MEDICINE

The opioid epidemic cost Massachusetts $15.2 billion in 2017.

That startling tally, a combination of expenses and lost labor, is explained in a report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF). It’s the first to offer a thorough assessment of the economic damage caused by rising opioid use and deaths in Massachusetts. The authors say it’s a conservative estimate because they couldn’t find data to measure some considerable costs.

Mass. Voters Say 'No' To Nurse Staffing Ballot Question

Nov 6, 2018

Massachusetts voters have decided the state will not write nurse-to-patient ratios into law. A ballot question that would have set the maximum number of patients assigned to a nurse in hospitals at any given time failed on Tuesday.

“Thank you to the voters of Massachusetts for a vote to protect the best health care system in the nation,” said Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association president Steve Walsh, in a victory speech.

The final report of the marijuana study commission, which is due out Thursday, will feature something of a disclaimer: Some members want it known neither they nor their organization are staking out any position on recreational pot.

Supporters of "yes" and "no" votes on Massachusetts ballot Question 1 work to sway public opinion in their favor.
The Republican / masslive.com/photos

In Massachusetts, ballot Question 1 would limit the number of patients that a nurse can oversee in a hospital. California is the only state so far to mandate nurse staffing levels.

Ron Dombrowski is examined by nurse practitioner Pamela Park at the Wiener Center for Preoperative Evaluation at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital.
Jesse Costa / WBUR

Whether to set nursing staff levels in Massachusetts has become the most contentious question on the ballot this election. Question 1 has pitted nurses against nurses, leaving many voters utterly confused. 

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