Mayo Clinic threatens to kill billions in state investments if two healthcare bills pass – Twin Cities

Rochester, Minnesota — The Mayo Clinic says Minnesota’s planned construction project could be “four times the size of our investment in U.S. Bank Stadium” if the legislature and Gov. Tim Walz enacted two statewide health care bills. threatening to reconsider.

The threat was included in an email Wednesday from Kate Johansen, vice chair of external engagement at the Mayo Clinic, to Waltz and state legislators. The subject of the email was “Mayo HHS Omnibus Concerns”.

Johansen writes: “Two of his debated proposals — the Keeping Nurses at Bedside Act (KNABA) and the Adequate Health Care Commission — remain serious issues that require urgent attention and action.” The email was released Friday in a Minnesota Reformer report.

The Mayo Clinic sought to exempt its facilities from KNABA requirements and remove the “highly questionable” Health Care Affordability Commission’s proposal from the state’s Health and Human Services Comprehensive Bill.

The KNABA bill requires hospitals to form staffing boards that set minimum staffing levels for hospitals. At least half of the members of the committee should consist of nurses and other direct care workers.

The Healthcare Affordability Proposal establishes a commission to address rising healthcare costs by setting growth targets for healthcare spending and making recommendations for legislative and market reforms.

Both bills have been approved by the House and Senate as part of separate umbrella bills. A bicameral conference committee was established to find common ground between bills before they were sent to the governor for signature.

“The only way to sustain this investment in Minnesota is to address these two bills, as proposed by Mayo,” Johansen wrote, adding that “investments in critical facilities and infrastructure.” I am referring to

Mayo Clinic is Minnesota’s largest private employer, employing more than 48,000 people.

Amy Williams, PhD, Chair of the Midwest Clinical Practice at the Mayo Clinic, issued a statement on behalf of the clinic.

she wrote: Like any responsible organization, we must assess the legislative and regulatory environment where we operate.

“Mayo has been working for months to address these concerns and is committed to transparently sharing the impact of these policy decisions. We will continue to work with our leaders on legislation that is in the best interest of our people.”

The Mayo Clinic has previously raised concerns with lawmakers about the bedside law for nurses.

In a written statement submitted to the Minnesota Senate Committee on Health and Human Services in March, Mayo Clinic representatives said the facility “supports certain provisions of the bill,” but that “other provisions have serious implications.” I have concerns,” he wrote.

“Complex committee structures that set staffing ratios are not well coordinated to meet the needs of staff and patients,” the March statement said. Most importantly, it fails to solve the real problem: to retain and support nurses, rather than creating more committees, We need more teachers.”

The Minnesota Nurses Association, which supports a law that keeps nurses at the bedside, opposes what the Mayo Clinic describes as “blackmail tactics.”

“This desperate move by Mayo Clinic Health System executives reveals exactly why Mayo facilities and every hospital in the state need this bill. It has repeatedly demonstrated its disregard for transparency and prioritization of corporate interests,” wrote Mary C. Turner, president of the Minnesota Nursing Association.

“The Bedside Nurse Retention Act is intended to retain nurses and improve staffing to protect and improve patient care. , they deserve to know that they will receive safe, quality care when they walk through the doors of a hospital.”

Senator Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, the registered nurse who created the nursing bill in the Senate, said the exceptions the Mayo Clinic was seeking were unacceptable. I’m not dealing with ultimatums.”

“As a policy maker, as a Minnesota leader, and as a registered nurse, my job is to keep working towards solutions. And that’s what I’m trying to do,” she said. rice field.

Giving Mayo a nursing bill exemption would make other hospitals wonder why Mayo got a “special deal,” Murphy said. We can say that our hospitals maintain important standards of safe patient care,” she said.

Murphy said she sought a meeting with Mayo leaders. . She and the draftsman of the bill in the House, Rep. Sandra Feist, DFL-New Brighton, made “countless compromises” to create legislation to strengthen the bill, she said. rice field.

Matthew Stolle and Dené K. Dryden contributed to this report.

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