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The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 67C: Programs and payment of expenses for care of premature and other high risk infants; procedures for hospital discharge and follow up care; reporting on causes and incidence of re-hospitalizations

Section 67C. (a) The department of public health shall provide programs for the prevention, care, and follow-up of premature and other designated high risk infants and establish criteria for services to be provided. The expenses for the transportation of said infants to hospitals equipped to care for them and the expenses of initial hospitalization shall be paid by the department where such costs are not reimbursed by a third party payer. Said payments shall be made in accordance with rates established by the executive office of health and human services. Said payments shall be made only at the request of the parents or guardians of said infants to the department. The department shall apply financial eligibility guidelines to said programs and expenses.

(b) The department shall, in consultation with the department's multidisciplinary perinatal advisory committee, develop standardized procedures for hospital discharge and follow-up care for premature infants and shall ensure that standardized and coordinated processes are followed as premature infants leave the hospital from a well baby nursery, step down or transitional nursery or neonatal intensive care unit and transition to follow-up care by a health care or homecare provider.

(c) The department and its advisory committee shall utilize national evidence-based guidance, including, but not limited to, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Neonatal Outcomes Improvement Project or the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's national initiative for children's healthcare quality to establish hospital discharge follow-up care processes.

(d) The department shall utilize existing perinatal databases, such as the pregnancy to early life longitudinal database to develop a statewide report on the causes and incidence of re-hospitalizations of infants that were born premature and who are within their first 6 months of life. The department's perinatal advisory committee shall use such report in developing their standardized procedures.