HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 586        FILED ON: 1/13/2017

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 622

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Jeffrey Sánchez and Byron Rushing

_________________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities in the Commonwealth.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Jeffrey Sánchez

15th Suffolk

Byron Rushing

9th Suffolk

Sonia Chang-Diaz

Second Suffolk

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

Steven Ultrino

33rd Middlesex

Kenneth I. Gordon

21st Middlesex

Daniel Cullinane

12th Suffolk

Paul R. Heroux

2nd Bristol

Smitty Pignatelli

4th Berkshire

Evandro C. Carvalho

5th Suffolk

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Jack Lewis

7th Middlesex

Denise C. Garlick

13th Norfolk

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk

Tackey Chan

2nd Norfolk

Russell E. Holmes

6th Suffolk

Marjorie C. Decker

25th Middlesex

Mike Connolly

26th Middlesex

Paul A. Schmid, III

8th Bristol

David M. Rogers

24th Middlesex

Linda Dorcena Forry

First Suffolk

Christine P. Barber

34th Middlesex

Rady Mom

18th Middlesex

Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex

Aaron Vega

5th Hampden

José F. Tosado

9th Hampden

Daniel J. Ryan

2nd Suffolk

Julian Cyr

Cape and Islands

Claire D. Cronin

11th Plymouth

Chynah Tyler

7th Suffolk

Bud Williams

11th Hampden

Gerard Cassidy

9th Plymouth

Elizabeth A. Malia

11th Suffolk


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 586        FILED ON: 1/13/2017

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 622

By Messrs. Sánchez of Boston and Rushing of Boston, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 622) of Jeffrey Sánchez, Byron Rushing and others for legislation to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.  Health Care Financing.

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 3969 OF 2015-2016.]

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

_______________

In the One Hundred and Ninetieth General Court
(2017-2018)

_______________

 

An Act eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities in the Commonwealth.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

SECTION 1.  The second paragraph of section 16 of chapter 6A of the General Laws, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 38 and 39, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, the words “and, (7) the health facilities appeals board” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- (7) the health facilities appeals board; and (8) the office of health equity.

SECTION 2. Section 16O of said chapter 6A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word, “recommendations” in line 3 and 4, the following words:- to the director of the office of health equity.

SECTION 3. Said section 16O of said chapter 6A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the words “ex officio”, in line 27, the following words:- ; the director of the office of health equity, or the director’s designee;

SECTION 4. Said chapter 6A is hereby further amended by inserting after section 16Y the following section:–

Section 16Z. (a) As used in this section the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:–

“Disparities”, differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific racial and ethnic groups.

“Office”, the office of health equity.

(b) There shall be an office of health equity within the executive office of health and human services. The office shall be under the supervision and control of a director who shall be appointed by and report to the secretary of health and human services. The health disparities council, established in section 16O, shall serve as an advisory board to the office.

(c) The office shall coordinate all activities of the commonwealth to eliminate racial and ethnic health and health care disparities. The office shall set goals for the reduction of disparities and prepare an annual plan for the commonwealth to eliminate disparities.

(d) The office shall collaborate with other state agencies of the commonwealth on disparities reduction initiatives to address the social factors that influence health inequality. The state agencies shall include, but shall not be limited to, the executive office of health and human services, the executive office of housing and economic development, the executive office of public safety and security, the executive office of energy and environmental affairs, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the executive office of labor and workforce development and the executive office of education. The office shall facilitate communication and partnership between these agencies to develop greater understanding of the intersections between agency activities and health outcomes. The office shall facilitate development of interagency initiatives to address the social and economic determinants of health disparity issues including, but not limited to, healthcare access and quality; housing availability and quality; transportation availability, location and cost; community policing and safe spaces; air, water, land usage and quality; employment and workforce development; and education access and quality.

(e) The office shall evaluate the effectiveness of programs and interventions to eliminate health disparities, identifying best practices and model programs for the state.

(f) The office shall prepare an annual health disparities report. The report shall evaluate the progress of the commonwealth toward eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities, using, where possible, quantifiable measures and comparative benchmarks and, where possible, shall detail such progress on a regional basis. The office shall hold public hearings in several regions of the commonwealth to gather public information on the topics of the report. The report shall be filed with the governor and the clerks of the house of representatives and senate and the members of the health disparities council, established under section 16O, and the health policy commission before July 1 2017 and before July 1 of each subsequent year thereafter. The report shall be posted on the official website of the commonwealth.

SECTION 5. Section 5 of chapter 6D, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- The commission shall establish goals that are intended to reduce health care disparities in racial, ethnic and disabled communities and in doing so shall seek to incorporate the recommendations of the health disparities council and the office of health equity.