STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 29, 2015....In an effort to make immunizations more readily available and ease burdens on staff at busy health centers, the House this month advanced a bill authorizing medical assistants to give vaccines to patients.
Medical assistants perform medical and administrative tasks in clinical settings, including drawing blood, administering medication, conducting lab tests and changing dressings. They are trained to administer immunizations but state law doesn't specifically authorize them to do so, according to Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, House chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and a sponsor of the bill.
"This simple provision will allow primary care providers, particularly those practicing in community health centers, to more easily meet the demand for immunizations and free up these providers to see more patients and focus on more complex clinical care," Sanchez, a Jamaica Plain Democrat, said in written testimony.
The bill authorizes primary care providers to delegate the administration of immunizations to certified and trained medical assistants, under the "direct supervision" of the provider. The provider would not need to be in the room when immunizations are administered, but must be at the facility and "immediately available to furnish assistance and direction."
By Katie Lannan
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
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