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Equity and Disparities in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, laws have been implemented to eliminate discriminatory practices against Medicare patients. Hospitals are prohibited from discriminating against Medicare beneficiaries in relation to admission, availability of services or treatment or transfer.  Medicare beneficiaries must receive written notice of their rights as well as access to a consumer grievance phone number to make complaints of discriminatory conduct.1

The state of Massachusetts has also taken strides in improving health care quality, reducing racial and ethnic disparities, and containing costs through the establishment of the Health Care Quality and Cost Council.2  Other steps Massachusetts has taken include requiring all hospitals and emergency departments to provide non-English speaking patients with a competent interpreter.3  In order to address racial and ethnic disparities in care, Massachusetts requires hospitals to record each patient’s primary language spoken and race/ethnicity.4  The state has taken one further step toward eliminating racial and ethnic disparities by basing rate increases for Medicaid participating hospitals on specific quality benchmarks, including the reduction of ethnic and racial disparities in health care.5

 

Footnotes

  • 1. M.G.L.A. 111 §51D
  • 2. M.G.L.A. 6A §16K
  • 3. M.G.L.A. 111 §25J; 105 MA ADC 130.1105
  • 4. 105 MA ADC 130.1107
  • 5. M.G.L.A. 118E §13B

 

Equity and Disparities in Massachusetts

Subtopic Statute/Regulation Description
Disparities reduction & equal access 105. Mass. Code Regs. 130.1103. - Interpreter Service - Coordinator “Interpreter Service – Coordinator”   Each acute hospital in connection with its emergency department service shall designate...
114.6. Mass. Code Regs. 10.06. - Patient Rights and Responsibilities “Patient Rights and Responsibilities”   Hospitals and Community Health Centers must advise patients of their rights to: apply for...
243. Mass. Code Regs. 2.07. - General Provisions Governing The Practice Of Medicine General Provisions Governing The Practice Of Medicine A physician must maintain adequate records for each patient.  The physician must keep the...
956. Mass. Code Regs. 8.03. - Mandatory Health Insurance Coverage “Mandatory Health Insurance Coverage”   This section establishes that every full-time and part-time student enrolled in a...
Mass. Gen. Laws. Ann. ch. 111, §25L - Health care workforce center “Health care workforce center”   This law establishes a health care workforce center in the department, meant to improve access to...
Mass. Gen. Laws. Ann. ch. 111M, §2 - Duty for certain adults to obtain and maintain creditable coverage “Duty for certain adults to obtain and maintain creditable coverage; reporting of coverage on tax return; penalties for violation”...
Language or cultural services required in health plans (Cross reference with Private Insurance Data) 105. Mass. Code Regs. 130.1103. - Interpreter Service - Coordinator “Interpreter Service – Coordinator”   Each acute hospital in connection with its emergency department service shall designate...
105. Mass. Code Regs. 130.1107. - Interpreter Service - Patient and Other Records Acute care hospitals must ensure that the primary spoken language and self identified race/ethnicity of each patient in the emergency department be...
104. Mass. Code Regs. 27.18. - Interpreter Services “Interpreter Services”   The law establishes the meanings for the following words for purposes of 104 CMR 27.18:  (a) Competent...
105. Mass. Code Regs. 130.1101. - Interpreter Service – Requirement “Interpreter Service – Requirement”   The law establishes that acute care hospitals, which provide emergency services, must...
105. Mass. Code Regs. 130.1102. - Interpreter Service - Policies and Procedures “Interpreter Service - Policies and Procedures”   Each acute care hospital must develop written policies and procedures, consistent...
105. Mass. Code Regs. 130.1105. - Interpreter Service - Access All acute care hospitals must provide competent interpreter services at no cost to non-English speaking patients.  The patient’s...
Primary language documentation 104. Mass. Code Regs. 27.18. - Interpreter Services “Interpreter Services”   The law establishes the meanings for the following words for purposes of 104 CMR 27.18:  (a) Competent...
105. Mass. Code Regs. 130.1104. - Interpreter Service - Notices “Interpreter Service – Notices”   Oral and/or written notice of no cost interpreter services must be provided to patients...
Equity and Disparities Mass. Gen. Laws. Ann. ch. 111, § 25J - Competent interpreter services in acute-care hospitals All acute care hospitals must provide competent interpreter services in emergency departments to all non-English speaking patients (those who cannot...
Mass. Gen. Laws. Ann. ch. 111, § 51D - Discrimination by acute hospitals against Medicare beneficiaries; Discharge planning An acute hospital cannot establish discriminatory practices in relation to admission, availability of services or treatment or transfer for any...
Mass. Gen. Laws. Ann. ch. 118E, § 13B - Hospital rate increases; Quality standards and benchmarks Rate increases for Medicaid participating hospitals must be based on adherence to quality standards and benchmarks, including the reduction of ethnic...
Health service planning on a geographic/demographic basis Mass. Gen. Laws. Ann. ch. 111, §25L - Health care workforce center “Health care workforce center”   This law establishes a health care workforce center in the department, meant to improve access to...