After seemingly taking a month off to celebrate the winter holidays, legislators in Massachusetts are again making noise about imposing regulations and licensure standards on urgent care operators in the Commonwealth. An article published by The Boston Globe, headlined State Seeks to Rein In Largely Unregulated Urgent Care Industry, Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders bemoans “there is no standardized definition or structure” for urgent care and that “in terms of consumer protection, we should define them and regulate them.” (Translation: Urgent care operators should be paying more fees to the state. One point of debate is whether urgent care centers operate more like hospitals (which require licenses) or medical practices (which do not require licenses). One sticking point on clinical services is that some legislators, in addition to insisting that urgent care centers become licensed like hospitals, want to require urgent care operators to offer mental health services. According to the Globe article, the urgent care issue is likely to be rolled into a comprehensive health bill that would be adopted or rejected by the end of the legislative session on July 31.
Update: Massachusetts Is Amping Up the Rhetoric to Regulate Urgent Care Again