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Strikes, cuts, reform... and the state of patient care

Posted at 9:28 PM on June 15, 2010 by Michael Caputo

Are health care "turf wars" blocking discussions about improving patient care? Are there new worries for those in group insurance plans because of the new federal health care reform law?

That's just a couple of points raised in our latest InSession discussion on the state of patient care.

The labor struggle in the Twin Cities between nurses and hospitals spurred on the live conversation.

But a close reading of the discussion unearthed how the real conversation needs to be much wider. "Patients have to take more responsibility for their health," said one panelist in the online discussion held June 18.

We also heard about conditions for nurses in the hospitals, and the funding hit hospitals took because of cut in state funding to a program that pays medical care for some poor people.

The write up that previewed this discussion

MPR had a commentary (mid-June) that said the nurses dispute isn't the classic labor vs. management situation. It's about how health care services are being stretched too thin.

The nurses in the Twin Cities remain engaged in a labor dispute and hope to get the hospitals back to the bargaining table.

But there is so much more altering health care in Minnesota. The state just cut by 75 percent General Assistance Medical Care - the program that funds care for poor single adults. Hospitals are still trying to adjust.

And, of course, the federal government enacted health care reform, which also changes the dynamic.

June 2010
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