The November meeting of the Public Health Council featured a range of discussions and informational briefings.
The Council voted to make permanent a series of emergency amendments to regulations which had been passed at the September PHC meeting. These amended regulations bring Massachusetts into compliance with federal requirements on the external review of the appeals processes of health plans operating in the state. The Council took this action following a public comment hearing in October, at which all testifying parties supported the measure. Here is the background presentation which the Council heard at the September meeting which provides more details on the amendments in question.
PHC members heard an informational briefing from Cheryl Bartlett, Director of the DPH Bureau of Community Health and Prevention, on a series of proposed regulations related to safe driving. The proposed regulations seek to designate, for health care providers and the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which cognitive and functional impairments may affect an individual’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The proposed regulations were developed by DPH and the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Medical Advisory Board to the RMV. The proposed regulations now enter into a public comment/hearing period, after which the Council will take them into consideration again.
Finally, the DPH Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) provided two informational presentations to the Council. BSAS Director Michael Botticelli gave an overview on the status of substance abuse services in the state, after which the Council was provided an update on an innovative pilot program focused on provider Office-Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT) as an alternative for individuals struggling with opiate addiction in Massachusetts.
Weekly Flu Report, December 2, 2016 posted on Dec 2
The latest weekly flu report shows that rates of flu-like illness rose slightly in the past seven days in Massachusetts. Still, it’s safe to say that flu season has yet to really kick in – which means there is still time to protect yourself and your family …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 2, 2016
Keeping the Balance During the Holiday Season! posted on Nov 29
By Tracey Munson and Meaghan Sutherland The holiday season is on our doorstep, accompanied by an endless supply of gravy, fudge, gingerbread, and figgy pudding (okay, maybe not that last one). While enjoying some of these foods is something we look forward to every year, …Continue Reading Keeping the Balance During the Holiday Season!
Protecting the Health of Home Care Aides posted on Nov 28
Do you or someone you love use the services of a home care aide? Nearly 50,000 people—mostly women—work in this growing occupation in Massachusetts. You may be surprised to learn that recent data show that home care aides are twice as likely to have asthma …Continue Reading Protecting the Health of Home Care Aides