The Baker-Polito Administration, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association, has announced updated hospital guidance to conserve inpatient hospital capacity and to protect patients and the healthcare workforce in response to several challenges impacting the Commonwealth’s hospitals.

Updated guidance looks to keep needed beds open...

According to a media release from the Baker administration, the Department of Public Health released updated guidance to hospitals to reduce certain non-essential, elective services and procedures via a COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Order. Effective November 29, 2021, any hospital or hospital system that has limited capacity must begin to reduce non-essential, non-urgent scheduled procedures to ensure adequate hospital capacity for immediate healthcare needs.

Staffing shortages are not helping...

This guidance, jointly developed by MHA and the Administration, was agreed upon based on several contributing factors. There is a critical staffing shortage across the healthcare system, largely due to staff shortages stemming from the pandemic.  This staffing shortage has also contributed to the loss of approximately 500 medical/surgical and ICU hospital beds across the Commonwealth.

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The current strain on hospital capacity is due to longer than average hospital stays and significant workforce shortages, separate and apart from the challenges brought on by COVID... COVID hospitalizations in Massachusetts remain lower than almost every other state in the nation, but the challenges the healthcare system face remain, and this order will ensure hospitals can serve all residents, including those who require treatment for COVID-19. ~ said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders.

COVID cases spiking in Massachusetts...

Massachusetts is recording new COVID-19 cases at the highest rate since February, and that is creating concerns among some public health experts about the impact of holiday gatherings

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