Nurses

By Geri Katz

MNA Healthcare Reform Specialist

 

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the parliamentary election in the U.K., and the Labour Party’s pledge to enact a nationwide safe staffing law if they won a majority of the votes. While the Labour Party shocked observers and the Conservative Party by taking many more seats than expected, they did not win a majority. But U.K. nurses have won another victory that’s worth noting.

Eleanor Smith, a theatre (surgical) nurse for the National Health Service (NHS) was elected as part of the wave of Labour victories on June 8.
… Read more about: Nurse Ascends to Political Seat  »

nurse protest

By Geri Katz

 MNA Healthcare Reform Specialist

In the lead-up to tomorrow’s June 8 election in the United Kingdom, the Labour Party has pledged to nurses of the National Health Service to:

Two things about this remarkable pledge are worth noting for MNA nurses:

  1. This is what political power looks like.
  2. In a single payer healthcare system, the government has the leverage to make reforms to standards of care and working conditions across the country.
  3. … Read more about: Nurses in UK on the Verge of National Staffing Legislation  »

By Barb Brady

MNA Communications Specialist

Celebrations throughout the state, a proclamation by the governor, standing ovations in the Minnesota Legislature, and events around the world: people everywhere took a moment to recognize the wonderful nursing profession.

“Registered nurses strive to meet the different and emerging needs of Minnesotans in a wide range of settings, including large medical centers, local hospitals, outpatient clinics, psychiatric centers, nursing homes, veterans homes, addiction treatment centers, correctional facilities, medical rehab facilities, homes for the developmentally disabled, adolescent residential and secure facilities, community facilities, schools, and private offices,” according to a proclamation from Governor Mark Dayton declaring May 6-12 Minnesota Nurses Week.
… Read more about: Nurses Celebrated Throughout the World During Nurses Week  »

By Katie Gjertson

MNA Political Coordinator

This June 9 – 11, several thousand progressive activists from across the country will gather in Chicago for the People’s Summit 2.0. It’s a multi-organizational, multi-racial, multi-issue conference, co-hosted by the National Nurses United. The event goals are to form a broad coalition committed to building a people’s movement united around social, racial, economic, and environmental justice.

MNA members are invited to attend, and those who haven’t been to an event like this before are the perfect candidate. These events feature high-powered speeches by progressive leaders that will leave participants fired up to get involved.
… Read more about: The People’s Summit 2.0  »

By Mathew Keller RN JD

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

This past January, Pocono Medical Center (“PMC”) in Pennsylvania announced plans of a merger with Lehigh Valley Health Network. As details became more apparent, it was obvious that staffing changes and layoffs connected to the merger would affect more than 100 PMC nurses.

It’s no surprise that the word “merger” has come to be associated with “restructuring,” and “restructuring” with “layoffs.” And if a merger between a single medical center and a larger health system can affect 100 nurses, how much larger of an impact could a merger of two giant systems, such as HealthEast and Fairview, have?
… Read more about: Will HealthEast-Fairview Merger Hurt Nurses?  »

By Mathew Keller RN JD

MNA Regulatory and Policy Specialist

“In Minnesota, like the rest of the country, our health care system is in crisis. Healthcare premiums have increased at double-digit levels year-after-year. Employers are being squeezed by these costs, and healthcare has become prohibitively expensive for many self-employed, retired, and uninsured citizens. In this climate, nonprofit healthcare organizations owe a heightened duty to show proper stewardship.”

This was testimony offered to the U.S. Senate Finance committee not this week, not this year, not even this decade—but on April 5, 2005, by then-Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch. It was spurred in part by a comprehensive audit performed by the Attorney General’s office on Allina Health and its subsidiary insurance company, Medica.
… Read more about: With Allina-Aetna Insurance Partnership, It’s Buyer Beware  »

By Mathew Keller

MNA Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Allina’s final estimate of how much money it wasted on labor strife is in, with the health system pegging its total strike costs at 149 million dollars. As Allina employees know, however, this number is an underestimate. While the estimate includes the cost of shipping replacement nurses into Minnesota and paying them hourly rates that would make a cardiologist blush, and subtracts the costs Allina would have paid its trusted nurses were they not on strike– it does not account for the fact that Allina has been and will continue to pay eye-popping sums for replacement nurses well into 2017 due to the extreme level of nurse-turnover post-strike.
… Read more about: What can $149 million get you?  »

By Mathew Keller RN, JD

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

In a recent communication to its employees, HCMC claims that this space’s use of HCMC’s Form 990 financial disclosures to the IRS are misleading. Why? The Form 990 “includes as income $20 million in county capital funding that is restricted for maintaining our county-owned facilities and one-time capital funding for the new building.”

In order to get a better picture of HCMC’s finances, HCMC asks the reader to discount from the County hospital’s finances the money the County hospital receives from the County for maintenance of “old” buildings and construction of a “new” building. 
… Read more about: Fact Check: Does Money from the County Count as Revenue?  »

By Mathew Keller, RN JD

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Hennepin County Medical Center’s 2015 numbers are in, and many HCMC employees on the chopping block might be surprised by them. Despite HCMC’s public statements contributing layoffs to a “financial challenge,” 2015 was its second-most profitable year on record as the healthcare system pocketed $28.6 million in net income—up from $11.5 million in 2014.

HCMC’s MNA nurses are calling on HCMC CEO Jon Pryor to act with more transparency regarding these layoffs. This is not a good start for Dr. Pryor, who stated in an all-employee email on December 9, 2016, “if you’ve been paying attention to the media, you know that HCMC is not the only healthcare organization facing a financial challenge right now.” Only two months prior, the CEO had signed off on the financial report showing the huge 2015 net income increase.
… Read more about: HCMC Doubles Profits in 2015  »