February and March are typically when we start seeing our winter sports seasons wrap up and parades of people headed to the state tournaments to cheer on their favorite teams. This is true in healthcare, with the legislative year kicking off and the anticipation of legislation that will positively influence our healthcare communities. In March, our healthcare trade associations, Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) and Leading Age Minnesota (LAM), will lead various sessions to cheer on our legislators to enact healthcare legislation supporting our healthcare organizations’ viability throughout Minnesota. Our state is expected to see an approximate $17.5 billion budget plus surplus this year. Yet, to date, there is little legislation related to assisting the spectrum of healthcare facilities to rebound from the effects of the pandemic. Recent statistics from the Long Term Care Imperative show that more than 70% of nursing facilities in MN needed to limit admissions due to workforce challenges. This, in turn, had negative effects on both families and hospitals. MHA also released a report that indicated the average hospital profit margin in MN is approximately a negative 1.5% due to the increased labor costs and inability to find post-acute care placement for patients. On Monday, March 13, 2023, there will be a delegation of healthcare workers, concerned citizens, and advocates headed down to the state capital to tell “our story” of the effects of the pandemic on our workforce, reimbursement, etc. If you are interested in joining us in person or writing a personal message to your legislator about your healthcare experience during the Covid years, please contact Kristyn Wicht, Marketing and Communications Manager, at 320-312-2111. We will assist you in getting the information and resources you need to help us in our initiative to engage our lawmakers on what is important to our healthcare community. This information is also included on our website at https://jmhsmn.org/advocacy/. We have a great community and healthcare team at JMHS, so let’s make some noise at the capital and let our voices be heard!
Kris Jacobson, LNHA, LALD, MBA