MNA Executive Director Testifies at Hearing on Health Care Costs, Stresses Need for Regulatory Oversight of Resource Allocation and RN Staffing
Massachusetts Nurses Association Executive Director Julie Pinkham, RN was invited to testify today at a hearing conducted by the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy about the issue of resource allocation under the proposed move to a global payment system for health care services. As nurses provide 90 percent of the clinical care in the current system, the MNA, as the voice of frontline nurses, has a unique and important perspective on what works and doesn’t work in the system, as well as on how it needs to be improved.
The MNA testimony focuses on three key points:
- The need to re-establish a robust Determination of Need process that ensures that health care services and resources are directed toward meeting the actual public health and medical needs of the communities of the Commonwealth, as opposed to the continuation of the market driven competition model now in place.
- The need to ensure the appropriate supply of registered nurses with enforceable RN staffing levels to ensure that care delivered in the reformed system is safe. The MNA also recommends the utilization of advanced practice nurses to help increase access to primary care, as well as access to mental health care.
- And her testimony offers a critique of the current system, as well as the flaws in the so called “global” payment approach. The MNA assessment is that the current system has not fulfilled any of its promises of improving quality or cost containment and, without increased regulatory oversight, the proposed reforms could prove to be equally ineffective.