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Latest News - June 2013

June 11, 2013
NY bill would mandate hospital nurse staffing
Source: Times Union

A push to increase the number of nurses per patient at New York's 185 acute care hospitals pits promises of fewer patient deaths and complications against a billion dollars or more in annual health care costs.

Advocates say required staffing of one nurse for every two intensive-care patients and 1-to-4 ratios in regular medical-surgical units will improve patient care, reduce deaths, complaints and readmissions and leave hospitals financially intact.

The New York State Nurses Association is backing a bill currently making its way through the state legislature to establish required staffing ratios. The group said members at 57 unionized hospitals last year filed 19,292 separate protests of staffing assignments they considered unsafe.

New York hospitals oppose the measure. They say the ratios would cost them and nursing homes about $3 billion annually, infringe on the flexibility to shift staff as needed and likely reduce some hospitals' services and beds.



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