A Massachusetts ballot initiative that would limit how many people could be assigned to each registered nurse in hospitals and certain other healthcare facilities in the state ultimately would hurt assisted living access and affordability, the Massachusetts Assisted Living Association said Thursday.
The group joined more than 70 other healthcare and business organizations, including the Massachusetts Senior Care Association, in the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety to oppose what is known as Question 1.
The initiative does not apply directly to assisted living, but Mass-ALA is concerned about its long-term effects on assisted living affordability if voters approve it, Brian Doherty, the organization’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
“As our industry continues to work hard to close the assisted living affordability gap, we recognize that the impact of staff being recruited away to fulfill mandates at hospitals would be significantly detrimental to this goal,” he said. “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.”
Requiring more nurses to serve patients “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,” Doherty said.
Mass-ALA is the state partner of Argentum. The Massachusetts Senior Care Association is the state affiliate of the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living.