Massachusetts union, hospitals pour money into nurse staffing ballot question: 7 things to know

Massachusetts nurses and hospitals have spent millions related to the proposed November statewide ballot initiative to mandate nurse staffing ratios in hospitals, The Republican reported.

Seven things to know:

1. Question 1, proposed by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, calls for one nurse to be responsible for no more than four pediatric patients and no more than five psychiatric patients at a given time. Different guidelines would apply with sicker patients, and staffing ratios would differ by unit.

2. Supporters of the initiative, including the MNA, are part of a group called the Committee to Ensure Safe Patient Care, while opponents of the initiative, including hospitals, are part of a group called the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety.

3. The Coalition to Protect Patient Safety has spent $7 million of the $7.8 million it has raised for its campaign, according to the report, which cites fundraising reports submitted Sept. 7. Massachusetts hospitals have provided nearly all the funds.

4. Groups financially supporting the opposition also included organizations representing home care agencies, behavioral health providers and emergency room physicians, as well as the American Nurses Association Massachusetts and the Organization of Nurse Leaders.

5. The MNA, which represents more than 23,000 nurses and healthcare professionals in 85 Massachusetts facilities, has spent $4.7 million supporting mandated nurse staffing ratios since summer 2017, according to the report. That includes $3.6 million to promote Question 1 this year. The union has provided nearly all the campaign money.

6. The Republican reported that the Committee to Ensure Safe Patient Care's total fundraising is $4.8 million, including money from individual nurses.

7. Hundreds of thousands spent by the Committee to Ensure Safe Patient Care went toward radio ads and digital advertising, and likewise, Coalition to Protect Patient Safety put much of its money toward advertising.

Read the full report here.

 

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