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Massachusetts Healthcare Regulatory Overhaul Continues

At yesterday’s Public Health Council meeting, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) released yet another round of proposed regulatory amendments.  On deck were regulations concerning Long Term Care Facilities, Hospice Programs, and Temporary Nursing Service Agencies, as well as requirements for Training of Nurses’ Aides in Long-Term Care Facilities.  Also presented were updated regulations on the Drug Formulary Commission (formerly List of Interchangeable Drug Products regulations).  Senior DPH staff presented the proposed regulations, highlighting key objectives. Council members were highly engaged in the discussions, asking numerous questions and offering comments.  Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH, commended DPH staff for their hard work on the amendments and the Council for its support of these ongoing efforts.

As with previously released proposed amendments to its regulations, these efforts are consistent with Governor Baker’s Executive Order 562, which called upon state agencies to review and, where possible, to streamline, simplify and improve their regulations. DPH’s presentations to the Public Health Council on each of these proposed amendments reflect DPH’s mission to promote high quality of care, industry standardization, and strong consumer protection, while at the same time assuring that the regulations reflect up-to-date standards (including CMS and other requirements when applicable). DPH also hopes streamline its processes whenever possible, and to eliminate provider confusion and duplicative and outdated regulatory requirements.  DPH intends to issue sub-regulatory guidelines in a number of areas to assure flexibility going forward.

The proposed regulations and the DPH staff presentations are available below. DPH intends to conduct a public hearing to solicit comments on the amendments and will also accept written comments.  We will update this chart to provide information on proposed hearing dates and public comment periods.

In the coming days, we will be posting more detailed summaries and analysis on each of these proposed amendments. Don’t touch that dial!


Proposed Regulations

Public Hearing Date/Comment Period

Licensure/Suitability for Long-Term Care Facilities

105 CMR 153.000


Standards for Long-Term Care Facilities

105 CMR 150.000


Licensure of Hospice Programs

105 CMR 141.000


Temporary Nursing Service Agencies

105 CMR 157.000


Training of Nurse Aides in Long-Term Care Facilities

105 CMR 156.000


Drug Formulary Commission

105 CMR 720.000


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About this Author

M. Daria Niewenhous, Health Care Tech Attorney, Mintz Levin, HIPAA Lawyer

Daria's practice ranges from transactional matters to general counsel services. She has extensive experience with the merger and acquisition of hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, assisted living facilities, home health and hospice programs, group practices, and other provider entities. She guides clients through the regulatory aspects of capital projects and other strategic initiatives. Active in health care reform matters, Daria is currently working with clients on ACO formation, clinical integration and affiliation, and similar arrangements. In addition, Daria provides...