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.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race! posted on Mar 20
How to achieve your healthy lifestyle goals this National Nutrition Month! By Campbell Reiff It’s March, and you know what that means – spring is here! March is not only the month for the change in seasons, but is also National Nutrition Month! This month, the …Continue Reading Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
Weekly Flu Report, March 17, 2017 posted on Mar 17
Rates of flu-like illness rebounded slightly over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. Regardless of the swings from week to week, it’s important to note that we can expect to see flu continuing to circulate in our communities well into springtime. …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, March 17, 2017
Making Strides to Better Understanding Environmental Exposure posted on Mar 16
In partnership with the CDC, DPH is looking at the impact of certain environmental chemicals – such as lead and mercury – on Massachusetts residents. This technique, known as biomonitoring, measures environmental chemicals in the human body. Through a state-wide study, DPH is trying …Continue Reading Making Strides to Better Understanding Environmental Exposure