Our priorities for the 2013 legislative session
What happens with these four legislative issues will significantly affect—for better or worse—Fairview’s capacity to deliver care that’s in keeping with our mission to improve the health of the communities we serve.
Our four top issues
Here are our priorities for the current state legislative session:
- Fairview supports sustained or improved funding for graduate medical education.
- Fairview opposes mandatory nurse staffing ratios.
- Fairview champions development of a state health insurance exchange.
- Fairview advocates for measures that ensure adequate resources for health care.
Hundreds of employees and leaders from across Fairview have either visited the state Capitol in recent months to talk with lawmakers or have contacted them to explain our concerns. Learn more about these issues and consider reaching out to your elected officials to voice your opinion.
Importance of graduate medical education
Every year, we provide hands-on clinical training for hundreds of new physicians, advanced practice nurses and pharmacists. Our partner, the University of Minnesota, educates or trains 70 percent of all health care professionals in Minnesota.
Fairview is advocating that funding for graduate medical education be maintained or increased. This funding, from the state and federal government, is vital to Fairview’s goal of nation-leading research and education. It’s also a critical investment in the future of Minnesota’s health care workforce.
Opposition to mandated nurse staffing ratios
Currently, California is the only state in the country with mandated nurse staffing ratios in hospitals. There’s a lack of data to correlate ratios with safer patient care, but it’s clear ratios would add millions in costs to a health care system in which leaders and staff are already working hard to manage existing costs.
“Fairview hospitals strive for exceptional, safe patient care every day,” says Carolyn Wilson, RN, president of University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.
“Professional nurses are a vital part of our full care teams,” she adds. “We want the ability to manage staffing of our entire care team to meet the unique needs of each patient.”
Support for new state health insurance exchange
An insurance exchange is an organized marketplace that facilitates the purchase of health insurance by individuals or businesses. The Affordable Care Act—also known as “Obamacare”—calls for development of an insurance exchange in each state, and Minnesota received federal grant money to support development of its exchange.
Minnesota’s exchange must be operational by October so people can purchase coverage effective January 2014. Legislation was passed in March creating the exchange.
“The exchange is another important way for our patients and people in our communities to access insurance coverage,” says Mark Hansberry, Fairview senior vice president, Strategy, Marketing and Communications.
Watch this short video to hear Mark explain why Fairview is looking forward to having a state health insurance exchange.
Need to ensure adequate resources
Fairview also has been urging legislators to ensure adequate resources are provided to support Medicare and Medicaid coverage and provider payments, in addition to graduate medical education and indirect medical education payments, research costs and the 340B discount prescription drug program.
“In 2011, Fairview received nearly $800 million in reimbursements from government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid,” says Dan Fromm, Fairview senior vice president and chief financial officer. “These programs are essential for our patients and community. It’s vital we maintain adequate funding to sustain and strengthen our ability to achieve our mission.”