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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A COMMISSION ON MALNUTRITION PREVENTION AMONG OLDER ADULTS

     Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
     Chapter 19A of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
     Section 42.  There shall be within the department a commission on malnutrition prevention among older adults. The commission shall consist of 17 members, including the secretary of elder affairs or a designee, who shall serve as chair; the commissioner of public health or a designee; the commissioner of transitional assistance or a designee; the commissioner of agricultural resources or a designee; 2 members of the house of representatives or their designees, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the house; 2 members of the senate or their designees, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the senate president and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the senate; and 9 persons to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a physician, 1 of whom shall be a university researcher, 1 of whom shall be a community-based registered dietitian or nutritionist working with a program funded pursuant to the Older Americans Act, 1 of whom shall be a representative of a hospital or integrated health system, 2 of whom shall be nurses working in home care, 1 of whom shall be a registered dietitian or nutritionist working with a long-term care or assisted living facility, 1 of whom shall be a registered dietitian or nutritionist representing the Massachusetts Dietetic Association and 1 of whom shall be a representative from the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging, Inc.
     The commission shall make an investigation and comprehensive study of the effects of malnutrition on older adults and of the most effective strategies for reducing it.  The commission shall monitor the effects that malnutrition has on health care costs and outcomes, quality indicators and quality of life measures on older adults.  The commission shall: (i) consider strategies to improve data collection and analysis to identify malnutrition risk, health care cost data and protective factors for older adults; (ii) assess the risk and measure the incidence of malnutrition occurring in various settings across the continuum of care and the impact of care transitions; (iii) identify evidence-based strategies that raise public awareness of older adult malnutrition including, but not limited to, educational materials, social marketing, statewide campaigns and public health events; (iv) identify evidence-based strategies, including community nutrition programs, used to reduce the rate of malnutrition among older adults and reduce the rate of rehospitalizations and health care acquired infections related to malnutrition; (v) consider strategies to maximize the dissemination of proven, effective malnutrition prevention interventions, including community nutrition programs, medical nutrition therapy and oral nutrition supplements, and identify barriers to those interventions; and (vi) examine the components and key elements of clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, consider their applicability and develop strategies for pilot testing, implementation and evaluation.
     The commission shall file a report annually on its activities and on any findings and recommendations to the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on elder affairs and chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means not later than December 31.

Approved, November 29, 2016