Healthcare Workers Lobby Florida Lawmakers to Call for Safe Staffing/Retention and Quality CareApril 5, 2023
There has been a purple wave of 1199SEIU healthcare workers converging at the Florida State Capitol building during the 2023 legislative session. Hospital staff and nursing home workers have met with dozens of state lawmakers to encourage them to support and implement effective solutions in Florida healthcare facilities that will respect workers (wages scales and agency pay standards), offer worker liability protections, pay staff (increased floor and ceiling wages) and include safe staffing levels (with quality incentives for employers). Healthcare workers are advocating for the following:
• Protect workers from liability if they are following a directive from a superior.
• Financial transparency by facilities and their corporate owners/operators.
• Training and career ladders for workers committed to their profession and supporting their families.
• Staffing ratios that are safe and meet national industry standards/averages.
• Eliminate wage inequity with pay scales based on experience and other meaningful metrics.
In Nursing Homes
• Prevent facility operators from double-dealing and wage theft through self-owned staffing companies.
• Ensure the Personal Care Attendant (PCA) bill does not hurt patient care by requiring reports on PCA to CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) promotion; adverse patient care/outcomes and PCA turnover rates.
• No longer allow PCAs to be counted in the minimum 2 hours of direct CNA care requirements.
• Facilities must document compliance with staffing standards, posting daily the names of licensed nurses and CNAs on duty, and maintaining compliance records for 5 years.
• Require AHCA to add a quality metric to the Quality Incentive Program recording direct care staff turnover and retention because a stable workforce increases the quality of care. Facilities earn increased reimbursement for higher retention and lower turnover.
• Require 100% of Medicaid funding for direct care in the Prospective Payment System be used for direct care.
Legislation that addresses these issues will improve quality care, staffing/retention and protect caregivers and the people they care for in our hospitals and nursing homes.