An Act relative to improving outcomes for sudden cardiac arrest

Summary

This bill would make changes to the existing Emergency 911 system to improve outcomes for individuals suffering sudden cardiac arrest (SAC). The Commonwealth’s E911 system responds to about 10 victims a day, but the survival rate is nearly ten times lower than other parts of the country. These improvements are largely due to the expansion of Dispatcher Assisted CPR, during which a 911 dispatcher walks a responsible bystander over the phone. The legislation would require that all dispatchers that provide dispatch for emergency medical conditions be trained in telephone-CPR. The bill would also add a physician with a specialty in emergency medicine and a regional EMS expert to the State 911 Commission. It would also add Sudden Cardiac Arrest to the list of reportable diseases, allowing the Commonwealth to collect improved data on these incidents.


An Act relative to pain management treatment for certain chronic pain patients

Summary

This legislation aligns Massachusetts with CDC guidelines on including drug testing as a condition of the pain management treatment for patients getting an opioid prescription for chronic pain.  This is another tool for doctors to use when treating a patient – Quest data shows 1 out of every 2 patients misuse their prescription. 


An Act expanding access to patient centered care of opioid use disorder

Summary

This legislation directs the Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, to develop a healthcare provider education campaign that encourages the adoption of all FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder. The goal of the campaign is to increase the number of providers offering all FDA-approved medications, directly or by referral, along with counseling and other appropriate support services.


An Act relative to hormonal contraceptives

Summary

This legislation allows a registered pharmacist to prescribe and dispense hormonal contraceptive patches and self-administered oral hormonal contraceptives to a person who is at least 18 years of age without a previous prescription from a primary care practitioner or women’s health care practitioner or under 18 years of age, only if the person has a previous prescription from a primary care practitioner or women’s health care practitioner for a hormonal contraceptive patch or self-administered oral hormonal contraceptive.


An Act relative to utilities, smart meters, and ratepayers’ rights

Summary

This legislation establishes ratepayer rights which includes requiring utility companies to provide ratepayers with a choice of the type of utility meters to be installed and operated on their places of residence or business; the ability to retain and operate an “electromechanical analog meter” on an ongoing basis at no cost; and the right to replacement of a wireless meter with a non-transmitting electromechanical meter at no cost.


An Act relative to patient centered access to behavioral health services in accountable care organizations

Summary

This legislation mandates that all Accountable Care Organizations certified by the Health Policy Commission offer "patient navigation and care coordination services" by Patient Engagement Advocates.  The language will help to establish the practice of having licensed social workers assist patients with navigating barriers and coordinating services throughout the continuum of care.


An Act relative to radon testing

Summary

Radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer, with an nearly 630 new cases every year in Massachusetts alone. An estimated 650,000 homes have radon levels that exceed the EPA action deadline, with 34,000 of those having rates 5x more than the guideline.  A nationwide survey suggests that 1 in 5 schools have dangerous levels of radon, including City View School in Worcester.  This bill would direct the Department of Public Health to promulgate regulations theo ensure all licensed child care programs and public schools undergo routine radon testing.


An Act to address inequality, promote opportunity and end poverty

Summary

This legislation makes changes to the statute governing Community Action Agencies. The 23 CAAs have administered key anti-poverty programs for the last 50 years, including the distribution of state and federal community development services and grants. The bill would change chapter 23B to better reflect the agency’s role, and form a council to review existing programs and policies.  The bill also establishes a more consistent funding through a budget line item and a new trust fund to finance innovative, community-based programs and services.


An Act relative to retired public employees not eligible for Medicare

Summary

Under this legislation, health insurance premium contributions by government entities for retired public employees over age 65 who are not eligible for Medicare would be required to be at a rate that ensures retirees are not forced to contribute more to their health insurance premiums than their peers who are enrolled in a federal Medicare plan.  


An Act relative to timely care and saving lives

Summary

This legislation would require the regional EMS councils, in collaboration with the DPH, to develop protocols for assessing and delivering certain stroke patients to facilities where where endovascular procedures (i.e. mechanical thrombectomy) are appropriate.  The procedure, which is minimally invasive, saves lives, reduces hospital admission stays and otherwise produces favorable outcomes.  While this is not something used for every type of stroke, the key is making sure that people are being directed to the appropriate facilities in a timely manner.


An Act ensuring consumer choice and equal access to eye care

Summary

This legislation would give licensed optometrists the authority to treat glaucoma and ocular abnormalities of the human eye, including prescribing all necessary eye related medications. The language strictly limits prescriptive powers, including a ban on the prescription of surgical procedures, pharmaceutical agents for systemic diseases, and any opioid medications.  It also requires optometrists to complete an additional accredited educational program and meet guidelines and requirements established by the Board of Registration of Optometry.


An Act relative to hospital profit and fairness

Summary

One issue contributing to the rise of healthcare costs is the exorbitant salaries paid to CEOs that do not in any way reflect quality of care, patient outcomes, or community benefits.  this legislation would require hospitals receiving public money to disclose financial assets, and assess fees on publicly funded hospitals that compensate executives more than 100 times more than other employees. These fees will fund a Medicaid Reimbursement Enhancement Fund, which will increase MEdicaid reimbursements to eligible hospitals.