The Massachusetts Senior Care Association (MSCA) – the group that represents more than 400 facilities providing healthcare services to more than 120,000 older adults and people with disabilities – has joined the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety
in opposition to the proposed nurse staffing ballot question.
Like many other non-hospital healthcare organizations, MSCA is gravely concerned that the ballot question would pull nurses from its facilities.
“Direct care nursing staff are the vital backbone of our long-term care system, and even today we are in urgent need of additional nurses to ensure and meet the care needs of our seniors,” said Massachusetts Senior Care President Tara Gregorio. “We are extremely concerned that the proposed nurse staffing ballot question will decimate our already fragile long-term care system by recruiting away long-term care clinicians to meet the potential new hospital staffing mandates.”
The Massachusetts Senior Care Association represents nursing and rehabilitation facilities, assisted living residences, residential care facilities, and continuing care retirement communities, all of which employ more than 77,000 staff members and contribute more than $4 billion annually to the Massachusetts economy.
The ballot question being proposed by the Massachusetts nurses’ union, which represents less than a quarter of nurses in the commonwealth, would require that hospitals across the state, no matter their size or specific needs of their patients, adhere to the same rigid nurse staffing ratios within all patient care areas at all times. The petition does not make allowances for rural or small community hospitals, holding them to the same staffing ratios as major Boston teaching hospitals.
The measure would cost more than $1.3 billion dollars in the first year, and $900 million each year thereafter, according to an independent study by MassInsight and BW Research Partners.