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The California Nursing Association (CNA), a leader behind the 2000 California law requiring minimum nurse-to-patient ratios for the state’s general acute and acute psychiatric hospitals, has announced its proposal for minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratio. The ratios are based on discharge records of California hospital patients over the past six years by the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy and the diagnosis-related group (DRG) designations for the acuity of those patients.
Those ratios are as follows:
The California Healthcare Association, University of California Hospitals, Service Employees International Union, and United Nurses Association of California/Union of Healthcare Professionals also have submitted proposals for consideration by the California Department of Health Services, which expects to release draft regulations for public comment in early fall.
On March 7, Sens. Frank Murkowski, (R-AK) and John Kerry (D-MA) introduced S. 452, the Medicare Education and Regulatory Fairness Act of 2001. The bill aims to establish a health provider’s right to challenge the Health Care Financing Administration’s (HCFA) regulations, and if passed, will allow providers to contest an overpayment determination and prohibit the HCFA practice of recovering overpayments by withholding future payments.
According to Sen. Murkowski, many health care providers today are dropping out of Medicare plans for seniors because they can’t afford financially to make a mistake with respect to HCFA’s regulations.
The bill states: "Physicians and other providers of services that participate in the Medicare program often have trouble wading through a confusing and sometimes even contradictory maze of Medicare regulations. . . . Due to the overly complex nature of Medicare regulations and the risk of being the subject of an aggressive government investigation, many physicians are leaving the Medicare program, limiting the number of Medicare patients they see, or refusing to accept new Medicare patients at all. If this trend continues, health care for the millions of patients nationwide who depend on Medicare will be seriously compromised. Congress has an obligation to prevent this from happening."
For more information on this bill, go to: thomas.loc.gov.
A Harris Interactive survey of 1,663 adult Americans has found that Americans fear the 125 million people living with chronic diseases are not getting the care they need. The survey, which was done in conjunction with Partnership for Solutions, an initiative to raise awareness of the challenges faced by children and adults with chronic conditions and help policy-makers identify possible solutions, found the following information:
The study also found that nearly two-thirds of those polled who do not currently have a chronic condition believe they will develop one during their lifetime, and fear that when they do they will be unable to afford needed medical care and will become a burden to their families. The survey also found, on average, that family caregivers provide care for their loved ones for 4.5 years, with the unpaid help of four friends or family members.
People looking for executive and professional positions in the health care field should have little trouble finding a job, according to a recent hiring survey conducted by search and recruitment firm Management Recruiters International Inc. of Cleveland. The survey reported that 54.3% of the health care executives with responsibility for hiring said they plan to increase their staffs in the first half of this year, up 8.5 percentage points from the 45.8% level of the second half of 2000.
Another 42.5% of those surveyed said they plan to maintain current staff size, up 10.3 points from second-half 2000, while only 3.2% plan staff decreases, a decline of 18.8 points from last year’s second half. Across all industries, 58.8% of hiring executives projected new hires during the current half, 35.2% plan to maintain current levels, and 5.9% plan decreases.
For more information, see MRI’s web site at www.BrilliantPeople.com.