Health and Education
An Act to
Improve Food Allergy Awareness
This bill builds on the existing law, by requiring restaurants to designate an individual with knowledge about food allergy issues to coordinate food service for customers who identify themselves as having specific food allergies.
An Act to
Study Disparities in Health Care Resulting from Changes in Marital Status
This legislation will direct the Department of Health Care Finance and Policy to conduct a study to investigate disparities in health care coverage to individuals pursuant to a change in marital status.
An Act to
Establish Food Allergy Plans
This requires food allergy safety and training for each school district, charter school, approved private day or residential school and collaborative school. The Food Allergy Management and Prevention Plan will be designed comprehensively for all personnel who come in contact with students, including educators, administrators, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to an extracurricular activity, paraprofessionals, and substitute personnel. The bill allows DESE to give waivers for schools which already have a plan. Requires epi-pens, subject to appropriation, with two individuals at all times trained and on the premises.
An Act to
Conduct a Comprehensive Study of Oral Injuries in School Sports
Department of Public Health will study oral injuries in school sports in elementary, middle and high school children, including data on the types of oral injuries, by frequency, severity, identification of high-risk sports, and long term impact of oral health injuries on young athletes. Types of sports most frequently associated with such oral injuries will be identified, and strategic and legislative recommendations will be prepared, to reduce the incidence of oral injuries in school sports including the mandatory use of protective mouth gear in all high-risk sports.
Authorizing a Study of School Day Starting Times
Would create a working group to study the effects on middle and high school students of later school start times and make recommendations on implementation
An Act to
Promote Student Nutrition
This will encourage schools to enroll children in free and reduced lunch programs and prevent schools from publicly identifying children with unpaid meal debt.
An Act to
Establish a Medical Dosimetrist Commission
This bill would promote patient safety through the creation of a commission to study licensure or certification of medical dosimetrists. These medical professionals are responsible for designing treatment plans using ionizing radiation, primarily for cancer patients. They must maintain a high degree of accuracy in treatment planning optimization, treatment techniques and positioning of technology. The commission would create a path for the profession to ensure that individuals practicing medical dosimetry in Massachusetts meet education and clinical standards.
relative to the Creation of a Sports Injury Commission
This bill establishes a commission to investigate sports injuries to children in elementary, middle and high school. The commission will gather data on: types of sports injuries, frequency, severity, identify high-risk sports, and long term impact of injuries on young athletes. Specifically, the rate and type of eye, facial, head injuries, heart injuries and heart failure incurred and the types of sports most frequently associated with such injuries will be noted.
relative to Insurance Companies and Quality Measures
. This legislation prohibits the Group Insurance Commission from using physician performance evaluation systems unless it meets certain criteria. This criteria includes public disclosure of the methodologies’ criteria and algorithms 180 days before any evaluations, meaningful input by independent practicing physicians to ensure the measures are clinically important and comprehensible, a mechanism to ensure data accuracy and validity, a mechanism to provide the physician being evaluated with information on any cost-efficiency measures and recommendations to improve, specified sample sizes to ensure the collection of valuable information, and a specified evaluation plan. The legislation further defines “quality,” “cost efficiency,” and “physician performance evaluation.” These standards are also applied to private insurance companies. This legislation also establishes uniform and transparent criteria for the formation of cost-sharing tiers, ensures that every consumer shall has access to providers and services in the least expensive tier, and allows individuals placed into high tiers to continue to pay for services at a lower rate for at least one year.
An Act to
Create a CT Task Force
The bill creates a task force to investigate optimally safe use of CT scans. It outlines the composition of the task force and the necessary requirements for each seat. The task force is to make recommendations on CT scan dosages, provide guidance to regulatory agencies and health care organizations about those recommendations, design an education curriculum, evaluate certification and licensure requirements for medical professionals, and make recommendations on regulatory oversight. The task force is to report to the governor, house speaker, senate president, and the joint committee on public health by December 31, 2020.
An Act to
Expand Access to School Meals
This will require schools to provide free meals to children who are under the legal custody or guardianship of a grandparent or other non-parent relative or a child with disabilities who receives SSI income benefit, or a child with special needs who was formerly in foster care and whose caregiver now receives adoption or guardianship assistance.
relative to Media Literacy
This bill would require schools to help students develop the necessary skills to evaluate written and digital media as it relates to physical and emotional health.
relative to Preserving Fertility
This would require fertility preservation to be covered by insurance for individuals who have been diagnosed with a medical or genetic condition that directly or indirectly impairs fertility.
making Technical Changes to the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety and Medical Error Reduction Enabling Statute
This bill makes minor but critical amendments to the BLC enabling statute by allowing state agencies to share relevant patient safety data to the extent consistent with federal law and, in doing so, establish a basis for the disclosure of personal data under the Fair Information Practices Act M.G.L. c. 66A which prohibits agencies from sharing personal data unless authorized by or consistent with other statute. It also clarifies the BLC’s authority to enter into contracts, to promulgate regulations to further interpret its statutory mandate, and allows the BLC to establish a trust fund to receive grant monies.
Supporting the Local Determination of Educational Competency and Multiple Forms of Academic Assessment
This bill would ensure that high school graduation is not based solely on one examination, by requiring schools to employ a variety of assessment instruments to determine whether a student has sufficiently demonstrated the skills, competencies, and knowledge necessary for graduation. The local school district would be empowered to select the assessment instruments, after review by the department, and under no circumstances could graduation turn on the results of a single assessment. This bill would also strengthen protections for students whose performance is difficult to assess and specify that students with special needs, limited English proficiency, and those enrolled in vocational programs fall into this category.
relative to Facilitating the Utilization of Psychologists on the Health Care Team
. This will require that nurses caring for mental health patients follow medical orders written by psychologists