Minnesota nurse staffing bill, Mayo Clinic exemptions under fire

Minnesota hospitals and health systems, both their executives and physicians, are rallying against the nurse staffing law and a possible exemption for Mayo Clinic, the state’s largest provider.

In April, the state legislature passed a bill that would require each hospital inpatient care unit to have committees of nurses, other direct caregivers and executives to agree on certain staffing levels or determine them through arbitration.

Mayo in Rochester, Minnesota opposed the measure, arguing that any provider using sophisticated acuity-based staffing software should be exempt from the law because the software could make decisions faster than a committee that set out in the bill “less less than quarter”. A spokeswoman for Mayo said the health system offered several recommendations over the past several months that would “remove or modify harmful parts” of the bill and that those recommendations were not implemented.

Mayo, which also has hospitals in Arizona and Florida, threatened to pull planned billion-dollar construction in Minnesota if Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed the nurse staffing bill and another that would set cost escalation benchmark, Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman (D) said in a statement that “Mayo Clinic is a unique, world-class health care institution. No final settlement will please everyone—that’s often the nature of a compromise.”

Minnesota Representative Sandra Feist (D), who wrote the House version of the bill, “would have preferred that Mayo Clinic make the move to Minnesota Healthcare,” but the proposal would improve nurse retention and patient outcomes and reduce racial disparities. Will do, he said in a statement.

Hospitals and health systems across the state, including Minneapolis-based Allina Health, said the nurse staffing law would require them to cut services if they don’t have enough nurses to meet staffing requirements. hospital keep fighting Health system officials and nurses said the labor shortage and the law would place an unsustainable burden on their overcrowded emergency departments and ultimately reduce access.

The providers said that if Mayo gets the exemption, every hospital operator should be eligible as well.

“Healthcare is not a perfect system, but if the Minnesota Legislature moves to create an exemption for a specific healthcare system, they are given a different set of rules to operate by without valid reason – it is in Minnesota. will change health care forever,” Alina President and CEO Lisa Shannon said in a statement.

A Mayo spokeswoman did not address the system’s request for the exception, but said in a statement, “The bill imposes a government-mandated staffing model and complex regulatory structure that deprives Mayo of the necessary autonomy and flexibility to do what it wants.” will limit the flexibility to do what it does best—innovate and meet the needs of our patients, our employees and the communities we serve.

Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, has been using the Acuity software program since 2017 to guide staffing levels, said Adam Karlen, clinical nursing director of critical care and respiratory therapy at the hospital. Minnesota Hospital Association.

“If an exemption to take advantage of innovative, scientifically based methods such as acuity equipment is good for one hospital, it should apply to all,” he said.

If the nurse staffing bill was enacted, it would cost Northfield Hospital and Clinics $1 million a year, Tammy Hayes, chief nurse executive and long-term care administrator at the 37-bed Northfield (Minnesota) Hospital and Clinic, said during the news conference. “It is a big concern for us when we are already struggling,” she said.

California is the only state with a mandated nurse-to-patient staffing ratio in all hospital departments, in effect since 2004. Massachusetts enacted a similar law in 2014 specifically for intensive-care units. voter 2018 ballot rejected to extend the law.

Critics of the mandated ratio, including the American Hospital Association and the American Organization of Nursing Executives, argue that the ratio will financially strain providers and hurt morale as scheduling becomes more rigid. Advocates argue that hospital nurse-staffing ratios in California are concerning. low mortality and high morale,

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