Taking Care of Our Community

Save Our Hospitals: Vote No on Question 1

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The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission Report on Question 1

NOT JUST HOSPITALS:
YOUR NURsING HOMES AT RISK

QUESTION 1: IMPERILS YOUR CARE TEAM

The November election ballot in Massachusetts contains a binding question that, if approved by voters, would have a devastating impact on Berkshire Medical Center, Fairview Hospital, and all other hospitals across the Commonwealth. You can read the entire ballot question here www.protectpatientsafety.com/initiative-petition.

Massachusetts nurses, hospitals and leading health care organizations oppose this overly rigid and unproven proposal. They know it will take decision-making power out of the hands of healthcare professionals at the bedside, harm our state’s highly rated quality of care, and drive up costs for everyone.

FIND OUT HOW YOUR ACCESS TO CARE AT Berkshire Medical Center & FAIRVIEW WILL BE ENDANGERED

  • Significant negative impact on patient access to local services and increasing potential for transfer to facilities outside of the Berkshires or even outside Massachusetts
  • Reduced access to hospital and community health programs and services
  • Dramatic increase in wait times for our Emergency Departments at Berkshire Medical Center, the North Adams Campus of BMC and Fairview, and delaying services throughout each facility
  • Increased costs to Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital will reduce their ability to invest in staff, facilities and technology, with a $22.8 million increase in costs for BMC annually and $1.4 million for Fairview
  • Immediate penalties - $25,000 per incident – if Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview go above the ratios for any period of time, including busy admissions, meal breaks or any other reason
  • Restricting the ability of Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview to provide immediate care during potential mass casualty incidents in the community once the Emergency Departments reach their ratio limits

HOW DO Berkshire Medical Center & FAIRVIEW PROVIDE SAFE STAFFING FOR YOUR CARE?

Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital have long recognized the value of the staffing guidelines developed by the American Nurses Association (ANA). Using these guidelines, professional nurses in leadership positions set and adjust nurse staffing levels by taking into consideration the following factors identified by the ANA as important to achieving safe and effective nurse staffing:

  • Patient complexity, acuity, and stability
  • Number of admissions, discharges, and transfers
  • Professional nursing and other staff skill level and clinical care staff expertise
  • Physical space and layout of the nursing unit
  • Availability of technological support or other direct care resources

Letters/Editorials/News Stories You Should Read

ALL OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS ARE OPPOSED TO QUESTION 1

Concerned by the many negative impacts this scientifically unsound and costly law would have, Massachusetts hospitals, nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals have come together to form the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety. This organization is growing by the day and already includes: Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association; Organization of Nurse Leaders; ANA Massachusetts (the state chapter of the American Nurses Association); Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals; and Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals. Click here for the full list of organizations joining in opposition www.protectpatientsafety.com/supporters

HOW DOES QUESTION 1 IMPACT YOUR WALLET?

In addition to the healthcare impacts cited earlier, the cost of this expensive unfunded law would be passed along to consumers through higher insurance premiums, copays, deductibles and taxes. Massachusetts families and businesses are already struggling to pay for healthcare and are facing additional federal cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other critical healthcare resources. This ballot question will make things worse, with an estimated statewide cost of over $1 billion per year.

You can help!

Want to learn more about how you can help Save Our Hospitals? Visit The Coalition to Protect Patient Safety www.protectpatientsafety.com