don't know how i missed this! karen
ana and two state affiliates file lawsuit against u.s. dept. of hhs for inadequate nurse staffing in hospitals
the american nurses association (ana), the new york state nurses association (nysna) and the washington state nurses association (wsna) filed a lawsuit in u.s. district court against the department of health and human services (hhs), thursday june 15, to remedy violations of law that require minimum standards for participation in the federal medicare program. specifically, the groups claim that hhs allows hospitals that fail to meet federal nurse staffing requirements to participate in medicare, thereby endangering patients.
read press release
this is the approach that ana taking to get adequate nursing staffing addressed via national legislation.
...hhs and jcaho guidelines both include requirements for nurse supervisory personnel. but hhs requirements also call for:
- nurse staffing levels that ensure the "immediate availability" of a registered nurse (rn) for the bedside care of any patient;
- staffing schedules that are reviewed and revised to meet patient care needs and make adjustments for nursing staff absenteeism.
according to the lawsuit, jcaho's standards are "devoid" of any requirements for the immediate availability of nurses to provide bedside care to patients and also do not address with sufficient specificity the requirements of staffing plans. ...
...the lawsuit asks the court to order the following actions to prompt adherence to hhs regulations while ensuring continuing access to health care services:
- require hhs to comply with the registered nurse staffing regulation;
- require hhs to designate provisional approval of hospitals that rely on jcaho accreditation for participation in the medicare program.
as part of the lawsuit, the new york state nurses association and the washington state nurses association claim that hospitals in both states have failed to hire and assign enough nurses to meet hhs standards for participation in medicare and this failure has resulted in nurses working in situations that "jeopardize the health and safety" of nurses and patients.
"sufficient nurse staffing is inherently linked to the health and safety of patients and nurses. it is critical that hospitals maintain a work environment that provides the necessary numbers of rns to deliver safe, quality care to all patients," said kim armstrong, bsn, rn, president of the washington state nurses association. ...