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This month’s meeting of the Public Health Council featured several Determination of Need (DoN) requests, a vote on final amendments to certain DoN regulations, and informational presentations on two current Department initiatives.

First, the Council took up three DoN requests:

  • a change of majority ownership interest of Worcester Surgical Center, a multi-specialty ambulatory surgery center;
  • a transfer of ownership of Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill in order to establish Merrimack Valley Hospital as a licensed inpatient satellite campus of Steward Holy Family Hospital in Methuen;
  • a request for a transfer of site of 140 out-of-service, skilled nursing beds from the former Youville Healthcare Center in Cambridge to the Linden Ponds nursing facility in Hingham

Following a dialogue with the respective representatives of these facilities, the Council voted to approve all three DoN requests.

The Council then heard a presentation from the Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality on proposed amendments to 105 CMR 100.000, Determination of Need, which summarized all public comments which have been submitted on the proposed amendments. Following a discussion, the Council voted to approve the amendments as final.

Following that vote, Associate Commissioner Madeleine Biondolillo provided an informational presentation on some proposed amendments to regulations governing the use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

Finally, the Council received an informational update from Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett on the Department’s latest activities in response to the current declared public health emergency on opioid addiction in Massachusetts; efforts to implement an organizational structure within the Department to optimize data collection and analysis; and the status of the Department’s efforts in the area of public health accreditation.

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