Massachusetts voters will decide in a few weeks whether they want to limit the number of patients assigned to hospital nurses. But Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has already said this week that the plan would cost the state too much.
One report from the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission said the ratio plan could cost more than $900 million a year to the healthcare system. Hospitals would need to hire 2,286 to 3,101 additional full-time nurses, analysts said. Another report found behavioral health would have a particular challenge, with freestanding psychiatric hospitals and substance abuse facilities needing to add 477 nurses.
Long-term care administrators worry that will further increase the strain on attracting talent to their facilities; the Massachusetts Nurses Association backs the ballot measure.