Hospitals

By Rick Fuentes

MNA Communications Specialist

 

Metro MNA members are taking their stories to the public. MNA has been advertising on I Heart Media radio stations and digital platforms about the issues nurses face every day at the bedside. On-air staff at I Heart Media have been very supportive of Metro nurses, especially K102’s Amy James, KDWB’s Dave Ryan, and KFAN’s Justin Guaard.

 

 

 

Of course, no one can tell the nurses’ stories better than the nurses. The first ad was voiced by Abbott Recovery Room nurse, Becky Nelson. 
… Read more about: Heard the New Radio Ad?  »

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  »

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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


(St. Paul) – March 6, 2019 –  An analysis of hospital prices shows Minnesota hospitals are charging an average of 212 percent more than it costs them to care for patients, according to the study by National Nurses United and the Minnesota Nurses Association.  The study also shows that hospital prices have risen threefold over 20 years when compared to other goods and services in the consumer price index.

“By looking at what it costs to care for patients and comparing that to what hospitals actually charge patients, it shows that hospital prices haven’t just gone up exponentially,” said Tara Fugate, researcher for the Minnesota Nurses Association, “They’ve gone up faster than the prices of other goods and services in the economy.”

The study compares chargemaster prices for 111 acute-care facilities in Minnesota with the costs for care for each hospital as listed in the Medicare Cost Reports (MCR). 
… Read more about: Press Release: Study Shows Minnesota Hospital Prices Rising Faster than Economy  »

By Tara Fugate

MNA Strategic Researcher

 

Minnesota hospital charges are rising and have been for decades, but the difference between what hospitals charge patients and the amount hospitals need to deliver care is not often discussed. How much does it actually cost hospitals to provide care? The answer is: it varies. However, one thing is consistent across the state, every hospital included in a recent National Nurses United and Minnesota Nurses Association study charges more than the “cost” of delivering care. The “cost” of delivering care refers not only to direct labor and supply costs but also to administrative and general costs, such as maintenance and housekeeping.
… Read more about: Report Shows Hospital Pricing Rising Faster than Economy  »

By Emily Sippola, RN

MNA Member, United Hospital Tri-Chair

Months after the 2016 Allina strike, MNA nurses at United Hospital were surprised to find that the employer had unilaterally decide to change the calculation for our sick leave incentive bonus, which rewards nurses for not using sick time.

In May 2017, Allina decided to not count the hours United Hospital nurses were on strike toward “Regularly Scheduled Hours” and provided our sick time incentive bonus based on a lower number of hours nurses worked.

Nurses quickly filed a grievance based on the fact that the contract provides for upgrading Regularly Scheduled Hours based on additional hours worked but does not provide for downgrading based on hours on strike.
… Read more about: United Hospital nurses celebrate grievance victory over sick leave incentive  »

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?  »

 

By Julie Anderson, RN

GAC Commissioner

As nurses, we nurture, heal, care, and advocate—unless we’re talking about ourselves. We continually ignore the warnings of “put your own oxygen mask on before you apply someone else’s.”  We run trauma rooms while barely breaking a sweat. We face hostile patients, family, and coworkers and calmly de-escalate, redirect, and reassure everyone with a smile on our faces.  Still, what is the cost of continually putting others’ needs before your own?  Oftentimes going from one crisis to another barely able to take a deep breath, let alone debrief on what just happened and how it will affect us later on.
… Read more about: Nurses Need Care Too  »

 

By Jackie O’Shea

MNA Political Organizer

Elections are the root of our democracy, and saying 2018 is going to be a hectic year politically is an understatement. In Minnesota, there are open races for Governor and Lieutenant Governor; statewide races for Attorney General, Auditor, and Secretary of State and a US Senator; eight U.S. Congressional races, and 134 seats in the Minnesota House of Representatives all up for re-election this year. Plus, other important local races, including city council seats, school board commissioners, and county elected positions are up for grabs.

 

Electing nurse champions is the important first step towards the main goal of our political organizing, which is passing legislation.
… Read more about: Holding Our Democracy Accountable  »

By Diane Scott, RN

MNA Member

We all know the stories. A mom couldn’t get her son to the right specialist because it was out of the hospital’s “network.” Another mom couldn’t get occupational or physical therapy for her daughter without having to fight like hell to get it. How many times have MNA nurses cried at work and heard the stories of their long fights with their employer because their children could not get the healthcare they deserve? What about the non-contract employees and patients who can’t fight?

On October 24, 2017, MNA decided to fight back. We filed a second step class action grievance on behalf of all Registered Nurses working at Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota Bemidji.
… Read more about: The Union Difference  »

By Tara Fugate

MNA Strategic Researcher

A common misconception about nonprofit hospital finance is that, unlike publicly traded corporations, they are not responsible to shareholders or investors. In fact, many hospital expansion and construction projects are funded by investors through the use of municipal bonds. Municipal bonds are not unlike loans from the public. Hospitals work through municipal entities such as cities and counties to issue bonds for public purchase.

A bond is a type of debt investment. This means that an investor or bondholder loans money to an entity (typically corporate or governmental) for a defined period of time at a variable or fixed interest rate.
… Read more about: Municipal Bonds and Nonprofit Hospitals  »