1. Statewide Health Coordinating Council’s Freestanding Emergency Department (FED) Study Committee Meeting
The FED Study Committee met on May 9, 2013, at 10:00 a.m.
Dr. Don Williamson presented an update to the Committee on the Alabama Department of Public Health Licensure Advisory Board’s April 30 meeting at which proposed licensure regulations for freestanding emergency departments were approved. The regulations will now be considered by the State Committee on Public Health at a meeting scheduled for May 15, 2013.
In discussing some of the details relating to the proposed regulations, a mileage limitation was discussed that would limit the proximity of a proposed freestanding emergency department to an existing acute care hospital. The issue of a mileage limitation has not been finalized, and it is unclear whether a mileage limitation will be incorporated into the final licensure regulations. It was discussed that this limitation might be explored as a part of the State Health Plan section addressing freestanding emergency departments.
2. Full Statewide Health Coordinating Council (the “Council”) Meeting
The Council held a meeting on May 9, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. The following is a summary of the proceedings.
A. Discussion of Methadone Clinics
The Council discussed methadone clinics in Alabama as a part of its ongoing consideration of modifications to the State Health Plan section addressing these facilities. A representative of the Department of Mental Health presented to the Council and answered questions from the Council. The Department of Mental Health’s position is that methadone clinics provide a “needed service” and that the moratorium on approval of new methadone clinics should be lifted. The Council chair sent the issue back to the methadone clinic task force for evaluation and asked for a report at the full Council’s next meeting.
B. Discussion of Updating the State Health Plan
The Council is updating the State Health Plan and hopes to have all updates to the governor for approval by the end of the year. The committees were instructed to send their respective updated State Health Plan sections to the State Health Planning and Development Agency as soon as completed.
C. Committee Report from the FED Committee
The FED Committee reported to the Council that the Alabama Department of Public Health is considering proposed regulations for freestanding emergency departments. If any Council member has any input on the proposed rules, the member can pass along the input to Alva Lambert, who will inform the Licensing Advisory Board.
D. Committee Report from Preventative Care Committee
The Preventative Care Committee reported to the Council its recommendation that a section be added to the State Health Plan regarding vaccinations. Specifically, the Preventative Care Committee would also recommend adding the flu vaccination to the required vaccinations for schools and daycares because of the substantial benefit to the public.