Health Care Reform

By Tara Fugate

MNA Strategic Researcher

 

According to a new report, hospital prices went up even though usage of healthcare actually went down.  Sadly, the takeaway shows that what a patient pays for healthcare determines how much they’re able to seek care and actually be healthy.  The Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) report, “Healthy Marketplace Index,” analyzed more than 1.8 billion commercial claims from 2012 to 2016, HCCI’s report shows commercial healthcare prices increased by 13 percent (almost 3 times faster than inflation) while utilization of services dropped 17 percent nationwide.

 

It’s not just what healthcare costs that matters either. 
… Read more about: Hospital Prices Rise But Hospital Admits Drop  »

By Geri Katz

MNA Healthcare Reform Specialist

These are exciting times for those of us who believe healthcare is a basic need for every person, and no one should go bankrupt because they had the bad luck to get sick.

Healthcare was the number one issue for voters in November. Candidates across the country ran and won on a platform of Medicare for All. Prospective 2020 presidential candidates are signaling their support. Public opinion polls consistently show a majority of Americans – including a majority of Republicans, according to this poll – support Medicare for All.

MNA nurses and many of your fellow front-line healthcare professionals have long supported moving to a system that:

  • guarantees healthcare (not insurance) for every American, including prescriptions, dental and vision;
  • costs far less for Americans than they’re currently paying in premiums, deductibles, and co-pays;
  • makes the system simpler for patients and providers and lets people focus on their health instead of their bills.
  • … Read more about: Medicare for All Bill Lives Again!  »

big pharma

By Tara Fugate

MNA Strategic Researcher

The vast majority of hospitals in Minnesota operate as not-for-profit organizations, which means they are exempt from most local, state, and federal taxes. This privileged tax status is meant to be an acknowledgement of the “community benefits” they provide. However, the definition of community benefit is loose, and guidelines on appropriate levels of community benefit spending are sparse both federally and at the state level.

In Minnesota, there is no law that specifically requires not-for-profit hospitals to provide measurable community benefits.[1] There is, however, a state level reporting requirement on community benefit spending that has existed since 2007.
… Read more about: What is Community Benefit Spending And Why Does It Matter for Not-For-Profit Hospitals?  »

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Barb Brady
(office) 651-414-2849
(cell) 651-202-0845
barbara.brady@mnnurses.org

Rick Fuentes
(office) 651-414-2863
(cell) 612-741-0662
rick.fuentes@mnnurses.org

(Minneapolis) – June 21, 2018 – Hundreds of activists from throughout the U.S. are marching for healthcare that serves patients, not insurance company profits, in downtown Minneapolis on June 22.

They are calling on the U.S. to replace the current broken healthcare system with improved and expanded Medicare for All, which would ensure all Americans receive quality, affordable healthcare.

The march begins outside the Radisson Blu at 35 S 7th St.
… Read more about: Press Release: Activists March for Guaranteed Healthcare in Downtown Minneapolis June 22  »

big pharma

By Tara Fugate

MNA Strategic Researcher

It’s no secret that the cost of healthcare is skyrocketing in the United States. What is less obvious are the reasons driving these increases. According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “U.S. health care spending increased 4.3 percent to reach $3.3 trillion, or $10,348 per person in 2016”[1]. Hospital spending accounts for 32 percent of costs while spending on prescription drugs accounts for 10 percent. Although many factors contribute to constant increases in cost of care, pharmaceutical and medical waste are culprits that could be easily addressed, yet remain a significant problem for many patients, nursing homes, and hospitals. 
… Read more about: Medical Waste and the Rising Cost of Healthcare  »

By Tara Fugate

MNA Strategic Researcher

 

Something that still manages to shock a lot of people in the US is the growing number of similarities between nonprofits and for-profit hospitals. In 2013, 7 of the 10 most profitable hospitals in the country were classified as nonprofit. A 2013 study published in Health Affairs, examined factors contributing to hospital profitability. The study examined data from Medicare Cost Reports submitted by 2,993 acute care hospitals and produced a list of the top ten hospitals in the country with the highest profit from patient care (for fiscal year 2013).
… Read more about: Your Guide to the World of Nonprofit Finance-part 1  »

By Tara Fugate

MNA Strategic Researcher

Minnesota is a unique state in many ways. For example, the infamous “Duck Duck Gray Duck” versus “Duck Duck Goose” debate still confuses this native Michigander. The healthcare landscape in Minnesota mirrors this individuality. Unlike a vast portion of the country, Minnesota has relatively few for-profit hospitals (2 out of 145 hospitals statewide). Having experienced the impact of a for-profit takeover first-hand on my home city of Detroit, it is evident that Minnesota’s public and nonprofit hospitals are worth protecting.

In 2011, the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), a 7-hospital system in Detroit, Michigan was purchased by for-profit Vanguard Health.
… Read more about: Keep for-profit out of Minnesota: Lessons from Michigan  »

Contact:  Buddy Robinson
(218) 727-0207
buddy@citizensfed.org

Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662
rick.fuentes@mnnurses.org

Healthcare Advocates Call for HMO Accountability
HMOs and state contracts need to be audited as they stand to pocket $6 billion

ST. PAUL – May 4, 2017 – Healthcare advocates and nurses are calling for accountability of the state’s Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), including their state contracts assets worth billions of dollars. The Minnesota Legislature has deregulated HMOs to become for-profit entities, which would allow them to convert $6 billion in public assets to shareholders.

“There are significant indications of fraudulent overpayments – wasting both state and federal taxpayer funds,” said Buddy Robinson of the Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition.
… Read more about: Media Advisory  »

By Charlotte Zabawa RN

Retired Nurse and MNA Member

I am Charlotte Zabawa, and I am a retired registered nurse and a member of the Minnesota Nurses Association and a member of the SCVWA Indivisible. For many years, I’ve devoted my volunteer time to moving us closer to a humane healthcare system that cares for everyone when they need it, not just when they can afford it. I spent most of my career as a post-partum nurse, and I can tell you how desperately we need to fix our broken healthcare system.
… Read more about: The Time for Humane Healthcare for All is Now  »

By Barb Brady

MNA Communications Specialist

April 11 brought Minnesotans together for a Day of Action for Healthcare for All. A crowd gathered near Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s headquarters in Eagan to rally for a publicly funded healthcare system that covers everyone and costs less: Medicare for All.

Speakers from the Minnesota Nurses Association, National Nurses United, the Land Stewardship Project, and Physicians for a National Health Program energized dozens of attendees with a call for Medicare for All, which would ensure access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

The group then went to Blue Cross/Blue Shield headquarters with a letter asking for Blue Cross CEO Michael Guyette to publicly commit to lowering premiums and selling individual insurance products statewide.
… Read more about: Day of Action Calls for Healthcare for All  »