ANA + Two State Affiliates File Lawsuit Against Dept. of HHS Inadequate Hosp Staffing

  1. 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 | complaint [pdf]

    ...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. ...

    this is the approach that ana taking to get adequate nursing staffing addressed via national legislation.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jan 22, '07
  2. Visit NRSKarenRN profile page

    About NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN Moderator

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 27,477; Likes: 13,685
    Utilization Review, prior Intake Mgr Home Care; from PA , US
    Specialty: 40 year(s) of experience in Home Care, Vents, Telemetry, Home infusion


  3. by   oramar
    Yes, that is the way. Hammer at them from several different directions at once, it is only way to get results. The trouble is the only people these orginizations listen to is the Hospitals while the needs of the patients and nurses get lost.
  4. by   Simplepleasures
    WOW, I hope this sets a National trend, its been too long in coming.
  5. by   Altra

    I wholeheartedly agree that the edicts of JCAHO and other quasi-governmental agencies need to be more closely examined, and the public needs to be made aware of how they directly impact patient care.
  6. by   sunciray
    Along with this lawsuit, should be a clause to end the requirement that nursing faculty members have an MSN in nursing. Perhaps more nurses would be able to enter nursing schools if the NLN would generate some grandfather clause to allow nursing faculty to have perhaps 5 years from the date of employment in order to obtain that MSN. We are hurting ourselves with these requirements.
  7. by   sonnyluv
    Right on! Nurses kick butt! We are invaluable!
  8. by   RN BSN 2009
    Woohoo! Baby steps
  9. by   coolvibesRN
    keep on.
  10. by   KeaganJack
    We need to take the business out of health care. Every time I go to work and can't do a good job because I don't have enough staff,I want to call the hospital CEO up and have him join me as I worry all night that I didn't forget something. Most hospitals in Pa. treat the nurse as if they don't impact patient out comes. We simply don't count
  11. by   dbihl
    yes the public needs to know and make some noise about it, I wish that instead of just creating a "spa like" environment, the public would demand enough staff around to meet their needs!!!!!