The Minnesota Hospital Association opposes staffing quotas

by Howard Lestrud
ECM Political editor

The Minnesota Hospital Association, said legislation being introduced to create a Standards of Care Act would impose rigid staffing quotas on Minnesota hospitals.

Wendy Burt, vice president of communications and public elations for the Minnesota Hospital Association, said, “This legislation is bad public policy. It eliminates local control and flexibility in critical hospital staffing decisions. It undermines the quality of care delivered in Minnesota hospitals. And, it would impose huge new costs on consumers of health care, including taxpayers, with no benefit to anyone other than MNA (the Minnesota Nurses Association).”

The Minnesota Hospital Association recites what it says are the facts:

• Minnesota hospitals already are recognized as the nation’s leaders in delivering high quality, safe care.  In fact, on 13 indicators of patient safety, the “HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study” ranks hospitals in Minneapolis-St. Paul as the best in the nation among metro areas of at least 1 million. The highly-regarded Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recently ranked Minnesota’s health system as the best in the nation, with care in hospitals as one of the major contributors to the high score.

• Only California mandates staffing quotas. Every objective study ranks the quality of Minnesota hospitals higher and the cost of care lower.

• At a time when Minnesota hospitals are leading the way in innovative solutions to improve quality and patient satisfaction while reducing the overall cost of care, government-imposed staffing quotas undermine Minnesota’s success.

The MHA says staffing quotas are “hugely expensive” and haven’t been demonstrated to improve quality.

Howard Lestrud can be reached at [email protected]

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