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Massachusetts Hospital Dementia Legislation

The goals of H. 4116 are to promote early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and related dementias, accelerate the development of therapies to treat and/or prevent Alzheimer’s dementia, optimize care for individuals living with dementia and their caregivers, and mitigate health disparities.

This legislation requires all physicians, physician’s assistants and registered nurses who provide care to adults in Massachusetts complete continuing medical education on the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. This education requirement must be completed for renewal of the certificate of registration with the board of medicine.

Additionally, the leglislation requires that physicians, on newly diagnosing an individual with Alzheimer’s disease and with individual’s consent, report that diagnosis the individual’s family mbmer and/or legal representative.  The physician is also required to provide the individual, family and/or legal representative with information on Alzheimer’s’ disease and it’s treatment and services and supports for individuals living with Alzheimer’s dementia.

A critical tenant of this legislation is a requirement for all  Massachusetts hospitals to develop and implement a hospital operational plan for the acute care of patients with Alzheimers and related dementia by October 2021.  Elements of this plan may include recognition of dementia and/or delirium in the emergency department or inpatient units, including dementia and/delirium in the treatment of the patient while hospitalized, creating a dementia friendly environment and ensuring including of dementia and/or delirium in care transitions including discharge.

MGH will also coordinate the health care and treatment of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, ensuring the inclusion of ethnic and racial populations who have a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease or are less likely to receive care in clinical, research and service efforts.

Other areas in which MGH will lead this effort are:

  • Decreasing health disparities in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Coordinating with federal agencies and programs to integrate and inform the fight against Alzheimer’s disease
  • Providing information and coordination of Alzheimer’s disease research and services across all state agencies
  • Implementing a strategy to increase the diagnostic rate for Alzheimer’s disease

Read the full Act here:



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