Posted by John Jacob, a health communications writer and editor at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
This month's Public Health Council meeting included a series of Determination of Need (DoN)applications from area health care facilities, a vote by the Council on proposed amendments to regulations governing dispensing procedures for pharmacists, and an informational update on proposed amendments to regulations which support the state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.
First, the Council voted to approve several DoN requests: a request from Dana Farber Cancer Institute to expand radiation therapy services offered at its Weymouth facility; a request from Steward Norwood Hospital for new construction on its medical campus; a request from Baystate MRI and Imaging Center to modify a previously-approved DoN application related to its mobile PET service at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield; and a request from Quincy Medical Center for renovations and minor new construction in its existing facility.
Next, the Council took up a request for final approval of emergency amendments to regulations related to dispensing procedures for pharmacists. Dr. Madeleine Biondolillo, MD, Director of the Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, provided a summary of public comment received on the amendments and DPH response to those comments. Following a discussion, the Council voted to approve the amended regulations.
Finally, Dr. Biondolillo provided an informational presentation on proposed amendments to regulations related to tbe Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. The next step in the process will be public hearings on the amendments in March, after which the amendments will be returned to the Council for final promulgation.