Section 61: Community Hospital Study

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of public health shall conduct a study of the commonwealth's community hospitals, with a particular focus on outmigration of patients and related trends, including but not limited to an examination of observed effects and their potential causes with respect to the following: (i) the impact on individual community hospitals caused by the opening of additional health care services by providers within the primary service areas of such community hospital, in terms of changes in the number and types of procedures performed and changes in revenues; (ii) recruitment and retention of personnel; and (iii) changes in payer mix. The department shall issue a report summarizing its findings and making recommendations with respect to strengthening community hospitals not later than April 1, 2011, and shall file such report with the joint committee on health care financing.

Summary: 
Directs the Department of Public Health to conduct a study on the impact of expanding the availability of primary care health care services in community hospitals, including the number and types of procedures primary care providers perform, related changes in revenue, recruitment and retention of primary care providers, and changes in types of compensation for services. DPH must issue a report to the legislature by April 1, 2011 summarizing its findings and making recommendations to strengthen community hospitals.