Hospitals Start Canceling Elective Procedures, Discharging Patients As Soon as Possible to Prep – NBC New York


Time is working out, with simply 5 days left from the potential for New York Metropolis nurses happening strike at seven main native hospitals — however the nurses union says not all of these hospitals have been on the negotiating desk on Wednesday.

Hospital sources instructed NBC New York that starting Thursday in preparation for a possible strike, hospitals will start what they name “decanting” their services. Which means they’ll begin canceling elective procedures — together with some pretty vital procedures — and discharging sufferers as early as clinically attainable in an effort to get the affected person depend down.

Moreover, sources accustomed to the scenario stated that Mount Sinai Hospital has requested that the FDNY divert ambulances away from one among their campuses, in anticipation of the strike. That diversion has not but taken place nonetheless, and it wasn’t clear if the hearth division had authorized the hospital’s request.

Nurses have stated that there was some progress at some bargaining tables the place hospitals are negotiating with their respective nurses, however not sufficient progress to keep away from a strike — but. It was not instantly clear why hospitals have been taking breaks from the talks with a deadline looming, and solutions supplied to NBC New York from the hospitals have been obscure. Nurses, in the meantime, have stated they need talks to proceed across the clock, if vital.

“Nurses feel abandoned and disrespected by their bosses,” stated nurse Nancy Hagans. “We held the hands of dying patients, set up last FaceTime calls so dying patients could say goodbye to their loved ones.”

Seven personal hospitals (Montefiore, Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Morningside and West, Maimonides, BronxCare, Richmond College Medical Heart and Flushing Hospital Medical Heart) are on discover for a possible strike beginning the morning of Jan. 9 — a transfer that may ship already busy hospitals into full-on disaster mode, and doubtlessly have a devastating affect on care.

“It could be an enormous public health calamity,” Ken Raske of the Higher New York Hospital Affiliation beforehand instructed NBC New York. He has described the temper as amongst hospital managers as “extremely apprehensive.”

Every of the hospitals negotiates individually with their very own nurses, so relying on how talks go, there might be no strikes in any respect, a single strike or as many as seven strikes.

Fewer than six days to negotiate so as to cease the nurses strike. Melissa Russo experiences.

The nurses union stated there was not less than one signal of progress: The entire hospitals on the record apart from Flushing Hospital have agreed to not reduce well being advantages.

“There has been some offers and progress but we are not there yet,” stated Hagans.

As of Wednesday, all eyes are on New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the nurses there. There was a tentative deal reached over the weekend that, if accepted, would give nurses 18 p.c raises over the following three years, with added incentives to retain skilled nurses. There was additionally a promise to deal with power understaffing, which was the union’s greatest criticism.

However there’s a giant caveat: NY-Presbyterian is broadly thought of to be the richest hospital within the metropolis, and never all hospitals are in the identical monetary scenario. Whereas all of the hospitals have stated they’re negotiating in good religion, some stated they cannot afford to pay as a lot — a giant sticking level contemplating some hospital executives are paid within the tens of millions.

Smaller so-called “safety net” hospitals are extra reliant on decrease reimbursement charges for the care they supply, like by means of Medicare or Medicaid. Among the others on the record say they’re hemorrhaging cash, however nurses at these hospitals aren’t shopping for the argument.

In accordance to a supply accustomed to Mount Sinai’s previous talks, the hospital had beforehand supplied nurses a deal that included 14 p.c raises over 4 years — a deal that nurses rejected, and it was noticeably decrease than the supply prolonged by NY-Presbyterian.

“It’s not really up to us whether we walk out. It’s up to the bosses,” stated Hagans.

Whereas it stays to be seen whether or not the nurses at NY-Presbyterian will settle for the supply, Montefiore Hospital stated Wednesday that nurse representatives at their hospital had rejected a deal that mirrored the one NY-Presbyterian supplied. A spokesperson for the hospital stated that nurses have been supplied “an 18 percent wage increase over three years, fully funded healthcare for life, and a significant increase in registered nurses in the emergency departments, among other benefits.”

That growth could spell bother for different hospitals given the monetary panorama. In accordance to the Montefiore spokesperson, NY-Presbyterian posted $200 million in income in 2022 whereas Montefiore posted $200 million in losses. That type of deal was thought of doubtlessly unattainable for different hospitals on the record, however now nurses at NY-Presbyterian might imagine twice about ratifying the deal they tentatively agreed to (voting started Tuesday evening and concludes Saturday).

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s workplace has stated beforehand that they’re “monitoring the situation.” Sources stated that each Hochul and NYC Mayor Eric Adams are getting common each day updates on the talks. Whereas the hospitals concerned are all personal, that means neither Hochul nor Adams have any formal position, some have puzzled whether or not they would step in to apply strain or strive to dealer a deal.

New York-Presbyterian has a tentative settlement with nurses to keep away from a strike, however there are 7 different hospitals who should not in the identical scenario. NBC New York’s Melissa Russo experiences.

NBC New York has discovered that the opposite hospitals that haven’t reached agreements with their nursing staffs are beginning to shell out tens of tens of millions of {dollars} in nonrefundable down funds to have touring short-term nurses on reserve — an enormous expense they have to shoulder, even when no strike takes place.

The GNYHA stated doing so works in opposition to the curiosity of the nurses within the union as a result of it forces hospitals to spend cash that might go to the nurses — nevertheless it additionally will increase the leverage of nurses as soon as the strike discover is issued. One nurse concerned in negotiations estimated the price of commerce nurses is round $10,000 every week per journey nurse. The New York State Nurses Affiliation estimated that the mere menace of a strike has already value as a lot as $32 million to temp businesses, a value they stated might surge to greater than $90 million if the journey nurses have to fill in for 5 – 6 days.

“Our ERs are backed up, the tripledemic is raging,” stated Raske. “Even if one hospital would have a strike, it could ripple through the entire system.”

The New York State Nurses Affiliation has as many as 12,000 members threatening to conduct strikes at seven respective hospitals the place contracts expired on Dec. 31.

The union says members are upset about staffing ratios on the native hospitals, contract proposals that they really feel dramatically worsen their healthcare advantages (whereas paying massive bonuses to executives), and Mayor Adams’ latest transfer to forcibly hospitalize psychiatric sufferers. All of these parts have left employees overworked and burnt out.

“We’re not able to clean the patient on time, not able to give medicine on time, no breaks,” stated Allen. “Burnout was real, so we leave the profession and go to work at a travel agency that’s going to pay us more.”

With as many as 12,000 nurses threatening to stroll off the job on January ninth, the Higher New York Hospital Affiliation is compelled to put together. Melissa Russo experiences.

In a press release Monday, a spokesperson for Mount Sinai stated that their bargaining groups “continue to make good-faith efforts to pursue a contract with NYSNA that is fair to our community and responsible with respect to the long-term financial health of our organization. Mount Sinai nurses deserve the best possible working environment, wages, and benefits, and we’re tirelessly pursing these to all our employees’ advantage.”

The assertion added that the hospital system is “prepared for staffing changes, and we will do our best to ensure our patients’ care is not disrupted and will do everything possible to minimize inconvenience to patients.”

The typical wage for nurses in New York is $93,000, and $98,000 in NYC, nurses union and the GNYHA confirmed. Nonetheless, there’s a massive disparity between nurse pay in personal vs public hospitals, the place salaries are virtually $20,000 much less.

All of this comes as the town offers with what’s being known as a tridemic – simultaneous and severe spikes in infections with COVID, the flu and the respiratory situation RSV.

Town has already issued an advisory (however not a mandate) suggesting that folks return to sporting masks indoors.

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