Mass-ALA wants pandemic allowance to continue

Boston Statehouse
Boston State House

Boston State House

BOSTON (SHNS) – As the Legislature starts to think about what state of emergency-connected policies it might want to extend beyond Gov. Charlie Baker’s planned June 15 lifting of his emergency order, Massachusetts Assisted Living Association on Friday said it wants the state to continue the pandemic practice of allowing assisted living nurses to provide health services to residents.

“We are deeply concerned that, once the state of emergency is lifted, residents who have been receiving this care in-house — often at no additional charge — will find their care plan disrupted,” Brian Doherty, president, and CEO of Mass-ALA, said. “Allowing nurses to use their training to provide a narrow scope of services offers greater choice to families and supports public health. We hope everyone can agree that allowing families this continued option is a common-sense measure.”

Prior to the pandemic, residents who could not self-administer services like insulin injections, oxygen management, eye drops, and ointments needed a family member to visit multiple times daily to do so or to arrange and pay separately for an outside provider, Mass-ALA said.

The organization advocated for a piece of legislation (S 409/H 753) that it said would “permanently allow a narrower version of the care being provided now by nurses, focusing only on four common, noninvasive services: wound care, oxygen management, injections, and ointments and eye drops.”

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