The Mayo Clinic threatens to kill billions in state investments if two health care bills pass.

Rochester-Mayo Clinic to Reconsider Planned Construction Project in Minnesota at “Four Times the Size of Investment in U.S. Bank Stadium” If Legislature and Gov. Tim Waltz Enact Two Statewide Health Care Bills I am threatening to do so.

The threat was contained in an email sent to Walz and state legislators on May 3 from Kate Johansen, Vice Chair of External Relations at the Mayo Clinic.

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 published in today’s report by the Minnesota Reformers.

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.

“For months, Mayo has been working 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 our best interests.”

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

In a written statement filed in March with the Minnesota Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, representatives of the Mayo Clinic said the agency “supports certain provisions of the bill,” but that “other provisions have serious implications.” I have serious 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 Nurses 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), a registered nurse who created the Nursing Bill in the Senate, said the exceptions the Mayo Clinic is seeking are unacceptable. Asked about Mayo’s tactic of threatening to attract billions of dollars in investment, Murphy said, “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,” Murphy 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 bill’s drafter in the House, Rep. Sandra Feist (DFL-New Brighton), said they had made “countless compromises” to create legislation to strengthen the bill.

State Senator Liz Boldon (DFL-Rochester), a nurse whose district includes the Mayo Clinic, said Mayo Clinic’s “blind ultimatum is very disappointing.” She said behind-the-scenes threats, such as those issued by Mayo, are why “many Americans feel powerless by politics and believe it serves corporate interests more than the will of the people.”

Boldon added that during the session, legislators have worked with various stakeholders, including patients, health care workers and hospitals, to improve health outcomes. The Mayo Clinic has participated in these discussions to create policies that “address the conditions and issues facing our healthcare workers.”

Mayo has been given “ample opportunity to communicate their concerns to the drafters of legislation,” and “substantial changes have been made to accommodate them,” she said.

“Mayo is a key partner in providing health care to Minnesota, which is why the state and taxpayers have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars through Destination Medical Centers and other investments that support Mayo,” Boldon said. said. “But we will not allow private entities to veto laws that help protect the health and well-being of Minnesota people and their ability to access affordable care. , cannot be permitted.

“I urge Mayo to work with policy makers to continue working with them, rather than against them,” Boldon said.

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

A Mayo Clinic letter to the Minnesota legislature in March 2023, in response to the nurse-bedside law, said:

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