SECTION 1. Chapter 17 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2020 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
(a) As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
“Certified training program”, a voluntary training and accreditation program, accredited by the department pursuant to this section, for medical professionals focusing on instruction of best practices for the treatment and care of patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders.
“Department”, the department of public health.
“Director”, the director of the department of family health and nutrition, within the department of public health.
“Operation House Call”, an existing program, developed by The Arc of Massachusetts, which teaches young medical professionals essential skills to enhance the health care of persons with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities that shall serve as the baseline training model.
“School” any institution of higher education providing a course of study for students in medicine or related fields.
(b) In conjunction with the department of developmental services, and the Arc of Massachusetts, the department shall establish and provide for the administration of a voluntary certified training program for:
(i) medical schools seeking certification under subsection (d)
(ii) nursing schools seeking certification under subsection (d)
(iii) dental schools seeking certification under subsection (d)
(iv) other institutions of higher education with a course of study for medical practitioners, including, but not limited to, physicians assistants, dieticians, nutritionists, physical therapists, dental hygienists, allied mental health and human service professionals seeking certification under subsection (d).
(c) The certified program established pursuant to this section shall:
(i) be structured based upon Operation House Call;
(ii) be offered to participating students on a voluntary basis that is separate from their required course of study; and
(iii) maintain recognized standards and practices that:
(A) uphold industry standards for instructing healthcare professionals on best practices for the treatment and care for patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including but not limited to autism spectrum disorders;
(B) include didactic classroom instruction, experiential learning, and online learning, totaling not less than 6 hours; and
(C) address the health care needs of patients with intersecting marginalized identities, including those belonging to minority race or ethnic groups, through training content and recruitment of diverse program participants.
(d) The department shall certify that a school offers a certified training program, as described in subsection (c), upon receipt and review that:
(i) the school has successfully delivered the certified training program to a sufficient number of participating students as mutually agreed upon by the institution and the provider of the training; and
(ii) that the program meets the minimum standards and practices, as provided in subsection (c).
(e) The director shall periodically evaluate the quality of training being provided to schools seeking certification and the integrity and efficacy of the accreditation program.
(f) The department shall prepare, publish and disseminate a list of schools certified pursuant to this section; provided, however, that the list shall be updated annually. The list shall be published in a location that is accessible to prospective students seeking to apply to attend schools in the medical field or related fields.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.