Current Legislative Bills


The 2023/24 legislative session resumed in early January and is in full swing!  All bills pending before the legislature in 2023 carry over to 2024.  The session concludes at the end of July.

MACEP continues to engage with all stakeholders relative to reducing emergency department crowding and improving hospital throughput.  These efforts include meetings and discussion with legislators, the Healey administration, the Health Policy Commission and hospitals.

One of the most recent developments on this issue came from Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh who reached an  agreement with insurers to waive prior authorization for admissions from acute care hospitals to post-acute care facilities until April. Under the agreement, hospitals have agreed to start patient discharge planning as early in the day as possible and will "seek innovative ways" to improve staffing so that all of their licensed medical/surgical beds can be put into use with patients, and nursing homes agreed to extend their admission hours. While not addressing all the issues contributing to the crowding problem, like workforce shortages, this agreement demonstrates the political commitment to the issue and is widely viewed as a strong step in the right direction.
MACEP also continues to share its biannual Point in Time data with legislators and the Healey administration as evidence of the College’s longstanding commitment to the issue and to help inform policymakers of the boarding in emergency departments across the Commonwealth.

Relative to legislation pending on Beacon Hill, MACEP has been a strong advocate for H.2381/S.1538, An Act Requiring Health Care Facilities to Develop and Implement Programs to Prevent Workplace Violence (M. Moran/Lewis).  These identical bills, initiated by the MHA, would require the Department of Public Health (DPH) to develop and monitor new statewide standards for evaluating and addressing known security risks in hospitals, including requirements for the development of a written violence prevention plan and in-house crisis response team.
Importantly H.2381/S.1538 includes penalty provisions for whoever knowingly and intentionally interferes with the conduct of a health care facility or commits aggravated interference with the conduct of a health care facility.  Other workplace violence bills pending on Beacon Hill do not include penalty provisions and, thus, are not supported by MACEP.
Other priority bills supported by MACEP in this session include:

  • H.1966/S.1129, “An Act Ensuring access to Addition Services” would require EOHHS to ensure an adequate supply of beds for men admitted under Section 35 for the treatments of alcohol or substance use disorder in facilities licensed or approved by DPH/DMH. Similar protections intended to separate treatment from incarceration have existed for women since 2016.
  • H.1981/S.1242, “An Act Relative to Preventing Overdose Deaths and Increasing Access to Treatment” would establish a 10-year pilot project for overdose prevention centers (OPC’s) to allow for the consumption of pre-obtained controlled substances under clinical monitoring. Approval by the local Board of Health would be required. Outcomes from OPC’s operating in New York have been positive, including the reversal of over 1,000 overdoses, reduced incidence of HIV and Hepatitis C, and increased access to treatment.
  • H.2250/S.1427, “An Act Relative To Improving The Outcomes For Sudden Cardiac Arrest In The Commonwealth (Philips/Moore).” Also called the “T-CPR” bill, this legislation would ensure that all 911 call dispatchers are trained and able to coach bystanders to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).  With more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring each year in the United States, this legislation is important because 911 dispatchers are often the first point of contact in an emergency, and the gateway to our emergency response system.
  • H.1143, An Act to Improve Health Insurance Prior Authorization Process (Santiago) and S.1249, An Act Relative to Reducing Administrative Burden (Friedman).  These identical bills would implement broad reforms to the prior authorization process to ensure patient access to timely care, to reduce administrative burden for physicians and staff, and to improve hospital throughput.
  • H.1011/S.699, “An Act Relative to Fair and Equitable Compensation for Medical Services”, (Galvin/Oliveira). The “Modifier 25” bill would prohibit insurers’ from inappropriately reducing physician and hospital reimbursement when a modifier 25 code is applied.  Like the prior authorization reform bill, this legislation is aimed at reducing insurer interference in the practice of medicine and opposition to policies that favor profit over patients.