New Department of Health Regulation

02/16/17

Re: New Department of Health Regulation

 

To our patients and families:

In December 2016, the State of Massachusetts passed a new law and the Department of Public Health has recently confirmed this new regulation which changes the rules about who is allowed to administer immunizations in primary care settings.   As pertains directly to our practice, the new law states that medical assistants (MA) are no longer allowed to administer immunizations unless they have passed a written test to become a “certified medical assistant” (CMA).

Historically, we have not encountered any systematic problems with vaccine administration by our medical assistants at Middleboro Pediatrics. All of our employees have been educated in administering immunizations both during their training programs to get their degree in addition to in-service training in our office to be fully functioning within our own protocols. We are proud of our exceptional record of documentation and care around storage and administration of vaccines, and have always had excellent reports from the Department of Public Health during our routine audits.

Until December 2016, there had never been a statutory requirement for an individual completing a medical assistant degree to take a separate test in order to provide a specific function under their licensure, and training programs did not require their students to pass the “certified” test in order to achieve their degree and enter the workforce.   With this new law however, we unfortunately have to abruptly change our protocols until our current staff is able to take and pass the examination. We are dismayed that the implementation of this new law has not provided pediatric practices such as ours a gradual pathway toward compliance, as it does not acknowledge the competency of MAs who have many years of experience and have delivered tens of thousands of vaccines safely and effectively.

We are currently looking at all available options to maintain compliance with the law while continuing to provide the necessary preventative care.   We appreciate your patience as we recognize that this new regulation is likely to temporarily cause disruptions and delays in our ability to provide this vital service.

For more information regarding the specifics of the law, you may reference the following online announcement through the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Nurses Association: http://www.anamass.org/news/323678/DPH-CMA-Immunization-Circular-Letter-DCP-Administration-by-Medical-Assistants-.htm

If you have any further questions, please contact us at the office.

Middleboro Pediatrics

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