The October 16th monthly meeting of the Public Health Council included consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request from an area health care facility, followed by a pair of updates for Council members on the status of proposed amendments to regulations, and finally an informational presentation from the Bureau of Healthcare Safety and Quality.
First, PHC members voted to approve a transfer of ownership DoN request which will result in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center becoming the sole corporate member of the parent company of Jordan Hospital in Plymouth and its four satellite facilities.
The Council then received an update from Kevin Cranston, Director of the Bureau of Infectious Disease, on a proposed amendment to existing regulations which would allow DPH to better monitor and collect assessments from health care facilities to support pediatric immunization activities in Massachusetts. The proposed amendments received no public feedback during the comment period which ended on September 18, and the Council today voted to approve those amended regulations.
Following that vote, the Council received an update from leaders of the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention on proposed amendments to regulations related to the collection and sharing of Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements taken by school nurses in Massachusetts schools. The amendments would remove the requirement that schools share the results of BMI measurement with parents. Following a discussion, the Council voted to approve the amendments.
Finally, the Council heard an informational presentation from Bureau of Healthcare Safety and Quality Director Madeleine Biondolillo on proposed amendments to regulations which would require certain health care facilities and providers to implement processes and provide informational materials to patients related to planning for end of life care. Next steps in the process include a public hearing on the proposed amendments which would take place in November, after which DPH will return to the Council with finalized amendments for the Council to take up.