The Healing Greed Agenda
FOR PATIENT NEEDS, NOT CORPORATE GREED
Healthcare in Minnesota used to be about taking care of each other. But today, our healthcare system is suffering from a crisis of corporate greed. While hospital CEOs take massive paychecks, they slash nurse staffing levels, charge patients more and more, and close clinics and hospitals in our communities. Lawmakers need to step in to protect community care and ensure hospitals work for patients’ needs, not corporate greed.
DOWNLOAD: The Healing Greed Agenda Fact Sheet
The Healing Greed Agenda would put patients’ needs ahead of corporate greed by:
PROTECTING SAFE PATIENT CARE
- Protect nurses from retaliation – When hospital executives cut nurse staffing levels, care conditions worsen for patients. But when nurses raise these concerns, they often face retaliation, including unfair scheduling, being sent home without pay, or being denied time off. Nurses are seeking protections when they take action to hold hospital executives accountable to safe patient care, while codifying protections against discrimination in care delivery.
- Hold hospital executives accountable – When hospital executives force nurses to work under unsafe conditions, it not only puts patient care at risk. It also makes nurses vulnerable to being sued or losing their professional license. We need to make hospital executives, not nurses, responsible for the staffing decisions executives make.
RETAINING NURSES BEING DRIVEN FROM THE BEDSIDE
- Address the violent consequences of CEO inaction – When hospital executives cut staffing levels, the risk of violence goes up for healthcare workers and patients, driving more nurses away from the bedside. Nurses are seeking new violence prevention measures in Minnesota hospitals to keep patients and nurses safe with trauma-informed care and de-escalation strategies.
- Improve nurse loan forgiveness – To keep nursing an attractive profession as CEOs continue to cut staffing levels, new incentives can help nurses struggling to stay in nursing. Expanding funding and eligibility for loan forgiveness will help Minnesota nurses who stay at the bedside.
PUTTING HOSPITALS TO WORK FOR US, NOT CEOs
- Cap hospital CEO pay – Hospital CEOs are making millions, taking six-digit raises each year while patients are charged more and healthcare workers are getting chewed up and spit out. We need to cap nonprofit hospital CEO and executive pay so more resources go where they should in our hospitals – to patients and caregivers at the bedside.
- Executive pay transparency – Hospitals that operate as non-profits should operate under public transparency. Nurses are calling for more transparency and accountability when hospital executives pay themselves millions while cutting services and gouging patients.
- Regulate “non-profit” hospitals that make millions – Nonprofit hospitals avoid taxes despite bringing in millions or billions of dollars in revenue each year. Instead of taxes, these nonprofits are meant to provide charity care and other community benefits, but most hospitals fall far short, spending money on things like advertising and staff training, or even contracts with anti-union firms, instead of paying taxes. Nurses are calling for legislation to make sure hospitals that make millions give back to the community.
- Public notice for corporate closures – When hospital executives close hospitals in our communities, it limits patient access to care, eliminates good jobs, and further concentrates corporate power in healthcare. Nurses seek more prior notice when executives slate a hospital for closure or propose service reductions, unit closures, healthcare consolidations, or other related changes, as well as strict fines for hospitals that violate the law.
- Accountability for public hospitals – Publicly-owned hospitals have a special responsibility to provide equitable care to our communities, and they must retain skilled staff to meet this mandate. To ensure accountability at Hennepin County Medical Center, Minnesota’s largest, public safety net hospital, nurses are calling for more budgetary oversight by the Hennepin County Board of Directors and a delay in funding for new construction until leadership can be trusted to be transparent and accountable to patients and workers.
- Addressing predatory medical debt collection practices – Despite not paying taxes because they are allegedly charitable organizations, most corporate health systems have established predatory billing and debt collection practices that put profits first.
If enacted, the Healing Greed Agenda would help protect the tradition of community care Minnesota is known for against the advances of corporate greed in healthcare. Nurses’ plan will ensure Minnesotans can better access the care they need, and more care workers can remain in the jobs they love. It is time for legislators and the governor to act to put patients’ needs before corporate greed in our hospitals