ALBANY, N.Y.—New York Gov. David Paterson last week signed into law a bill that forces hospitals to publicly report nurse-patient staffing data along with information on patient outcomes. Officials with the New York State Nurses Association said the data could someday lay the groundwork for a nurse-patient-ratio staffing law similar to the one in California, which mandates hospitals maintain specific ratios of direct caregivers and patients. New York nurses' union spokeswoman Nancy Webber said the state already has a law on the books requiring hospitals to provide “adequate” staffing to meet patient needs, but regulators allow hospital administrators to define what that term means.
Regionals: Healthcare reform study released in Massachusetts and more news ...
BOSTON—Massachusetts' 3-year-old healthcare reform effort has helped the state achieve near universal coverage with just 4% of state residents 18 to 64 years old remaining uninsured, according to a new study. That rate is well below the national average of 20% uninsured in that demographic. The study—titled Health Reform in Massachusetts: An Update on Insurance Coverage and Support for Reform as of Fall 2008 and sponsored by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—also found that 72% of state residents approved of the progress made under healthcare reform. According to researchers, adults with incomes less than 300% of the federal poverty level experienced the greatest gain in coverage between 2007 and 2008. That group saw its uninsured rate drop to 8% from 24%. Employer-sponsored insurance coverage also continued to grow with more than 70% of nonelderly Massachusetts residents accessing health insurance through their employers.
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