Frequently asked questions

What is a Massachusetts Controlled Substances Registration (MCSR)?

All individuals, programs or facilities that possess, store, dispense, administer or are involved with other activities involving controlled substances are required by Massachusetts law to hold a Massachusetts Controlled Substances Registration (MCSR).  MCSRs are issued upon receipt and approval of completed applications to the Drug Control Program. The MCSR helps provide accountability for controlled substances.

Does the MCSR have an expiration date?

The MCSR for a Medication Administration Program (MAP) registered site is valid for one year from the date of issuance.  To ensure that a registered site’s MCSR remains current, the application for renewal should be submitted to the Drug Control Program one month before the MCSR’s expiration date.

What references are required for MAP registered sites?

As a condition of registration, all MAP sites are required to have the most current copies of the MAP Policy Manual and Training Curriculum.  Electronic copies are acceptable provided that: the latest copies are readily accessible; the MAP site has documented that all staff know how to access the electronic copies; the electronic copies are available at all times (24/7); and a contingency plan has been established in the event the site loses access to the internet.

What is a MAP Certified staff?

A MAP Certified staff is a direct support worker, who has completed and passed the MAP training and whose certification is current and valid. Recertification is required according to the regulations.

What is a direct authorization model?

In MAP, the direct authorization model allows trained and certified staff to administer an individual’s prescribed medications under the direct orders of the individual’s health care provider(s).  The individual establishes and maintains a one-on-one relationship with his/her health care provider(s).  The health care provider has the responsibility for ongoing assessment, development of an active treatment plan, and for periodic evaluation of that plan.  MAP Certified staff are responsible for following the health care provider’s instructions.

Must the Site Supervisor of the MAP registered site be MAP Certified?

Yes, the Site Supervisor must be MAP Certified.  Among other responsibilities, the Site Supervisor is responsible for oversight of activities taught in the training program, oversight of medication administration, participating in disposal/destruction of controlled substances, and ensuring that the Countable Controlled Substance Book index is current and accurate.  Only MAP Certified staff and/or a nurse (RN or LPN) currently licensed in the state of Massachusetts, can have access to the site’s medication storage area.  Accordingly, a Site Supervisor, who is not MAP Certified cannot have access to the medication storage area.

What is a MAP consultant?

A MAP consultant is a licensed professional who provides technical assistance and advice to MAP Certified staff.  Only authorized prescribers (e.g., physician, dentist, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, etc.), registered nurses, or registered pharmacists can be MAP consultants.

Must the MAP consultant be contacted any time a medication occurrence is discovered?

Yes, MAP Certified staff must contact the MAP consultant immediately, whenever a medication occurrence is discovered.  The MAP consultant must be available to help MAP Certified staff with medication administration issues at all times (24/7).  Service providers should have a list of designated MAP consultants available for staff at each MAP site.

What is a hotline medication occurrence?

A medication occurrence is defined as an instance of noncompliance with one of the five rights.  The five rights are: right individual, right medication, right dose, right time, and right route.  When a medication occurrence is followed by illness, injury, death, and/ or requires medical intervention (e.g., lab work, hospitalization, emergency room visit, health care provider visit, etc.) it is considered a hotline medication occurrence.

When is an individual considered self-administering of their medications?

For the purposes of compliance with DPH MAP regulations, an individual is self-administering only when the medication is under the complete control of the individual.  An individual who is able to self-administer his/her medications would not be a participant of the Medication Administration Program.

More information

For more information about the Medication Administration Program, please contact:

Department Contact number
Department of Public Health/Bureau of Health Professions Licensure (617)-973-0800
Department of Developmental Services (617) 624-7792
Department of Mental Health (508) 616-2161
Departments of Children and Families and Mental Health for the Caring Together Program (508) 616-2161

Additional Resources for More information

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