Today’s meeting featured discussions on a wide variety of topics, including proposed regulations related to HIV case reporting, inspections of school cafeteria kitchens, and the licensure of substance abuse treatment programs, among other issues.
DPH Commissioner John Auerbach began the meeting by presenting the Public Health Hero Award to Senator Richard T. Moore, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to improving health care quality and promoting and protecting the health of the residents of Massachusetts.
Senator Richard T. Moore and DPH Commissioner John Auerbach
In other business, the Council approved a Determination of Need (DON) application for the transfer of ownership of Eastern Massachusetts Surgery Center LLC to a new limited liability company of the same name, of which AmSurg Holdings, Inc., a Tennessee corporation, will be the majority shareholder.
The Council also approved a Determination of Need Compliance Memorandum request to include an additional host site – Wing Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Palmer – in a previously approved DON for UMass Memorial MRI and Imaging. There is no capital expenditure involved as one of the days dedicated to UMass will be reallocated to two half-days per month at Wing Memorial.
Representatives from the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services provided an update to the Council on public comment received in relation to proposed amendments to regulations governing the licensure of substance abuse treatment centers. Following a discussion among members, the Council voted to approve the proposed amendments.
Suzanne Condon, Director of the Bureau of Environmental Health, provided a similar summary of public comments received in reference to proposed amendments to regulations governing the inspection of school cafeteria kitchens. Following a discussion, the Council voted to approve these amendments.
The Council then received an informational presentation from Kevin Cranston, director of the Bureau of Infectious Disease Prevention, Response and Services on a new proposal to change current infectious disease case reporting requirements to include two additional markers of HIV infection. These proposed amendments will go out for public comment in the next month, after which the Council will receive a summary of those comments for their consideration.
The meeting concluded with an informational presentation from Madeleine Biondolillo, Director of the Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, who summarized the findings of the second annual hospital-specific report evaluating the provision of Primary Stroke Services at acute care hospitals in Massachusetts.
The presentation from Dr. Biondolillo was drawn from a series of data tables, describing hospital-specific rates for intravenous tissue-plasminogen activator utilization in four categories: statewide, by Emergency Medical Services regions, by hospital size, and by teaching status. Reports include only eligible patients, defined as ischemic stroke patients who arrived at a PSS-designated hospital Emergency Department within two hours of the time they were “last known to be well.” The tables include: 2008-2009 Rates with Statewide Comparison, 2009-2010 Rates with Statewide Comparison, 2008-2009 Rates with EMS Regional Comparisons, 2009-2010 Rates with EMS Regional Comparisons, 2008-2009 Rates with Hospital-size Comparisons, 2009-2010 Rates with Hospital-size Comparisons, 2008-2009 Rates with Teaching- or Community-Hospital Comparisons, 2009-2010 Rates with Teaching- or Community-Hospital Comparisons, 2008-2009 List of PSS Hospitals with Five or Fewer Eligible Patients, and 2009-2010 List of PSS Hospitals with Five or Fewer Eligible Patients.
Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19
Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014