Legislative Priorities

As hospitals merge, convert to for-profit status, and shift care into out-patient and clinic settings, the existing safeguards and standards for staffing and patient care have clearly been shown to be inadequate.

We need laws and regulations that:

Strengthen Standards for Safe Staffing and Quality Patient Care (S989/A1470)

  • Mandate, by law, that hospitals and other healthcare institutions provide safe staffing levels;
  • Update New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) regulations to reflect staffing and quality standards of nursing professional organizations

Protect Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care By Strengthening the NJ Department Of Health’s Oversight and Enforcement Actions:

  • Require for-profit hospitals to make the same financial disclosures required of not-for-profit hospitals;
  • Reinstate hospital license renewal inspections;
  • Strengthen employee involvement in all inspections, including the right to accompany NJDOH inspectors and receive inspection reports;
  • Increase NJDOH transparency by posting citations and Plans of Correction on the NJDOH website and making them available at hospitals;
  • Mandate the NJDOH provide an Annual Report to the NJ Legislature on the results of all inspections, including enforcement actions taken.

Strengthen the Standards for Buyers of our Community Hospitals:

  • Require buyers to make a long-term commitment to maintain the hospital, its services and levels of charity care;
  • Purchase agreements must include guarantees to maintain staff and safe staffing levels, as well as abide by workplace safety laws and collective bargaining agreements;
  • Require purchasers to maintain and continue to negotiate insurance contracts to assure coverage for local residents;
  • Require a monitor for each conversion to oversee compliance with state laws and regulations for at least three years following conversion;
  • Strengthen enforcement actions, especially for patterns of violations;

As hospitals merge, convert to for-profit status, and shift care into out-patient and clinic settings, the existing safeguards and standards for staffing and patient care have clearly been shown to be inadequate.

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