During the COVID-19 public health emergency to date, in order to ensure Massachusetts’ health care system had the capacity to address the pandemic, some health care services and procedures needed to be limited or put on hold temporarily, while many services were conducted remotely using telehealth. Emergency services and other essential health and human services continued during this time.
As of today, May 18th, the Commonwealth is issuing new guidelines to hospitals and health care providers in accordance with the state’s four-phase reopening plan, to allow some non-emergency procedures or deferred care that may now need attention. Hospitals and Community Health Centers may begin this reopening starting on May 18th, and all other health care providers may begin starting on May 25th.
Only a limited set of in-person services will resume, including:
• High-priority preventative services including pediatric care, immunizations and screenings for at risk patients
• Urgent procedures for conditions that, if left untreated, would lead to high risk or significant worsening of the patient’s condition, based on the provider’s clinical judgment
To begin offering these in-person services, providers must attest that they are able to deliver these services safely while preserving the healthcare system’s ability to treat COVID-19.This includes specific safety standards such as social distancing, personal protective equipment use, and infection control.
Please find guidance issued by the Department of Public Health (DPH) for health care providers to deliver these services as well as the required attestation that must be submitted to DPH before services can begin.