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

This month, the Council took up a Determination of Need request for two hospitals in Lowell, and heard informational presentations from the Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality as well as from Commissioner Auerbach on health care payment reform in Massachusetts.

First the Council voted to approve a Determination of Need (DoN) request which authorizes a change of ownership of Saints Medical Center and its satellite facilities through the transfer of its assets and liabilities to Lowell General Hospital.

Flu Vax Presentation
Iyah Romm of the Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality updates the Council on flu vaccination rates for health care workers.

Next, the Council received an update on the status of efforts to boost rates of flu vaccination among health care workers at acute care hospitals. The more of these workers get vaccinated each flu season, the lower the rates of flu infection among patients at the health care facility.

The Council then received an informational update on the Statewide Quality Advisory Council, which works to improve healthcare quality in the state by working to define specific measures of quality and incorporate those benchmarks in health care quality reporting systems. 

Finally, DPH Commissioner John Auerbach updated the council on the Download 2012 05-09 PaymentReformof efforts to implement healthcare payment reform in Massachusetts, and the role of Public Health in informing and supporting those efforts. 

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health communication writer and editor

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