All DHHS rules posted on or after January 5, 2023 are available on the DHHS Rulemaking page.

Proposed Rules

A proposed rule is a draft of a rule that is in the rulemaking process and has been shared with the public for comment.  A proposed rule may amend a licensing rule currently in force or may be a new rule.

Behavioral Health Organizations Licensing Rule

10-144 CMR Ch 123 Behavioral Health Proposed Rule | 10-144 CMR Ch 123 Fact Sheet     

Concise Summary:

The Department is proposing the repeal of three existing licensing rules and replacing those rules with one single rule, Behavioral Health Organizations Licensing Rule, to provide a comprehensive, one-stop licensing rule. This proposed rule governs the licensing requirements for mental health and substance use disorder treatment programs. The rules proposed for repeal and replacement include community and residential licensing standards for mental health and substance use disorder treatment services.

The rules to be repealed and replaced by this proposed rulemaking include: Licensing of Mental Health Facilities, 14-193 CMR Ch.6; Licensing of Mental Health Facilities, PNMI, 14-193 CMR Ch. 6A; and Regulations for Licensing and Certifying of Substance Abuse Treatment Programs, 14-118 CMR Ch. 5.

Across the existing rules that are being proposed for repeal, there are many shared requirements, including the governing authority; personnel; organizational structure; physical plant; record keeping for staff and clients; treatment and service planning; quality improvement; client rights; admission and discharge practices; and medication administration among others. The major difference across these rules is in the individual treatment service definitions and requirements.

The new proposed replacement rule creates core licensing standards, addressing in common requirements while keeping individual treatment services separate. Specific treatment services are contained in their own program standards and criteria. The Department’s decision to streamline these existing rules into one is based on the Department’s expertise, similarities and redundancies of the existing licensing rules, and the structure of the current provider network.

Submit Comments (Opens in new window) - Comment Deadline: 10/13/23 | Posted: September 6, 2023