “crisis.” They say the COVID-19 pandemic worsened staffing problems, causing workers to get burned out and raising costs.

Source: Health News Florida
Gadsden County Donates $20K to Capital Medical Society for We Care Network
On Oct. 19, 2021, the Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners presented a $20,000 check to the Capital Medical Society Foundation’s Executive Director Pam Irwin. The funding awarded from the Gadsden County’s American Rescue Plan grant, recognizes the Capital Medical Society Foundation and its We Care Network program’s response in Gadsden County during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Tallahassee Democrat
Feds mandate vaccines or tests for big companies by Jan. 4
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said companies that fail to comply could face penalties of nearly $14,000 per violation.
Millions of U.S. workers now have a Jan. 4 deadline to get a COVID vaccine.

The federal government on Thursday announced new vaccine requirements for workers at companies with more than 100 employees as well as workers at health care facilities that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients.

According to the mandate, these employees will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4, or get tested for the virus weekly and wear a mask in the workplace.

Workers at nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities that receive money from Medicare and Medicaid will not have an option for testing — they will need to be vaccinated.

Source: Health News Florida
DeSantis files a legal challenge to OSHA's mandate for worker vaccines
Hours after the Biden administration moved forward with COVID-19 vaccination requirements for tens of millions of workers, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that Florida will join Georgia, Alabama and private plaintiffs in filing a legal challenge.

The lawsuit, which is expected to be filed Friday at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, will challenge a rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration that will apply to employers with 100 or more workers. The rule will take effect Jan. 4 and require employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or test negative at least once a week.

Source: WUSF Public Media
Pfizer says its COVID-19 pill cuts disease's worst risks by 89%
Pfizer says that its COVID-19 pill reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89%, in a clinical trial that tested the drug in adults with the disease who were also in high-risk health groups.

The oral medicine is called Paxlovid. Similar to Merck's new pill that was approved in the U.K. Thursday, Pfizer said its drug showed good results when administered within the first five days of the first COVID-19 symptoms.

Based on the strength of the trial's results, Pfizer says it will stop enrolling people into more clinical trials for the pill and will instead send the results it has so far to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to seek emergency use authorization.

Source: WFSU Public Media
Patients went into the hospital for care. After testing positive there for COVID, some never came out
About 21% of patients diagnosed with COVID during a hospital stay died, according to data analyzed for KHN. In-hospital rates of spread varied widely and patients had no way of checking them.
They went into hospitals with heart attacks, kidney failure or in a psychiatric crisis.

They left with COVID-19 — if they left at all.

More than 10,000 patients were diagnosed with COVID in a U.S. hospital last year after they were admitted for something else, according to federal and state records analyzed exclusively for KHN. The number is certainly an undercount, since it includes mostly patients 65 and older, plus California and Florida patients of all ages.

Source: Health News Florida
Gene linked to doubling risk of COVID-19 death found by UK scientists
Nov 5 (Reuters) - British scientists have identified a gene that doubles the risk of dying from COVID-19, providing new insights into why some people are more susceptible to the disease than others, while opening up possibilities for targeted medicine.

Around 60% of people with South Asian ancestry carry the high-risk gene, researchers at Oxford University said on Friday, adding the discovery partly explains the high number of deaths seen in some British communities, and the effect of COVID-19 in the Indian subcontinent.

Source: Reuters
COVID-19 Immunity From Infection, Vaccination Lasts At Least 6 Months, CDC Says
Vaccine-induced COVID-19 immunity and infection-induced immunity both last for at least six months, according to an Oct. 29 science report from the CDC.

"Available evidence shows that fully vaccinated individuals and those previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 each have a low risk of subsequent infection for at least 6 months," the CDC said in the brief, which is based on peer-reviewed and preprint publications and unpublished CDC data.

Source: Becker's Hospital Review
What Do We Really Know About Vaccine Effectiveness?
The bottom line? Getting vaccinated with any of the three vaccines available in the U.S. reduces the chance of getting COVID and significantly cuts the risk of hospitalization or death if you do contract the virus. But the politicization of vaccines — and just about everything else having to do with the pandemic — has led to confusion, if not utter fatigue. 

Source: Health News Florida
In Re-Analysis, Ivermectin Benefits Disappeared as Trial Quality Increased
Some authors of a widely reported meta-analysis of ivermectin studies that was flagged for including potentially fraudulent research have just posted a re-analysis on a preprint server -- and ivermectin's seemingly beneficial effects disappeared as trial quality went up. 

Source: MedPage Today
Pandemic's Impact on Food Insecurity Remains
On Florida Matters, we take a deeper look at food insecurity in the Tampa Bay region with Thomas Mantz, CEO of the Feeding Tampa Bay food bank, and Catherine Campbell, a UF professor specializing in community food systems. 

Source: Health News Florida
Colorado COVID-19 Hospitalizations Hit 2021 High Despite Early Vaccination Successes
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Colorado hit their highest levels of 2021, baffling some experts as virus cases and hospitalizations decline nationally, Fox affiliate KDVR reported Nov. 1.

Currently, 1,236 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized statewide, with 90 additional patients hospitalized with possible COVID-19 cases, according to state data.

Aurora, Colo.-based UCHealth facilities have been at capacity for weeks, Richard Zane, MD, emergency medicine physician and chief innovation officer at UCHealth, said Nov. 1.

Source: Becker's Hospital Review
American Psychological Association says it's sorry for perpetuating systemic racism
The American Psychological Association is seeking to make amends for past wrongs.

The APA, an organization that has been around since the late 1800s, issued a lengthy statement on Friday apologizing not only for the APA's role in perpetuating systemic racism, but for the role psychology, as a field of study, has also played in systemically harming people of color for decades.

The organization's Council of Representatives unanimously voted to adopt a resolution that, among other things, apologizes for engaging in "racism, racial discrimination, and denigration" of communities of color; as a result, they failed in their mission to better the lives of others, they admitted.

Source: WFSU Public Media
Providers Integrate Mental Health, Primary Kids Care
A pediatric practice and counseling center in Palm Beach County are teaming up on a coordinated strategy designed to get children the help they need before a mental health issue becomes an emergency.

Source: Health News Florida
Dangerous Bacteria Circulating; Disinfo Docs Go Unpunished; Enbrel’s Patent Thicket
Dangerous Salmonella Strain Circulates as Regulators Stand By

In May 2018, America’s prime illness detectives observed a uncommon and virulent pressure of salmonella. As folks landed within the hospital, the supply was unclear, and gave the impression to be everywhere in the nation. Now, even because the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and business know it, “contaminated meat continues to be offered to customers,” a ProfessionalPublica investigation discovered.

In Georgia, Doctors Still Free to Peddle COVID-19 Falsehoods

As extra members of the medical neighborhood name for their very own career to be held accountable for spreading harmful falsehoods about COVID-19, medical doctors in Georgia stay free to take action, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Amgen’s Patent Thicket Persists

Three many years in the past, the University of Texas scientist Bruce Beutler, MD, requested the federal authorities to grant him a patent. However, it will not be till 2029 that etanercept (Enbrel), the arthritis drug that has its basis in Beutler’s analysis, might “lastly face lower-cost competitors within the U.S.,” BioPharma Dive reported. The longevity is a results of pharmaceutical firm Amgen’s efforts to construct a wall of mental property safety, know as a “patent thicket,” BioPharma Dive reported.

Source: The Health News Express
Pathologists Consider 'Workaround' So Patients Don't Freak Out Over EHR Bad News
Fearing that some patients might freak out after seeing bad news in their electronic health portals before their doctors have reviewed results, some pathologists have adopted creative strategies.

They're trying to get the lab report's bad news to the treating physician first.

"One workaround I've heard about is that the pathologist picks up the phone and calls the treating physician who will receive the results," before it becomes an electronic record, Emily Volk, MD, president of the College of American Pathologists, told MedPage Today.

Source: MedPage Today
Say This, Not That: Ways To Reframe Your Language To Advance Health Equity
The American Medical Association recently published its equity guidebook focusing on language, titled "Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narratives and Concepts."

The guide focuses on three main areas: health equity language, why narratives matter and a glossary of key terms.

Source: Becker's Hospital Review
Provider Resources from the AMA
AMA Releases Four New BHI How-to Guides
The AMA has released four new practice guides that equip physician practices and health systems with practical strategies for overcoming obstacles to accessible and equitable treatment for patients’ behavioral, mental, and physical health needs. These guides focus on four key areas of effective integrated care: practice workflow design, pharmacological treatment, substance use disorder, and suicide prevention. Additionally, the BHI Compendium, which serves as a tool to help provide a proven pathway for delivering integrated behavioral care, has also been enhanced with additional resources and practice case studies ensuring physician practices and health systems have the most recent, actionable information at their disposal.

American Medical Association Telehealth Use Survey
The AMA is conducting a survey to assess the current landscape and use of telehealth among physicians and other health care practitioners. The goal is to learn more about physicians’ experience with telehealth, including ongoing challenges, benefits, and opportunities. Survey results will help inform future telehealth research and advocacy, resource development, and continued support for physicians, practices, and health systems. The survey will close on December 31, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

AMA to Host Mini-Boot Camp Focused on Highlights from the 2021 Telehealth Immersion Program
The AMA will host a Telehealth Immersion Program mini-boot camp from 5-7 p.m. ET. on December 7 that will provide participants with a recap of the 2021 Telehealth Immersion Program, highlight physician and practice wins, and provide an overview of the telehealth landscape for the future, including key policy changes for 2022.

Source: American Medical Association (AMA)
FSU College of Medicine Alumni Tailgate - November 6, 2021
Alumni should RSVP to
Helping Children in Need This Holiday Season - Deadline for Donations: November 18, 2021
FSU College of Medicine students have been working with PAEC school-based clinics, and migrant summer school clinics for the last 14 years. COVID-19 has hit this underserved community especially hard, and many of these essential workers do not have luxury of quarantining for 10 days. If they do not work their families do not eat. These people are the frontline workers that enable our supermarkets to have fresh fruits and vegetables, yet somehow, they are invisible. It is our hope that we can make their holiday a little brighter this year with our annual holiday project. We are seeking new or used children clothes, toys, small books, and $25.00 Walmart gift cards. Donations can be dropped off at FSU College of Medicine, Tallahassee Campus located at 3331 Capital Oaks Drive, or at the Main Campus at Jan Beane’s office of Human Resources. Our regional campus is on the corner of Miccosukee Rd and Capital Oaks Drive, near Tallahassee Regional Medical Center, and Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic. Online donations can be accepted Please contact Elaine Geissinger at (850) 645-1266 (Office) or (850) 566-1079 (Cell) or or Dr. Maria Pouncey,

Source: FSU College of Medicine Tallahassee Regional Campus
Florida E-Prescribing
Electronic Prescribing Requirements (Florida Board of Medicine)
House Bill 831 (2019), Electronic Prescribing, was signed into law by Governor DeSantis. The effective date is January 1, 2020. The bill provides important new requirements for prescribers to generate and transmit all prescriptions electronically upon licensure renewal or by July 1, 2021, whichever is earlier.

Florida ePrescribing Clearinghouse (Agency for Healthcare Administration)
The purpose of the Florida ePrescribing Clearinghouse is to provide information that contributes to the promotion and implementation of electronic prescribing by health care practitioners, health care facilities, and pharmacies in order to prevent prescription drug abuse, improve patient safety, and reduce unnecessary prescriptions. This Clearinghouse contains information on the advantages, processes, products, rules, and laws of ePrescribing as well as Florida ePrescribing reports.
Save the Date for Upcoming CMS Meetings/Events
Talk to me, Goose.
We all need co-pilots. That's why the Capital Medical Society Foundation Physician Wellness Program is here for its members. The CMSF has teamed up with four wonderful resources who will help you fly - confidentially and autonomously. Your first six wellness coaching visits are at no cost to you. None. Nada. No identifying information. Nothing except peace of mind. Seriously. Pick up the phone and call any of the resources noted below. Telehealth options available.

Special thanks to MagMutual Foundation and others who are helping the CMSF fund this program.
Local Wellness Coaching Resources:
  • Paul Deitchman, Ph.D. - 850-878-3571
  • Tracey Morse, Ph.D. - 850-556-7944
  • Debra Weaver, Ph.D. - 850-942-5585
  • Stephen Wright, Ph.D. - 850-222-3045

C. Vincent Dix, Ph.D. has announced his retirement effective March 31, 2021. We appreciate the services Dr. Dix has provided to local physicians since the inception of the Capital Medical Society Foundation's Physician Wellness Program in 2017.

To view Physician Wellness resources, click here.

The Elephant in the Doctors' Lounge - With roughly 156 million Americans fully vaccinated for COVID-19, physicians are seeing signs of relief on the horizon. That relief can't come soon enough. The initial energy and adrenaline that drove physicians to treat their acutely ill patients in the early months of the pandemic have been replaced by fatigue, burnout, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It's time to talk -- and to act -- so these feelings of struggle don't drive more of our colleagues into a mental health emergency.
Source: MedPage Today
CME Resources
Wolfson Pediatric CME Webinars - 5.5 CME Credit Opportunity
Wolfson Children’s Hospital is proud to provide Continuing Medical Education opportunities to our partners and referring providers by offering monthly virtual CME sessions at no cost. If you have missed any of our previously offered live webinars and still wish to obtain CME credit for them, we have provided 4 recorded webinars for a total of 5.5 CME credits possible. Please follow the instructions below in order to take advantage of this opportunity!
1.      Open the flyer and choose which education session you would like to watch.
2.      Click the link in the attachment for the desired education session.
3.      Watch the webinar.
4.      Follow the instructions included in the video description to complete the required survey and input the associated activity code.
*Please note, if you are licensed outside of the state of Florida, you must contact the CME office at to request an official transcript of your participation.

Easy to use web portal makes it easy to find courses and track credits. Accredited activities for over 30 medical specialties; Over 100 active courses at any given time; Activity accreditations include ACCME, ANCC, AANP, ACPE, and more; Content is always current, and always free.

Free 1-hour online CME opportunity!
University of Florida's Department of Epidemiology
Raising awareness for Alzheimer's disease and increasing screening for cognitive impairment. This CME has a focus on primary care physicians but is applicable to all physicians who may encounter patients with cognitive impairments.

On-Demand CME by The Doctors Company
Diagnostic error continues to be a top patient safety concern, a global burden, and cause patient harm from treatment delay, testing, or misdiagnosis. “Prevention of Diagnostic Error in Primary Care” is an on-demand CME activity that features patient safety expert Jeffrey A. Gold, MD, professor of medicine, vice chair for quality and safety, for the department of medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University. This program highlights major contributing factors of diagnostic error along with the diagnostic process of care framework with additional focus on strategies to mitigate risk of patient harm in the primary care setting.

On-Demand CME by The Doctors Company
1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™
Explore the challenges and risks associated with telehealth. Concerns regarding privacy, security, licensure, and technology that might instigate a malpractice claim are discussed.
Looking for Some Non-CME Credit Learning Opportunities?
TMH has a library of past CME courses for viewing on their MDnews page: The recent CMEs cohosted by CMS and TMH may be found there or by opening:,, and
Opportunity to Support the 2022 CMS Membership Directory
The Capital Medical Society will publish its 2022 Membership Directory early next year. It will be distributed to all members. We have once again contracted with a company called E&M Consulting to produce the directory. E&M will be contacting our members over the next few months about advertising opportunities in the directory. E&M will manage all the ad sales, creative design, and formatting of the publication for us. This is a very professional group with experience in publishing association directories. Information on the available advertising opportunities can be viewed online at Please be responsive and help support this directory. Remember, it will include our entire medical community.  
CMS will provide the content - including photos of our members. If you have an updated photo - please send it to us!
Please feel free to call us if you have any questions - and thank you for your support!
The CMS Staff
(850) 877-9018
ABIM Extends Maintenance of Certification Requirement Deadlines Through 2022
Board-certified physicians are getting another extension on the deadline to maintain their internal medicine credentials.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) once again extended the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements through December 2022.

Source: Fierce Healthcare
Coronavirus - Information, Updates, Resources
Updates and Resources

Maguire Medical Library - Florida State University College of Medicine: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Basic & Current Information

The State-Level COVID-19 profile for Florida. This data is collected from medical facilities in one of two system HHS protect or National Healthcare Safety Network  
 and the White House Coronavirus Task Force analyzes and distributes the report.
The New England Journal of Medicine - A collection of articles and other resources on the Coronavirus outbreak, including clinical reports, management guidelines, and commentary
Epidemiological and Clinical Resources For The COVID-19 Pandemic
CDC Healthcare Supply of Personal Protective Equipment
CDC Guidance for People at Higher Risk for COVID-19 Complications
CDC PPE Poster
CDC Guidance for Travelers from Countries with Widespread Sustained (ongoing) Transmission Arriving in the United States
CDC Communication Resources
NETEC coronavirus page includes PPE validation checklists and video resource, in addition to many others:
From the Florida Medical Association: Coronavirus Educational Resource Center

Vaccine Updates

See the latest state Department of Health data summarizing the number of people in Florida who have either received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or completed the vaccine series (FMA) 
 (Florida Department of Health in Leon County)
(Florida Department of Health in Leon County) 
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
COVID-19 Pandemic Planning FAQ (dated 11/19/2020) includes important information regarding procurement and handling of costs for vaccine administration. (FEMA) 
What Happens Once There is a COVID-19 Vaccine? Key Challenges to Vaccinating America (12/3/2020) - VIDEO or SLIDES (Kaiser Family Foundation) 

Reporting for Health Care Providers and Laboratories

Notable recent additions to CDC guidance include more detailed infection prevention and control recommendations for health care settings:

Please continue to closely monitor the CDC novel coronavirus website for situation and guidance updates.

If you have any patients who meet the person under investigation criteria, please contact the Florida Department of Health in Leon County Epidemiology Program at 850-404-6299.
Epidemiology and Disease Control Program
Florida Department of Health in Leon County
2965 Municipal Way
Tallahassee, FL 32304
Office Number: (850) 404-6299 
Confidential Fax: (850) 921-9855
Rx for Miracles
Florida RX Card has created a new program and resource card to help Children's Miracle Network children and families in need. This card will work just as Florida Rx Card, helping people save on their prescription medications. 

The flyer explains the program and can be used to share/download the app.
Informed Webinar Series: Understanding the CMS Proposed Rule: Reducing Provider and Patient Burden by Improving Prior Authorization Processes
On December 11, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would improve the electronic exchange of healthcare data among payers, providers, and patients. If finalized, the CMS rule would streamline processes related to prior authorization with the goal of reducing the burden on providers and patients. Medicaid, CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program), and QHP (Qualified Health Plan) payers would be required to build and implement FHIR-enabled APIs that could:
  • Allow providers to know, in advance, what documentation would be needed for each different payer. 
  • Streamline the documentation process. 
  • Enable providers to send prior authorization requests (and receive responses electronically) directly from the provider's EHR or other practice management system.
PAP Machine Donations Needed!
A PAP (Positive Airway Pressure) machine is an electronic respiratory ventilation device used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Capital Medical Society Foundation, Inc.'s We Care Network program assists low-income, uninsured adults, whose income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level, with obtaining these potentially life-saving medical devices, when prescribed by a pulmonologist. Thanks to our partners at Desloge Home Oxygen and Medical Equipment, Inc., we are able to provide refurbished CPAP, AutoPAP, and BPAP machines for eligible We Care Network patients in Leon, Gadsden, Jefferson, and Wakulla Counties. We Care Network also accepts unused, unopened supplies for PAP machines, such as masks, nasal cannulas, and tubing. We Care Network coordinates over $8,000,000 in donated specialty medical and dental care annually.
Machine donations can be dropped off at Capital Medical Society Foundation's office at 1204 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308. Donations to Capital Medical Society Foundation are tax-deductible within IRS guidelines Federal Tax I.D. #: 59-2104510. For additional information, please call 942-5215 or email
You Can Support the CMS Foundation! Sign Up and Shop Today on AmazonSmile!
For eligible purchases at AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the Capital Medical Society Foundation! 
Click here to access AmazonSmile and support the CMS Foundation today!
Check Out the Latest CMS Member Benefits