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 Posted by John Jacob, a health communications writer and editor at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Today’s Public Health Council meeting featured a series of discussions, presentations, and votes on matters of public health interest in the Commonwealth.

First, the Council received a brief update from Interim Deputy Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett on the upcoming process for review and promulgation of regulations to support the use of medical marijuana in Massachusetts.

Cheryl Bartlett

Council members then took up discussion of a Determination of Need (DoN) request that would transfer ownership of Hawthorn Ambulatory Services in Dartmouth to Steward St. Anne’s Hospital. The Council voted to approve the DoN request.

Dr. Madeleine Biondolillo, MD, Director of the Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality (HCSQ) then appeared before the Council to request final approval of proposed amendments which would require all prescription providers to use tamper-resistant prescription forms, consistent with federal Medicaid requirements. Following a discussion, the Council voted to approve the final regulations.

Dr. Madeleine Biondolillo

Dr. Biondolillo was then joined by Iyah Romm, Director of Policy and Strategic Planning at HCSQ, to provide an informational presentation to the Council on proposed amendments to regulations which would require hospitals and community health centers to implement certified Electronic Health Record and Computerized Provider Order Entry technology as a condition of licensure.

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