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Public Health in Massachusetts

The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School (CHLPI) has a special focus on infectious disease and access to health care services that promote public health in Massachusetts. 

CHLPI publishes a variety of factsheets and other resources to help health care providers, community-based organizations, and the general public navigate coverage for infectious disease prevention, care, and treatment.


At a Glance Guides 

These tools provide an overview of coverage for key services in Massachusetts in order to give health care providers quick access to basic coverage information and help inform discussions with patients. 

Insurance Coverage & Infectious Disease Services in Massachusetts

These factsheets provide an overview of coverage for various services, with a focus on infectious disease. 

911 Good Samaritan Resources 

These resources explain how the Massachusetts 911 Good Samaritan law can protect people from drug-related charges if they seek help for themselves or someone else who is overdosing. Available in poster and pocket card formats, and in English and Spanish. 

Archived Materials 

Keeping Health Information Private:

  • PrEP for Minors

Massachusetts has a new law that allows minors to provide full legal consent for PrEP. The consent of a parent or legal guardian is not required. Unless a health care provider believes that the minor’s “life or limb is endangered,” the health care provider cannot share information about PrEP and PrEP-related services with anyone absent the minor’s written consent or a judicial order. This also means minors accessing PrEP have additional privacy protections under Massachusetts’ PATCH Act.

  • The PATCH Act

For people who are covered under someone else’s health insurance plan, a Massachusetts law called the PATCH Act (for Protecting Access To Confidential Healthcare) may help keep information about health services they receive private. The resource below provides more information about the PATCH Act and how it works, as well as a sample script that can be used for contacting health insurance companies. 

Public Comments 


CHLPI is also active in other public health and health care initiatives in Massachusetts, including: 

  • EndHepCMA, a collaborative effort among stakeholders to achieve the elimination of hepatitis C in Massachusetts 
  • Food is Medicine Massachusetts, a coalition organized to implement the recommendations of the Food is Medicine State Plan, improve cross-sector communication among Food is Medicine partners, and advocate for federal and state policies that support Food is Medicine interventions 
  • MA Trans Health Coalition, a network of over 40 organizations committed to expanding access to comprehensive and non-discriminatory gender-affirming health care in the Bay State 

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