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, May 27, 2016 posted on May 27
Flu rates in Massachusetts continued to decline over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. This week’s report is the last to be published for the 2015-2016 flu season. Weekly Flu Reports will resume at the outset of the 2016-2017 flu season. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, May 27, 2016
Preparing and Packing for Your Next Picnic! posted on May 26
It’s finally that time of year where you can bring your family outdoors to enjoy the warm and sunny weather! Having a picnic with your family and friends is a great way to enjoy a meal, try new foods, and be outdoors. Plus, packing …Continue Reading Preparing and Packing for Your Next Picnic!
Weekly Flu Report, May 20, 2016 posted on May 20
Rates of flu-like illness continued to decline over the past seven days, according the latest weekly flu report. The report can be viewed here.