Department of Public Health

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) seeks to prevent illness, injury and premature death, assure access to high quality public health and healthcare services, and to promote wellness and health equity across the state. MHA engages with DPH on numerous issues ranging from responses to the opioid epidemic and tobacco cessation to healthcare facility licensure and workforce safety, advocating for the interests and concerns of our members.
The Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed a sweeping mental health reform bill last Thursday that takes a large step towards "parity."
DPH reports that the risk of the novel coronavirus – newly named Covid-19 last week by the World Health Organization – is still low in Massachusetts.
MHA has produced a publication – A Commitment to Community: Massachusetts Hospitals’ Community Benefit Initiatives – that details stories showing how hospitals are improving the health of individuals and communities.
The goal of the ED Access Working Group was to create best practice recommendations to ensure optimal access to all Massachusetts EDs.
As of late last week, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) had spread to more than 8,000 people around the world (but mostly in China) and has caused more than 210 deaths in China.
DPH last week informed hospitals and other providers to be on the lookout for potential coronavirus patients.
DPH Commissioner Monica Bharel, M.D., testified before the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce last Tuesday.
The Joint Committee on Public Health heard testimony on a bill that would mandate that DPH create a program to screen patients for the presence of firearms in the home.
HB1895, SB1339, HB2001, HB1907, HB1971, HB1915, HB2002, SB2408 Disposition of Remains, Late Files, Mandated Benefit, Miscellaneous Joint Committee on Public Health
There will be a series of trainings for ED nurses to help them assess and treat patients presenting to the ED with opioid use disorder.
HB3999 An Act Relative to Vaccinations and Public Health. Joint Committee on Public Health
HB1862, SB1278, SB1350, HB1888/SB1340, HB1849/SB1297, HB2000 Professional Licensure and Scope of Practice
A new Expedited Psychiatric Inpatient Admissions Policy, or EPIA 2.0, builds on the original EPIA that was released in February 2018.
HB1346 / SB956 An Act removing the liability cap for malpractice resulting in serious injury or death Joint Committee on the Judiciary
DPH reminds providers that mandatory reporting of possible cases of unexplained e-cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury remains in effect.
HB1072 An Act to prevent inappropriate denials for medically necessary services Joint Committee on Financial Services
HB976 An Act relative to uncollected copays, coinsurance and deductibles Joint Committee on Financial Services
SB558, HB972, SB551 Health Insurance Issues Joint Committee on Financial Services
HB1976 An Act Requiring Health Care Facilities to Develop and Implement Programs to Prevent Workplace Violence Joint Committee on Public Health
HB2126/SB1407 An Act establishing a primary seat belt law

Resources

Click on the links below for easy access to important information related to state healthcare issues and advocacy.
Visit the Commonwealth of Massachusetts websites below to find information on legislative hearings and other meetings of interest to the healthcare community.
To guide your navigation of the legislative process and assist your advocacy efforts, please visit the following state websites:
MHA has also developed the following documents for your information and benefit:
  • Directory of Government Officials
  • 2016-2017/2017-2018 State Legislative Package