|By PR Newswire||
|March 24, 2014 09:52 AM EDT||
BOSTON, March 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Health care advocates, citizen groups, nurses and academic researchers will testify today on two critically important issues affecting the health care of every resident in Massachusetts. The Committee on Health Care Financing will hold a hearing on two ballot initiatives that garnered over 200,000 signatures from Massachusetts voters this past fall.
The Patient Safety Act (H3843) will dramatically improve patient safety in Massachusetts' hospitals by setting safe, realistic and prudent standards for the maximum number of patients that can be safely cared for by hospital nurses at any one time, while providing hospitals with the flexibility to adjust staffing based on patients' needs. Currently there is no law requiring adequate or safe nursing coverage, a situation that places thousands of patients in jeopardy every day.
The Hospital Profit Transparency & Fairness Act (H3844) will guarantee taxpayers' right to know exactly how their health care dollars are spent by hospital administrators. The transparency act requires that hospitals receiving tax subsidies, disclose in a timely and fully transparent manner how large their profit margins are, how much money they hold in offshore accounts, and how much compensation they pay their CEOs. To ensure access to needed services by all patients, the act also provides for enhanced funding options for hospitals serving poorer populations.
Today's testimony will provide compelling data and moving stories:
Researchers will present new and powerful evidence linking patient safety and outcomes to limits on the number of patients nurses should care for at any given time. Studies comparing California, which passed Patient Safety Limits years ago, to Massachusetts will provide unassailable evidence that the lack of such standards is the key reason Massachusetts ranks 42nd worst in the nation for preventable hospital readmissions.
California's Former Senate Majority Leader will address why he was the deciding vote for Patient Safety limits and why he feels it was the best vote he's ever taken.
Nurses will provide shocking testimony and countless instances of patient safety taking a back seat to hospital profits. They will offer disturbing stories about the affects this has had on the patients in their care.
Nurses will describe the disgraceful pattern of hospitals closing down essential medical departments while enjoying large profit margins, hiding money in offshore accounts and paying CEOs excessive compensation packages – all the while health care costs continue to skyrocket.
Taxpayers will demand the Right to Know how tax subsidies to the hospital industry are being distributed within those facilities.
What today's testifiers are saying about these two measures:
Researcher Judith Shindul-Rothschild, Ph.D., RNPC
Associate Professor at Connell School of Nursing at Boston College:
Rothschild will present findings of two just completed and soon-to-be published studies that for the first time provide concrete, peer-reviewed data comparing standards of nursing care and patient outcomes for hospitals in Massachusetts, where there is no limit on nurses' patient assignments, and California, where such a law has been in place for nearly a decade. Rothschild's study provides conclusive evidence that Massachusetts hospital nurses are caring for significantly more patients than their counterparts in California and that patients in Massachusetts are receiving over three hours less care per day from registered nurses than patients on the West Coast (just over six hours of care for patients in our hospitals vs. over nine hours of care per day in California).
"From the public's perspective, it is absolutely in their interests to support this ballot initiative so that when they're in the hospital or a loved one is in the hospital, there is no doubt there will an adequate number of registered nurses to care for them to assure they get safe, quality nursing care," says Shindul-Rothschild, whose article in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality showed an association between nurse staffing in Massachusetts and a higher rate of readmissions for heart failure. She points out that heart failure is the most common and the most expensive condition for which patients are admitted to hospitals, and the number one cause of death in America.
Peter Arno, Senior Fellow and Director of Health Policy Research for the Political Economy Research Institute at UMass Amherst:
Arno, an expert on hospital financing and health policy research addresses patient outcomes and the staggering level of hospital readmissions in Massachusetts.
"This issue has been studied for decades. It is irrefutably clear that hospitals with low nurse staffing levels have higher rates of adverse patient outcomes, poorer quality of patient care and higher treatment costs. Improving nurse staffing levels is a key factor in promoting high quality patient care and safety," said Arno. "The patient outcomes studied by researchers include hospital mortality, failure to rescue, length of stay, patient satisfaction and clinical conditions including pneumonia, cardiac arrest, electrolyte imbalances, pressure ulcers, skin trauma and urinary tract infections."
"These negative outcomes have economic and financial implications for payers, providers and taxpayers. Hospitals with higher nurse staffing levels had 25% lower odds of Medicare readmission penalties and
85% of Massachusetts hospitals are currently penalized for excessive rates of Medicare readmissions."
Arno's data shows the percentage of hospitals penalized for readmissions is nearly 20% higher than the national average, while Massachusetts' Health Policy Commission reports that our hospitals waste over $700 million a year due to these preventable readmissions.
Arno concludes, "Raising inpatient nurse staffing levels, which have been demonstrated to improve quality of patient care, is a moral, political and economic imperative whose time has come."
MNA/NNU President Donna Kelly Williams on the Importance of the Patient Safety Act:
"The research is irrefutably clear, the most important factor contributing to the health and safety of patients in hospitals is the number of patients your nurse is caring for at any one time. Patients in hospitals are at much greater risk when they are forced to share their nurse with too many other patients at the same time."
"This ballot measure will ensure patients receive the care they need and deserve, preventing thousands of patient complications, saving thousands of lives, and millions of dollars that are being wasted now because patients aren't receiving adequate, timely care from their nurse."
Pamela Woodbury, Former Patient (Director, Spencer Council on Aging) Who Acquired a Preventable Infection and was Readmitted as a Result of Her Nurses Being Overloaded:
"The worst night of my hospital stay came when my roommate arrived. She was a frail, elderly patient who had had a broken hip. She was in severe pain, confused, frightened and needed a great deal of care. I overheard the nurse explain to an aide that she'd been boarded in the Emergency Room for several hours before being moved to my room because units at the hospital were closed because they were not staffed. My nurse was assigned to both me and my roommate and she needed to be with her for most of the night. During that time, my IV site began to throb and I could feel a burning where my strong antibiotic, Vancomycin, was being infused. I just could not bring myself to ask the nurse for help because I knew that my roommate needed her attention and comfort. The result of my waiting meant that my IV infiltrated and caused tissue damage and excruciating pain in my arm."
"In no way do I blame the nurse. She was doing all she could for both of us – and no doubt for all of the other patients assigned to her. That poor nurse was running in and out of our room all night. As both a patient and as someone who is responsible for the care of seniors, I am here today to emphasize the need for passage of the Patient Safety Act. As patients, we are admitted to the hospital because we need nursing care and deserve for that care to be the safest it can be. Every day that goes by without this law, patients in our hospitals are suffering and that is unacceptable – both to me and to the vulnerable senior citizens I am responsible for."
Former Majority Leader of the California Senate Dean Florez:
"I was initially torn about whether to vote for the Patient Safety Act in California because I wondered if administrators from the hospital industry might be right. I ended up being the deciding vote in support of the bill when it finally passed. Today, I am so pleased with the improvements in patient safety and outcomes which resulted from the law, I now consider that vote to be one of my proudest legislative moments. "
Colleen Wolfe (UMass Memorial Medical Center Nurse) on Hospital Administrators' Penchant for Refusing Nurses Pleas for Fewer Patients:
"When a family couldn't be at the hospital to hold their dying baby, a neonatal nurse asked the manager to find just one more nurse to help, so that she could sit with the baby and hold him while he died… and so he wouldn't have to die alone. The manager refused because 'we don't know how long it will take him to die'."
Highlights of Testimony for the Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act:
MNA Executive Director Julie Pinkham on the Importance of the Initiative:
"Every hospital in Massachusetts, whether nonprofit or for profit, gets the majority of their revenue from taxpayers via Medicare and Medicaid. And most hospitals are further subsidized with enormous tax breaks because they are structured as non-profits."
"Taxpayers and lawmakers have the right to know whether the tax subsidies they provide hospitals are going toward health care for patients or excessive salaries for CEOs or if that money is being stored in offshore accounts as excess profit. The Transparency initiative will ensure that taxpayers and lawmakers have that information in a timely manner."
Kim Adam (Nurse at Cape Cod Hospital) on Excessive CEO Compensation:
"Our hospital CEO was receiving over $2 million a year when he left the hospital suddenly and under undisclosed circumstances. We learned only recently that the hospital continued to pay him for years. This isn't a private corporation we're talking about. It's a non-profit hospital. How could this be? And why are we finding out about this two years later?"
"And how can they justify paying a failed CEO millions of dollars for years, while they close down our endoscopy service which treats thousands of elderly patients who can't afford to go elsewhere for that service."
Linda Judd (Nurse at Baystate Franklin Medical Center) on Lavish Compensation for Hospital CEOs:
"According to a report released recently by the Attorney General, Mr. Tolosky earned more than $5.3 million between 2009 and 2011, which includes his base salary, bonuses and contributions to his lucrative defined benefit pension plan. If that was not enough, during that same time period Baystate Health provided Mr. Tolosky with a $27,000 car allowance and also paid more than $3,000 for his wife's travel expenses. Baystate also reimbursed Mr. Tolosky more than $37,000 for expenses related to his personal financial, tax, and estate planning."
"As a nurse who struggles every day to provide the best care possible to vulnerable patients in my community, I am appalled that our tax dollars, are being used to compensate the extravagant lifestyle of a corporate CEO. That's why we need H3844."
Katie Murphy (Nurse at Brigham & Women's Hospital & MetroWest Medical Center) on Taxpayers' Right to Know:
"There is no way for the public and policy makers to accurately understand how taxpayer subsidies are being allocated by hospital administrators. Why are non-profit hospitals paying their CEOs seven figure salaries when research shows there's no correlation between CEO pay and the quality of care provided by the hospital? That's why I support H3844."
Kelly MacDonald (former nurse at Brigham & Women's Faulkner Hospital Detox Unit) on Hospitals with Huge Profit Margins Cutting Needed Services:
"The Faulkner Detoxification unit is a widely respected and desperately needed service that provides specialized care by a team of physicians, nurses and other addiction treatment and mental health professionals to more than 1,000 patients each year. Yet last year, Partners Health Care attempted to close this unit despite posting corporate profits in excess of $350 million per year. The decision sent shock waves throughout the entire addiction treatment community, as it came at a time when addiction rates are increasing and when there is a critical shortage of these types of beds and services in the Commonwealth. In fact, Eastern Massachusetts had the highest rate of emergency room visits for illicit drug use of any metropolitan region the United States."
"I believe it is wrong that a health care provider as profitable and rich as Partners can attempt to cut services that all parties agree are essential to our community. I support the Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act because it will provide all of us with a clear picture of hospital finances and how our taxpayer dollars are being used, and it will provide the resources to communities for services they need."
Diane George (nurse at North Adams Regional Medical Center) on How Smaller "Have Not" Hospitals Serving Poor Communities Are Being Squeezed by Their Wealthy Competitors:
"While hospital networks like Baystate Health post millions of dollar in profits, and nearby Berkshire Medical Center also has a healthy bottom line, we have struggled to survive. This has caused our administration to proceed with the closing of our Greylock Pavilion, a special unit that provides psychiatric and substance abuse treatment, as well as our pediatric unit that provides basic care to ill children in our community, despite the fact that our community opposes this closing and the DPH has ruled they are essential services for our community."
"I support the Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act because it will help to create some equity in our health care system by clawing back excess profits from the very profitable "haves" in our system to create a fund that could be used to preserve services like those recently lost at my hospital that everyone agrees our community needs."
For more information on both measures, visit: www.PatientSafetyAct.com
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest professional health care organization and the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public. The MNA is a founding member of National Nurses United, the largest national nurses union in the United States with more than 170,000 members from coast to coast.
SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United
SYS-CON Events announced today that Niagara Networks will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
Oct. 22, 2016 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,246
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
Oct. 22, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 693
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Oct. 22, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,409
SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center. ...
Oct. 22, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,039
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service.
Oct. 22, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 927
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cemware will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Use MATLAB functions by just visiting website mathfreeon.com. MATLAB compatible, freely usable, online platform services. As of October 2016, 80,000 users from 180 countries are enjoying our platform service.
Oct. 22, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 717
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Oct. 22, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 426
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Oct. 22, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,753
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
Oct. 22, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,092
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, the leading provider of modern development tools and best practices for Continuous Integration on OpenVMS, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware products and development tools that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Oct. 22, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,431
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Oct. 22, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,095
So you think you are a DevOps warrior, huh? Put your money (not really, it’s free) where your metrics are and prove it by taking The Ultimate DevOps Geek Quiz Challenge, sponsored by DevOps Summit. Battle through the set of tough questions created by industry thought leaders to earn your bragging rights and win some cool prizes.
Oct. 22, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,567
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Oct. 22, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,253
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
Oct. 22, 2016 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 383
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
Oct. 22, 2016 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,235