Minnesota nurse staffing bill weakened after pressure from Mayo Clinic

Minnesota lawmakers on Monday removed the most controversial part of a nurse staffing bill amid pressure from the Mayo Clinic and other health systems.

Different versions of legislation passed by the Minnesota Senate and House in recent weeks would require hospitals to establish committees of nurses, other direct caregivers and executives to determine staffing levels for inpatient care units. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MinnesotaLargest health system in the North Star State, threatened to withdraw billions in dollars planned construction in the state If that provision becomes law. Legislators then crafted an exemption for Mayo, drawing criticism from other Minnesota health systems.

In the final hours of the 2023 legislative session on Monday night, lawmakers removed the Staffing Committee’s mandate and exemptions for the Mayo Clinic. The bill would still require hospitals to form committees to address workplace violence. In addition, the Department of Health will set up a loan forgiveness program for nurses and other physicians – 75% of which will Dedicated to Rural Servicemen—and publish an independent report on nurse turnover.

The bill’s lead sponsors, state Representative Sandra Fist (D) and state Sen. Erin Murphy (D), applauded its provisions for workplace safety, financial assistance and nurse turnover, but expressed disappointment that the legislation would be “driven by fighting between corporate entities.” was contained”.

“It was really an excellent, very thoughtful, very well-crafted compromise bill,” Feist said Monday during a news conference following the passage of the Nurse Patient Safety Act (formerly the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act) . “It really tells me a lot about this place that a bill like this can’t pass into law. It’s incredibly disappointing,” she said.

“Corporate power in healthcare is real, and we touched it, and pushed it back,” Murphy said. “Despite this, we continue to fight.”

Mayo Clinic President and CEO Dr. Gianrico Farrugia said in a statement that the company “is grateful to Gov. [Tim] walz [(D)] and his team for their extraordinary partnership and leadership. Gov. Walz, Speaker [Melissa] hortmann [(D)] And [Senate] majority leader [Kari] dzidzik [(D)] expressed strong support for Mayo Clinic and for our desire to grow and invest in health care and our communities.”

Mayo Clinic argued that providers such as itself that use acuity-based staffing software should be exempt from staffing requirements. Administrators and nurses from other Minnesota hospitals criticized the Mayo Clinic carving.

Hospital and health system representatives also maintained the need for a staff Not possible amid labor shortageTo struggle This will result in a cut in service If the employer fails to comply with the rules.

The Minnesota Hospital Association said in a statement that it appreciates the lawmakers’ “thoughtful consideration and their willingness to listen to our concerns about legislation affecting patient care.”

The Minnesota Nurses Association supported the bill amid job cuts, staff shortages, rising workplace violence and worsening burnout. Association president Mary Turner said in a statement that “because of the power and influence of corporate healthcare executives, that bill is dead.”

Nurses Union and the Hospital Industry supported similar legislation enacted in 2014 It was limited to a call for research on staffing after provider protests prompted legislators to back away from minimum staffing requirements.

This year the Minnesota Legislature also scrapped a plan to penalize hospitals. Cost escalation exceeds benchmark, which was also opposed by the Mayo Clinic. Instead, lawmakers approved a measure setting up a study on health care costs.

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