State nurses association battles managed care

The Washington State Nurses Association is taking the managed care industry head on in an attempt to limit the use of lesser skilled or unlicensed caregivers. 

The nursing group drafted the Health Care Quality Protection Act. The bill is currently being reviewed by the Washington Senate Health and Long-term Care Committee. "Nurses are increasingly afraid that the quality of health care is being compromised for the sake of increased profit," says Jan Bussert, RN, first vice president of the Seattle-based association. 

Proponents of the bill say its passage would: 

• provide formal recognition that health care providers will have clinical sovereignty over all care decisions, rather than losing that right to insurance companies; 

• require hospitals and health plans to provide the public basic information about the quality of care including the qualification of the hospital staff and objective measurements of the success of hospitals in treating patients; 

• require hospitals and health plans to provide the public basic information about costs, including where the consumers’ money goes when it is paid to a hospital or insurance plan; 

• protects health care quality and the rights of consumers by empowering health care providers to advocate on behalf of patients without fear of reprisal.