County Legislature, Medina Memorial oppose mandated staffing levels at hospitals

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 December 2015 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – Medina Memorial Hospital would take a big hit financially if the state passes legislation requiring mandated staffing levels in hospitals, according the Medina Memorial’s CEO.

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature is opposing proposed state legislation that would require minimum staffing levels for hospitals and nursing homes.

“One size does not fit all,” said Legislator Lynne Johnson, who is also on the board of directors for Orleans Community Health, the parent organization of Medina Memorial Hospital.

County legislators said the legislation (click here), takes staffing decisions away from hospitals and would add $3 billion in the cost of care across the state.

“This one could close us down and bankrupt all of us,” Johnson said.

Wendy Jacobson, CEO and president of the hospital, addressed the County Legislature last week. She thanked the county officials for opposing government-mandated staffing levels.

If the state proposal goes through, Jacobson said she expects hospitals would turn to more agency staff and employees would face more overtime.

“It would be financially devastating to our organization,” Jacobson said.

The legislation would also pose increased staffing costs and demands on nursing homes.

“I can’t emphasis enough how important it is that Orleans County has its one hospital and two nursing homes,” Legislature Chairman David Callard said.

The New York State Nurses Association favors the state legislation. For more on the Nurses Association and why it backs the law, click here.