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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) recently proposed a revision of DPH’s Determination of Need (DoN) regulations.  At the highest level, this proposed revision represents a paradigm shift to a streamlined and retooled process that puts public health at its core. In support of this goal, DPH has proposed an expanded emphasis on sound community engagement and the development of statewide health priorities in connection with an Applicant’s use of community health initiative dollars. These health priorities – focused on the underlying social determinants of health – represent the population health strategies integral to provider systems successfully taking on increased risk.

To that end, DPH will be conducting four (4) Listening Sessions across the Commonwealth to receive input on the development of statewide “Health Priorities” and “Community Engagement” standards.    This public process will support DPH’s development of an objective standard for community engagement based on existing national standards and a definition of public health value, guiding the investment of DoN Community-Based Health Initiatives with increased accountability and transparency.

In anticipation of these four (4) public listening sessions, DPH has released a draft proposed programmatic framework for review and discussion.

DPH welcomes and encourages stakeholders to review this draft proposal in advance of attending these public listening sessions.

This presentation includes information on the following:

  • Historical Overview of Determination of Need
  • Framing Determination of Need as an opportunity for advancing Public Health
  • Sub-Regulatory Guidance Presentation and Questions for:
    1. Community Engagement Standards for the DoN process
    2. Health Priorities and Community Health Initiatives
    3. Measuring Public Health Value of the DoN project

DPH looks forward to receiving your input. Comments may also be received at DONCHI@state.ma.us through Friday, October 28, 2016.

For more information on the proposed DoN revision, please visit:

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