Outside Section 229
Data Current as of: 7/10/2014
There shall be a task force to investigate the causes of and the effects of the discontinuation of essential health services by hospitals and existing administrative procedures for the discontinuations under chapter 111 of the General Laws. The task force shall be composed of: the secretary of health and human services or a designee, who shall serve as chair, the commissioner of public health or a designee, the executive director of the center for health information and analysis or a designee, the attorney general or a designee, the secretary of labor and workforce development or a designee and the executive director of the health policy commission or a designee.
The task force shall: (i) review recent discontinuations of essential health services by hospitals; (ii) review recent hospital closures; (iii) review methods implemented in other states to discourage and to manage the discontinuation of essential health services by hospitals and hospital closures; and (iv) review methods implemented in other states to ensure continued access to essential health services by communities affected by a discontinuation of an essential health service or a hospital closure.
The task force shall provide recommendations on ways to: (1) improve the notification processes when a hospital intends to discontinue an essential health service or cease operations; (2) ensure that communities in the affected service area have access to alternative providers for discontinued essential health services; (3) ensure uniform reporting of hospital costs and financial conditions across state agencies to better identify hospitals in distress that are on the verge of closing or discontinuing an essential health service; and (4) impose penalties through the department of public health to hospitals who discontinue an essential health service prior to receiving approval by the department.
The task force shall file a report of its findings and recommendations for legislation, if any, with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives who shall forward the same to the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on health care financing, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on public health and the chairs of the senate and house committees on ways and means not later than January 31, 2015.