Posted by John Jacob, a health communications writer and editor at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
This month's PHC meeting featured a series of updates on proposed regulations, consideration of several Determination of Need (DON) requests, and an informational presentation on the current impact of flu in Massachusetts.
First, the Council voted to approve three DON requests involving renovations at three skilled nursing facilities in Massachusetts: Concord Health Care Center, a skilled nursing facility in Concord, Lexington Health Care Center, a skilled nursing facility in Lexington, and Brookline Health Care Center in Brookline.
The Council then received an update from Cheryl Bartlett, Director of the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention on proposed amendments to regulations related to the Massachusetts Wellness Tax Credit. The tax credit is being made available to qualifying Massachusetts employers who offer specific workplace wellness programs to their employees. The proposed amendments will go out for public comment in February, after which a final draft of the proposed regulations will be presented to the Council for a vote.
PHC members then took up consideration of two previously proposed amendments to regulations overseen by the Bureau of Healthcare Safety and Quality. The first set of proposed amendments would expand the ability of nurse midwives in Massachusetts to issue written prescriptions without requiring a supervising physician. The other set of proposed amendments are related to the DPH Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PMP) and would enable authorized providers to better use PMP information for clinical care and prevention of and intervention with substance misuse and abuse. Following a discussion, the Public Health Council voted to approve both sets of amended regulations.
Finally, the Council received an informational update from Kevin Cranston, Director of the Bureau of Infectious Disease, on current rates of influenza-like illness in the state.
Weekly Flu Report, February 24, 2017 posted on Feb 24
The latest weekly flu report shows that rates of flu-like illness declined slightly over the past seven days. It’s too soon to tell if we’ve seen the peak of flu activity this season, and in any case. we can expect to see flu continuing to circulate in …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 24, 2017
Weekly Flu Report, February 17, 2017 posted on Feb 17
Rates of flu-like illness have risen over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, it’s not too late – there’s still plenty of flu vaccine available. Call your health care provider or local board …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, February 17, 2017
Love Your Heart This Valentine’s Day! posted on Feb 14
By Eliza Mellion, M.S. This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget that—thanks to the American Heart Association—February is American Heart Month! It can be hard to resist the chocolates, candy hearts, and pink-frosted cupcakes that this holiday brings. While it’s fun to shower our loved ones with …Continue Reading Love Your Heart This Valentine’s Day!