The August monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured three Determination of Need (DoN) requests and a series of presentations and updates from the Department.
First, the Council took up a Determination of Need request involving a transfer of ownership of Wing Memorial Hospital in Palmer with respect to a change in its corporate control, through which Baystate Health, Inc. proposes to become the sole corporate member of Wing Memorial Corporation. Following a discussion, the Council voted to approve the request.
Next, the Council weighted a Determination of Need request from Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield for construction of an addition on the hospital’s campus to relocate and replace four existing Operating Rooms, the central sterile processing suite, and other patient care and recovery functions; as well as renovation of some existing adjacent space which would relocate procedural and support services at the hospital. The Council voted to approve the request.
In its final DoN discussion of the agenda, the Council heard a Determination of Need request from Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, involving a significant change amendment to a previously-approved DoN for a seven-story addition to the hospital. The amendment would allow the hospital to use a portion of what had been planned as shell space to instead be used to develop a new location for its inpatient pharmacy. The Council voted to approve the request.
The Council then received an informational presentation on a series of proposed amendments to existing regulations for Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods and Beverages in Public Schools. The draft amendments were developed to align existing MA regulations with a new set of federal guidelines enacted by the US Department of Agriculture last year. Next steps in the amendment process include a public hearing and comment period, after which the Council will take up a vote on a final version of the amendments.
The Council then received an update from Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality Director Deborah Allwes on proposed regulations related to the use of Pulse Oximetry to screen newborns for Critical Congenital Heart Disease. The draft amendments will next undergo a public comment period.
Finally, Associate Commissioner Madeleine Biondolillo presented to the Council on the results of a retrospective study on rates of Serious Reportable Events at Massachusetts hospitals from 2011-2013.
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