What: On Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m. a delegation of nurses and patient advocates from across the state will hold a press conference outside the Massachusetts State House, as they prepare to deliver the final batch of more than 200,000 signatures to the Secretary of State for two ballot initiatives that will dramatically improve patient safety in Massachusetts hospitals, while also ensuring that taxpayer health care dollars are dedicated exclusively to patient care and needed services for all communities. Following some brief remarks about these initiatives, the nurses will wheel the signatures on a hospital gurney from the State House a short distance to One Ashburton Place, where the Secretary of State’s office is located. This is a key step in the process of placing these initiatives on the ballot for 2014.
The Patient Safety Act – Safe Patient Limits Will Save Lives
Advocates have gathered and will submit more than 114,000 signatures for the Patient Safety Act, a ballot initiative that will set a safe maximum limit on the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time, while also providing maximum flexibility to hospitals to adjust nurses’ patient assignments based on the specific needs of the patients. The filing of the initiative follows the release of dozens of prominent research studies and reports that show beyond any doubt the need to set a maximum limit on the number of patients that can be assigned to each registered nurse at one time if we are to avoid -- mistakes, serious complications and preventable readmissions. To view these studies and to learn more about the initiative, visit PatientSafetyAct.com.
The Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act
Advocates have gathered and will submit more than 100,000 signatures in support of the Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act, a ballot initiative that that will require hospitals to be transparent about their financial holdings and other activities, limit CEO compensation and limit and claw back excess profits to ensure that taxpayer dollars are dedicated exclusively to safe patient care and necessary services for all communities in the Commonwealth.
This measure has been proposed to respond to dramatic changes within the hospital industry driven by state and national health care reform, including the merger, consolidation and conversion of non-profit hospitals into larger multi-billion dollar corporate networks. Every hospital, whether it's nonprofit or for profit, gets a substantial amount of money from public funds - i.e., the taxpayers via Medicare and Medicaid - to provide health care for the residents of the Commonwealth, yet there is no way for the public and policy makers to accurately understand how those taxpayer dollars are being allocated.. The purpose of the initiative is to claw back taxpayer monies from hospitals that hoard an excessive amount of their revenues (including revenues stashed in off shore accounts) or pay excessive compensation to their CEO instead of using that money to provide health care services to underfunded hospitals, many of which are in danger of closing entire departments, and services. For more information on this measure visit: http://www.massnurses.org/news-and-events/p/openItem/8579.
Where: Massachusetts State House Outside the Front Steps
When: 11 a.m.
Who: Nurses from different areas of the state will be participating in the event, and will be available for interviews by the local media.