Review of Massachusetts’ Determination of Need Process Places Prevention and Health Equity at the Center


The Baker Administration and the Department of Public Health are engaging in a review and update of the Determination of Need (DoN) program,a program established by legislature in 1971 to encourage equitable access to health care services. On August 23, the Public Health Council released draft regulations which seek to create greater alignment of state public health goals with the evolving health care market. MPHA is pleased that public health, prevention, and health equity are central to the vision and proposal for the restructuring of the DoN process.

As part of the DoN review, the Community Health Initiative (CHI) program will be reviewed and updated, with the goal of ensuring CHI investments are targeted to areas of need that are data-driven, that there is strong community engagement in determining the nature of the investments, and that investments are evaluated for public health impact.

DPH will be accepting public comments on the proposed regulation through October 7, 2016. Public hearings will be held on September 21st in Boston and September 26th in Northampton. DPH will also be convening listening sessions across the state specific to the Community Health Initiatives program. These are expected to occur in October 2016.

We encourage all interested community members, organizations, and coalitions to offer comments and suggestions on this important review. For more information, including presentations made to the Public Health Council, the proposed regulation, and details on the public hearings, please click, here.

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