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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1368         FILED ON: 1/18/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1066


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Richard T. Moore


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 relative to patient safety.






Richard T. Moore

Worcester and Norfolk

John W. Scibak

2nd Hampshire

Benjamin Swan

11th Hampden

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Mark C. Montigny

Second Bristol and Plymouth

Bruce E. Tarr

First Essex and Middlesex

SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1368        FILED ON: 1/18/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1066

By Mr. Richard T. Moore, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 1066) of Richard T. Moore, John W. Scibak, Benjamin Swan, Denise Provost and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to patient safety.  Public Health. 


SEE SENATE, NO. 1141 OF 2011-2012.]

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts


In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen



An Act relative to patient safety.

              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.  Section 51 of Chapter 111 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting at the end thereof the following:

              Each hospital in the Commonwealth that operates an emergency room shall annually file with the department, within 30 days of the start of the hospital fiscal year, a written operating plan designed to eliminate emergency room overcrowding and diversions.  The plan shall include the following:

              (1) A comprehensive assessment of emergency room wait times for the prior fiscal year, including the average wait time and the number of complaints submitted to the hospital regarding wait times in the emergency room, and a review of steps taken to reduce the wait time.  The assessment shall also include the number of hours the emergency room was on diversion status, broken down by day of the week, and the actual number of emergency diversions for the prior fiscal year;

              (2) A summary of the specific measures that the hospital will take in the current fiscal year to eliminate overcrowding in the emergency room, such as adjusting elective surgery schedules to reduce variability;

              (3) The anticipated impact the plan will have on staffing ratios and, after the first year, the actual impact the plan has had for the previous year;

              (4) A defined set of measures by which to assess the plan’s success, such as the number of emergency room diversions, the average wait time to receive emergency services, and/or the percentage of patients in a bed within one hour of arriving in the emergency room.

              The department shall notify the hospital that the plan has been approved or disapproved within 20 days after filing, based on a determination as to whether the plan adequately addresses the needs of emergency room patients.  If said plan has not been acted upon by the department within 20 days, the plan shall be deemed approved.  If the department disapproves of said plan, the hospital shall submit a revised plan within 20 days.  If the revised plan continues to be disapproved, or if a hospital fails to submit a plan, the commissioner may take any action deemed appropriate. 

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