MINNEAPOLIS — Some strong words Tuesday came from rural hospital leaders upset over the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act that's making its way through the legislature.
They say it could be the beginning of the end for nonprofit hospitals across Minnesota.
"This is a high-risk, no-reward decision that impacts people's lives," said Rachelle H. Schultz, President/CEO of Winona Health.
The bill, which Mayo Clinic has also rallied against, would require hospitals to form committees that mandate staffing levels by defining a number of patients each nurse can care for.
"In this proposed legislation there are elements of it that fundamentally change the management of healthcare in Minnesota and would remove critical decision making from our care teams and our healthcare professionals and providers," said Schultz.
The Minnesota Nurses Association, which continues to support the act, said in a statement:
"The only potential consequences for hospital administrators under this bill are a public grading system, to give the public transparency about how well hospital systems do to meet the staffing goals set by bedside workers and management together."
But the hospital executives that spoke Tuesday think otherwise, and also say it wouldn't be fair to only exempt Mayo Clinic.
"If there's going to be an exemption, it needs to be for all, we all are individual hospitals, but we all work together," said Richard Ash, CEO of United Hospital District, Inc.
Lawmakers are still working to find a compromise on the bill.
The Mayo Clinic is threatening to pull $4 billion in investments out of Minnesota with plans to invest it in their other campuses if the bill is passed.
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