Just About Every Type of Caregiver Opposes Question 1

The Massachusetts physician community thinks that Question 1 on the November 6 ballot – the measure that would impose rigid nurse-to-patient ratios on all hospitals at all times – is a very bad idea.

More than three dozen physician groups, representing thousands of M.D.s who provide primary and specialty care to patients across the state, have joined the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety in opposition to Question 1.  They join the 25,000-member Massachusetts Medical Society in opposing government-mandated ratios.

The physicians, who refer patients to hospitals and conduct care within hospital walls, are, in turn, joined by: Massachusetts Society of Respiratory Care; American Academy of Pediatrics - Massachusetts Chapter; Massachusetts Radiological Society; Massachusetts Orthopaedic Association; and the Massachusetts Society of Anesthesiologists.

Add to those impressive groups these nurses who are opposed to Question 1:
the American Nurses Association – Massachusetts;
Emergency Nurses Association – Greater Boston Chapter;
Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses;
Organization of Nurse Leaders;
Infusion Nurses Society;
Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing; and
the Western Massachusetts Nursing Collaborative.

The community of caregivers knowledgeable about hospital care urging a No vote in November also includes:
The Massachusetts Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association, Massachusetts Academy of Dermatology, Massachusetts Society of Pathologists, and the Massachusetts Society of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

The Massachusetts Assisted Living Association (Mass-ALA), which represents 230 assisted living residences in Massachusetts serving more than 10,000 seniors, also thinks Question 1 is the wrong prescription for improving care in the state.

“We are concerned that this ballot measure, which could dramatically reduce the availability of nurses beyond hospitals, would create new barriers to care for residents and erode the gains we have made as a commonwealth in supporting seniors,” said Brian Doherty, president and CEO of Mass-ALA. “If passed, this ballot question would make it more challenging to provide affordable assisted living to seniors who believe our residential model best fits their needs.”

The mental health and substance use disorder community is adamantly opposed to Question 1. The Massachusetts Association for Mental Health opposes Question 1, as does the Association for Behavioral Healthcare and the Massachusetts Association of Behavioral Health Systems – which released a study showing how Question 1 would result in the loss of 1,000 behavioral health beds.

Even the folks who transport patients to hospitals think government-mandated ratios are a bad idea; the Massachusetts Ambulance Association opposes Question 1.

But what about patients? The Parent/Professional Advocacy League – the group that presents the family voice on children’s mental health issues – last week endorsed the effort to defeat Question 1.

Question 1 is supported by one nursing union representing less than 25% of the RNs in the state.

To see a continually updated list of healthcare interests urging a No on Question 1 vote, click here or visit the Coalition webpage here.