Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services

Published by
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service

Health: Hospitals and Health Facilities

H40 Bureau of Public Health Facilities

H41 Division of Health Care Quality

H42 Advocacy Office/Complaint Unit

H43 Determination of Need Program

H40 Bureau of Public Health Facilities
Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02108-4619
Tel: 617-624-6000
Fax: 617-624-6001

This Bureau coordinates health services provided by the four Department of Public Health hospitals and provides administrative support services for these hospitals. The purpose of the hospitals is to serve patients whose problems, either because of financial constraints or special medical needs, are not adequately met by private hospitals. Services vary according to hospitals and include in-patient and out-patient care for adults and children, shelter for the homeless, rehabilitation of alcoholics, chronic disease rehabilitation, respite care, and programs for physically handicapped children.

Regional Offices:

Massachusetts Hospital School
3 Randolph Street
Canton, MA 02021
Tel: 781-828-2440
Fax: 781-821-4086

Lemuel Shattuck Hospital
170 Morton Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Tel: 617-522-8110
Fax: 617-971-3854

Tewksbury Hospital
365 East Street
Tewksbury, MA 01876-1998
Tel: 978-851-7321
Fax: 978-851-6548

Western Massachusetts Hospital
91 East Mountain Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Tel: 413-562-4131
Fax: 413-562-7338  

H41 Division of Health Care Quality (DHCQ)
Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality
Department of Public Health
99 Chauncy Street
Boston, MA 02111
Tel: 617-753-8000
Patient Complaints: ext. 2
Nurses Aide Registry: ext. 5
Records of Closed Hospitals: 617-753- 8140
Toll free: 1-800-462-5540 (within Mass. only)
Fax: 617-753-8096
Emergency for weekends and evenings: 617-522-3700

The Division of Health Care Quality is primarily responsible, under state and federal mandate, for monitoring the quality of patient care provided by the Commonwealth's 6,000 health care facilities and services. It certifies some facilities and services for participation in Medicaid and Medicare. Its priorities are accomplished by: inspection of health facilities and services to determine compliance with federal and state statutes, conduction of quality of care and appropriateness of placement reviews of Medicaid recipients in nursing homes, intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded, and state mental health hospitals; investigation of complaints from the public and health care professionals concerning substandard care and abuse of patients and enforcement against substandard providers; and consultation with staff of facilities which are minimally compliant. The types of facilities and services licensed include: ambulatory surgical centers, birthing centers, blood banks, clinics, comprehensive out-patient rehab facilities, end stage renal dialysis, hospices, hospitals, independent physical therapists, laboratories, nursing homes, and rest homes. In addition, the division certifies the following services: home health agencies, independent occupational therapy, mammography, out-patient physical therapy, state schools, and portable x-ray services. The Attorney General's Office also investigates all complaints of patient abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities. The division also maintains a Nurse Aide Registry, which oversees training and competency evaluation programs, under federal statutes.

H42 Advocacy Office / Complaint Unit
Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality
Department of Public Health
99 Chauncy Street
Boston, MA 02111-1212
Tel: 617-753-8150
Fax: 617-753-8165

Discrimination based on diagnostically-related group (DRG) classification of Medicare beneficiaries or any other criteria by acute care hospitals is prohibited by MGL Ch. 111:51D. Discriminatory restrictions include those relating to admission, availability of services, treatment, transfer, or discharge of any patient because that person is a Medicare beneficiary. Medicare patients, if dissatisfied with their acute hospital discharge plans, may request the Advocacy Office to review the discharge plan; patients may not be discharged or incur liability for their continued hospital stay until the patient agrees with the plan or until the office has given its approval. It investigates complaints against health care facilities and provides the mechanism by which criminal action may be taken by the Attorney General. The division, in conjunction with the Attorney General's Office, also investigates all complaints of patient abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities.

H43 Determination of Need Program
Division of Health Care Quality
Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality
Department of Public Health
99 Chauncy Street
Boston, MA 02111
Tel: 617-753-7340

Massachusetts law requires that any person or governmental agency planning to make a substantial capital expenditure for construction of a health care facility, or for a substantial change in the services of any facility, must obtain a Certificate of Need from the Public Health Council. The staff of the Determination of Need Program evaluates proposals for certificates of need and makes recommendations to the Public Health Council. Input is received from taxpayer groups, health system agencies, and other governmental agencies before approval and issuance of the Request for Proposal.

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