Posted by John Jacob, a health communications writer and editor at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Today's Public Health Council was the first to be chaired by Lauren Smith, MD, Interim Commissioner at the Department. The Council took up several issues at the meeting, including two Determination of Need (DON) requests from area health care institutions, consideration of two proposed amendments to DPH regulations, and an informational presentation on efforts to control health care costs while implementing health care reform in the Commonwealth.
First, Council members considered a DON application to transfer ownership of a freestanding single specialty ambulatory surgery center on behalf of Boston Endoscopy Center, LLC. The Council voted to approve the application following a discussion with the applicants.
The Council then took up a DON application for establishment of a positron emission tomography (PET) service at Tufts Medical Center. Following a dialogue with representatives of applicants Tufts Medical Center and Shields, LLC, the Council voted to approve the DON application.
The Public Health Council then voted to approve proposed amendments to existing regulations which would allow medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide modest meals and refreshments to health care professionals outside of hospital and office settings. The Council also voted to approve emergency regulations which would allow DPH to issue time-limited waivers to regulations which currently prevent hospitals and hospital pharmacies from dispensing medications to anyone other than hospital patients or staff. These limited waivers will allow these providers to ensure optimal patient care during times of emergency drug shortages.
Finally, the Council heard an informational presentation on the status of efforts to control health care costs while health care reform continues to be implemented in Massachusetts. The presentation was provided by Iyah Romm, Director of Strategic Planning and Policy Development at DPH.
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.