Alliance to Defend
Ann Eldridge Malone, RN, MSN
July 7, 06
• Who we are
• What we do & why
• American health care today
• Health Care in Massachusetts
• Universal health care: what is it
• Chapter 58
• What you can do!
Who we are…
• Community-based non profit advocacy
– Health care professionals & others concerned
with the state of our failing health care system
– Only organization in MA to represent the
united voices of frontline health care workers
• Formed in 1997
• Call to Action: For our patients, not for
profit article published in JAMA 1997
• Drafted 10 Principles for Healthcare
Practice and Organization, 1998
….. is to foster broad public
dialogue and health policy reforms
to achieve universal access to high
quality, affordable health care for
Broad base to build support
• Collaborative relationships with others that
– Multi-disciplinary health professionals
– Student groups
• Social justice organizations
– HC Amendment Campaign
– Health for All
– Community organizations?? Which?
Broad base through
The work we are doing…
• Activities involve outreach, education,
and advocacy for health care reform.
– Email listserv alerts/bulletins on public
forums, events, advocacy action etc.
– Health Care Amendment Campaign
– Chapter 58 legislation
– MNA work on safe RN staffing levels
• Professional Satisfaction survey of MDs,
RNs, and SWs.
• Study of Safe Nurse Staffing Levels
Why we do what we do
• We believe:
– Health care is a fundamental
– Delivery of health care should be
guided by science and compassion
– Health care should not be treated
as a commodity to be traded in the
We are dedicated to….
• A reformed health care system that:
– meets the needs of patients &
– supports health professionals in
providing high quality care
– provides equal access to affordable,
quality health care
Our Guiding Principles:
Framework for Decision-making
1. Health Care broadly defined
2. Access for all
3. Patient choice
5. Responsible health care organizations
6. Responsible professionals & patients
8. Quality & peer review
9. Research & training
10. Simplicity & clarity
I. Health Care Broadly Defined
• Includes prevention, diagnosis, treatment and
management of illness
– medical, surgical and mental(psycho-social?).
• Health promotion, rehabilitation, & palliation are
• Health care is fundamentally based on personal,
professional and trusting relationships between
individuals seeking care and those who care for
• Health care organizations and institutions should
exist primarily to improve the health of patients.
• Health care should be accessible to all regardless of
employment, education, social, economic cultural or
• Financial, geographic, and organizational barriers
should not limit access to care.
• The ability to creatively and appropriately employ
scientific and technologic innovations in the interests
of patients should be facilitated and enhanced by
health care organizations and institutions.
• Patients must have the right to choose their
health care organizations and their clinicians
within these organizations.
• Personal medical information must be
confidential & accessible, in a timely fashion
and with the patient's permission, only to those
responsible for the patient's care and only in the
V. Responsible health care organizations
• No profits made from caring for patients.
• Accountability to patients first.
• Saved resources by system efficiencies &
improvements should be reinvested in
patient care and not returned to investors.
• Competition among health care
organizations is helpful only when it
improves the care of patients.
VI. Responsible professionals & patients
• As professionals and patients, we must
responsibly allocate the finite resources
available for health care.
• The legal, ethical and moral obligation of
clinicians to provide care in accordance with
the highest professional standards is
• Those who take action to correct conditions
that prevent safe practice or high quality
patient care must not suffer discipline or
dismissal for their actions.
• There should be full disclosure available to
patients and the public of the financial
arrangements between health professionals
and health care organizations and between
organizations and for-profit corporations.
• The licensure and job title of every person
providing direct care should be clearly
evident to patients and family.
VIII. Quality & Peer Review
• Health care should be subject to review by
peers and the public. This includes easy
access for patients and clinicians to expert
and second opinions.
IX. Research and Training
• Research and professional training are essential to
the long-term vitality of our health care system.
Both require the explicit support of all health care
organizations and local, state and federal
X. Simplicity and Clarity
• Health care should be delivered and
paid for in the simplest fashion
• Repetitive and complex paperwork,
administrative delays, and confusing
forms distract clinicians from the care
of patients and are unnecessary barriers
to the effective and efficient delivery of