We’re thrilled that Governor Baker recently signed Bill H.5374 “An Act Relating to Economic Growth and Relief for the Commonwealth,” which included language authorizing the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) to lead and administer the update of the Massachusetts MOLST program to a POLST (Portable Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) program aligned with national standards, including the development of a POLST e-Registry.
We've been working on this since 2018 and this is an incredibly important step!
This effort involved the actions and support of many key stakeholders across the Commonwealth. The contribution that the Board of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts made to the Coalition back in 2018 for this purpose was catalytic to this entire endeavor. And we would not be here without Secretary Elizabeth Chen and the rest of the team at EOEA who have remained committed to leading this complex and critical work. Immense gratitude goes to the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association, Hospice & Palliative Care Federation of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Senior Care Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and others from across the health care continuum who came together to support this transition and ensure that this important program had the legislative support it needs to move forward.
Now, the work of developing the POLST program continues with the Coalition supporting and advising our EOEA colleagues through the MOLST to POLST Advisory Group, with co-chairs Erik Fromme and Ellen DiPaola.
This transition to POLST holds immense potential to increase the quality of care planning conversations and care experiences for people with serious illness and advancing frailty in Massachusetts. Your input on how to make the POLST program meet the needs of patients and clinicians across care settings is essential to its success. Check the Coalition website and future newsletters for opportunities to engage or contact us if you’d like to be involved.