MNA Legislative Update March 22, 2013

22 Mar

Standards of Care Update

Last Friday, MNA, in consultation with our legislative allies, revised the Standards of Care Act to shift the focus of the bill to collect Minnesota-specific data on issues of nurse staffing transparency as it relates to patient outcomes.  We continue to strongly believe that every patient in the state deserves a minimum number of Registered Nurses and that any data collected will validate the thousands of nurses in Minnesota who experience unsafe staffing on a daily basis.

We learned that legislators had too many questions about staffing, and not enough hard data specific to Minnesota hospitals. So we shifted our focus to a framework that would improve transparency by requiring hospitals to report their staffing on a quarterly basis, and tie it to data on nursing-sensitive health outcomes like falls, infections and pressure ulcers. MNA took our proposed staffing standards out of the bill in order to improve our chances at creating the most robust reporting system reflecting real nursing hours per patient day.  In addition, the language now includes a study, developed by the Minnesota Department of Health that will evaluate the correlation between nurse staffing and patient outcomes, to be completed by 2015.

This week, the revised bill was passed by both the Senate Health, Human Services and Housing Committee and the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee. The House and Senate versions differ, and we will continue to pursue language that creates reporting requirements that provide the most transparency for patients and a true picture of nurse staffing in Minnesota.

Despite reports that MNA and the hospitals have reached an agreement, we still differ significantly from the hospitals on this bill. So it continues to be very important for nurses to contact our legislators to ask them to support the most robust reporting language possible.

Can you contact your state legislators to ask them to support strong consumer transparency language, nurse staffing reporting and a comprehensive study that gathers real data about the correlation between staffing and health outcomes? Let them know that unsafe staffing is still a problem for Minnesota patients and we need meaningful data collection to protect patients.

Click here to use the MNA Grassroots Action Center to send an email.

Health Insurance Exchange signed into law

On Wednesday, Governor Dayton signed the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange into law. The new program, now called MNSure, will allow Minnesotans to access affordable health care, including the uninsured and employees of small businesses. The exchange will be consumer friendly, transparent and will encourage competition among insurance companies. The exchange is estimated to save Minnesotans and businesses $1 billion by 2016.  Click here to read the Governor’s statement.

Governor’s Revised Budget

Last week the Governor released his revised budget proposal, which dropped sales tax changes but continues the Governor’s commitment to tax fairness. Under his proposal, income taxes will go up on the top 2% of earners (average income of $617,000), leaving the other 98% with no tax increase.

MNA continues to support the Governor’s commitment to progressive taxation and investment into key state priorities including health care and education.

Employer Reporting of Drug Diversion Legislation

This week MNA representatives testified about a bill that would require hospitals to report employees who divert drugs to their professional licensing board. While MNA does not condone drug diversion, chemical dependency is an illness that is best treated through early intervention and ongoing monitoring.   We are concerned that this legislation would discourage health professionals from self-reporting and seeking help from the confidential Health Professionals Services Program.   Legislators on the committee agreed that it is important to add protection for self-reporters that would allow them to seek confidential help for their chemical dependency.

Easter/Passover Legislative Break

The legislature is taking their Easter/Passover Break from March 23 through April 1. There will be no MNA Legislative Update next week. We wish a happy holiday to all who celebrate.

Town Hall Meetings

While legislators are on break, many will be at home in their districts and holding constituent meetings. Please try to attend if there is one in your district.

Saturday, March 23

Senator Greg Clausen and Representative Anna Wills
11:00am – 12:30 PM
Rosemount City Library
14395 S Robert Trl, ROSEMOUNT

Representative Joe Radinovich

8:00am – Coffee & Conversation

1865 County Cafe and Bar – 14072 State Highway 65, McGRATH

Representative Joe Radinovich

11:00am – Hill City Coffee and Conversation

Hill Lake Cafe, 151 Lake Ave, HILL CITY

Representative Joe Radinovich

1:00pm – Emily Town Hall

Emily City Hall, 39811 State Highway 6, EMILY

Representative Peter Fischer

9:00am – Town Hall

Mahtomedi City Hall, 600 Stillwater Road, MAHTOMEDI

Senator Tom Saxhaug and Representative John Persell

9:00-11:00am – Town Hall

Bemidji City Hall, Council Chambers, 317 4th St NW, BEMIDJI

Representative Barb Yarusso

9:00-11:00am – Coffee and conversation

Raz’s Coffee And Ice Cream Cafe, 1048 Highway 96 W, SHOREVIEW

Representative Laurie Halverson

10:00am-12:00pm – Education forum with Jeff Soloman

Dakota Hills Middle School, 4183 Braddock Trail, EAGAN

Representative JoAnn Ward

10:00am-12:00pm – Coffee and conversation

New Woodbury Cafe, 803 Bielenberg Dr., WOODBURY

Representative Paul Marquart and Representative Zach Dorholt


Whitney Senior Center – Olson Room

1527 Northway Dr, ST. CLOUD

Representative Paul Marquart and Representative Joe Radinovich


Brainerd City Hall

501 Laurel St., BRAINERD

Representative Ben Lien and Senator Kent Eken

10:00-11:00am –Town hall

Oakport Township Hall

1404 28th Ave N, MOORHEAD

Monday, March 25th

Gov. Mark Dayton in Moorhead

6:00 – 7:30pm

Oscar Bergos Center, Minnesota State Community & Technical College

1900 28th Avenue S, MOORHEAD

Representative Paul Marquart and Senator Kent Eken


Detroit Lakes High School Library

1301 Roosvelt,  DETROIT LAKES

Representative Paul Marquart and Senator Kent Eken


Hawley High School Media Center

714 Joseph St, HAWLEY

Representative Paul Marquart and Senator Kent Eken


Barnesville High School Library

302 3rd Street SE, BARNESVILLE

Representative Paul Marquart and Senator Kent Eken


Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton High School Media Center

513 Parke Ave S, GLYNDON

Tuesday, March 26

Gov. Mark Dayton in St. Cloud

6:00 – 7:30pm – Town hall

St. Cloud City Hall, City Council Chambers

400 2nd Street S, ST. CLOUD

Representative Paul Marquart and Senator Kent Eken


Ulen-Hitterdal Public School Library

27 2nd St N, ULEN

Representative Paul Marquart and Senator Kent Eken


Norman County East High School

408 Main St W, TWIN VALLEY

Representative Paul Marquart and Senator Kent Eken


Norman County West High School Library

225 2nd Ave E, HALSTAD

Representative Paul Marquart and Senator Kent Eken


Ada High School Library

604 W Thorpe Ave, ADA

Representative Zach Dorholt


James W. Miller Learning Resources Center, Rm 114-115, St. Cloud State University

720 4th Ave. South, ST. CLOUD

Representative Barb Yarusso and Representative Jason Isaacson


MAPE, 3460 Lexington Ave. N, Suite 300, SHOREVIEW

Saturday, March 30

Representative Mary Sawatzky

9:00-10:30am – Coffee and Conversation

The Westwood, 142 Lake Ave North, SPICER

Representative Yvonne Selcer


Caribou Coffee

14444 Excelsior Boulevard, MINNETONKA

Representative Laurie Halverson


The Wescott Library

134 Wescott Rd, EAGAN

Saturday, April 6

Senator Ann Rest

9:30-10:30 am

Robbinsdale City Hall

4100 Lakeview Avenue North, ROBBINSDALE

Senator Lyle Koenen and Representative Mary Sawatzky

8:30-10:00am – Coffee and conversation

Sunberg Creamery Café

403 Central Avenue, SUNBURG

Representative Shannon Savick

9:00-11:00am – coffee and conversation

The Bakery, Retail Room


Representative John Persell

10:00am-12:00pm – Coffee and conversation

Common Ground Coffee

1428 Hwy 5, LONGVILLE

Representative Barb Yarusso


Mounds View Public Library Meeting Room

2576 County Road 10, MOUNDS VIEW

Representative Paul Marquart and Senator Kent Eken


Minnesota State Community and Technical College

1900 28th Ave S, MOORHEAD

Representative Ben Lien


M State Technical School, MOORHEAD

Saturday, April 13

 Representative Zach Dorholt


Whitney Senior Center

1527 Northway Dr., ST. CLOUD

Representative Shannon Savick

9:00-11:00am – Coffee and conversation

Prairie Wind coffee

211 S. Broadway, ALBERT LEA

Representative Mary Sawatzky

9:00-11:00am – Coffee and conversation

Lulu Bean’s, Small downstairs meeting room

1020 1st St. S, WILLMAR

2 Responses to “MNA Legislative Update March 22, 2013”

  1. Bernadine (Bunny) Engeldorf, RN March 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    I am in full agreement of MNA stance on Reportingng (DRUG) as I understand the advisory committee (made up of working individuals who obtain license from all licensing boards) do not agree with this bill either for the same reasons as stated by MNA. Our current system is working, not sure why we need to change process?

    • Bernadine (Bunny) Engeldorf, RN March 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

      Clarify HPSP Advisory Committee

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