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 (see our prior posts here, here, here, here and here), 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 DPH also hopes streamline its processes whenever possible, and to eliminate provider confusion and duplicative and outdated regulatory requirements.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!

Topic Proposed Regulations Public Hearing Date/Comment Period
Licensure/Suitability for Long-Term Care Facilities 105 CMR 153.000 TBD
Standards for Long-Term Care Facilities 105 CMR 150.000 TBD
Licensure of Hospice Programs 105 CMR 141.000 TBD
Temporary Nursing Service Agencies 105 CMR 157.000 TBD
Training of Nurse Aides in Long-Term Care Facilities 105 CMR 156.000 TBD
Drug Formulary Commission 105 CMR 720.000 TBD