CPR and Partners Respond to Massachusetts Crisis Standards of Care

April 11, 2020

This week CPR and its partners proposed specific changes to the Massachusetts Crisis Standards of Care issued on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

In a letter dated April 9, 2020, advocates argued that these recommended changes were necessary to ensure that the Massachusetts’ Standards comport with federal antidiscrimination laws, the US Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights Bulletin, and the Administration’s intention to avoid inequities in the allocation of care based on disability, age, race, or other protected status.  Among the most problematic aspects of the proposed crisis standards is a triage scoring process that considers “life-limiting co-morbidities” and “long term prognosis,” regardless of how these underlying conditions impact short term survival or an individual’s ability to benefit from treatment.

Advocates shared their response and recommendations in a follow-up letter to state hospital associations and the Massachusetts Medical Society on April 11, 2020, and encouraged hospitals to ensure there is real-time data collection, reporting and monitoring of equity issues in the triage process.