Section 1. Chapter 111 of the Massachusetts General Laws is hereby amended by inserting the following new section after Section 72BB:
“The Department through its Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification shall provide annual training for long term care facilities on the licensure and certification process. This training shall include, but not be limited to, the Department’s interpretation of the general laws, rules, regulations, procedures, and policies concerning the licensure and certification process for such long term care facilities. The training shall be interactive, with the sharing of information and recommendations between long term care facilities and the Department on issues and topics including, but not limited to, the most frequently cited deficiencies, both state and federal, and best practices to ensure resident quality care.
The Department shall notify long term care facilities of proposed policy changes and seek comment from long term care facilities before instituting a policy change concerning the licensure and certification process.
The Department in conjunction with long term care facilities, shall establish clear and consistent protocols for collecting and gathering of information in order to better evaluate trends in long term care facility operations. The Department shall exchange this information with long term care providers on a biannual basis.
For the purpose of this section, the term “long term care facilities” shall mean nursing homes, rest homes or other long-term care facilities.”
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