"I am very leery of giving the hospitals funding for staffing levels. How will they be accountable for this money and will it result in more paperwork for the nurse?
I have decided to visit or call Mr. Casorio in the near future to discuss these issues. "
Its great you will be visiting your legislator to discuss these issues. They need to learn a few things. Maybe he could give you the list of his peers who are on the health committees in your state capitol & you could send them a note about it too. This might help if you want to refer to it when youre explaining things to them:
Part of what we proposed in the NY legislature, thru our state nurses association, to make the hospital accountable is the following.....
"In the current crisis in direct care, employers indeed find it difficult to recruit and retain nurse staff --
a situation attributable to the intolerable working environment THEY created.........
Safe Staffing Legislation Introduced: The New York State Nurses Association's proposed safe staffing legislation has been introduced in the New York Senate by Senate Health Committee Chair, Kemp Hannon. (S. 4779) and in the State Assembly by Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried (A.9073). The bill would direct the Department of Health to establish a formula that healthcare facilities within the state must apply to determine appropriate staffing levels.
This legislation requires that staffing determinations result, in part, from the recommendations of those that are on the frontline of the delivery system, the nurses at the bedside. The legislation requires each facility to establish a committee representing direct care nurses to collaborate with facility management to implement the staffing plan. The statewide formula will be flexible enough to reflect the different characteristics of patients, personnel and facilities across the state.
*** Facilities found not to be in compliance would face STIFF PENALTIES as well as public disclosure that the facility failed to meet safe staffing standards. ***
Collect and Disclose Staffing Ratios: Nurses know that appropriate staffing affects patient outcomes. NYSNA wrote the Staffing Disclosure Bill (Assembly Bill 2581/Senate Bill 510)
that requires hospitals and nursing homes to disclose and report nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and the mix of licensed and unlicensed personnel. It calls for facilities to disclose information indicating the quality of nursing care, such as the incidence of nosocomial infections, patient falls, and pressure ulcers. Public knowledge of staffing practices will help put "market pressure" on facilities.
Healthcare facilities would be required to collect data that reflects the quality of nursing care: patient-to-staff ratios, staffing mix, patient complications such as pressure ulcers, in-hospital infections, and medication errors. This information should be part of "hospital report cards" and be made available to the public....
Establish reimbursement rates for health care facilities to reflect costs of recruiting and retaining staff:
TIE funding to EVIDENCE of improvements in recruitment and retention.
Enhance the funding to the nursing department, NOT to a facility's general operating costs.
Connect funding enhancements with improved staffing.
State reimbursements for health care should reward facilities that are using their resources to provide quality nursing care. Enhanced funding for health care institutions should be tied to the EVIDENCE of increased recruitment and retention, and go directly to the nursing department, rather than be provided as a rate adjustment that goes to facilities' overall operating costs.
After a year end review, if it is found that facility has not met the recruitment/retention goals for which it received funding from the State to meet, the State would be entitled to a refund of those monies............."
So in other words, they cant just get more money from the government to fund hiring nurses & then line their own pockets with it instead. They'd have to prove they used it for recruitment, retention, & staffing improvements & the proof would be better staffing levels. If a year-end review shows they didnt do that, theyd have to REFUND the state back the funding they were given. Thats a pretty strong incentive for them to not just give lip service to how much they "value" nurses but to really work to make things better so nurses will want to work at that facility. The hospital has to collect the data - not us. Its their paperwork -not ours.
Good luck at your meeting!