Hospitals Start Transferring Sick Babies, Turning Away Ambulances – NBC New York

Time is operating out, with simply 4 days left till a potential New York Metropolis nurses’ strike at a number of main native hospitals — and one of many metropolis’s largest hospital techniques is beginning to take drastic measures.

However in a potential glimmer of hope, two extra hospitals reached offers with the union Wednesday night time, probably placing stress on the others to settle.

Till then, Mount Sinai Well being System is starting to divert “a majority” of ambulances from 4 of its services, and is transferring infants from its neonatal intensive care models to different hospital techniques, in line with a memo from hospital management to employees, a duplicate of which was obtained by Information 4.

The memo from the leaders of Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai Morningside and Mount Sinai West makes clear that almost all points within the ongoing negotiations have been resolved – however not all, and the clock is ticking.

“To do what is best for our patients, we have no choice but to proceed with our strike planning,” the memo says, outlining a collection of steps:

  • Diverting ambulances from Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai West, Mount Sinai Morningside and Mount Sinai Beth Israel
  • Cancelling elective surgical procedures, and scheduling solely emergency surgical procedures on the fundamental and Morningside services
  • Transferring some sufferers. “In addition, this – sadly – means transferring NICU babies outside the Mount Sinai Health System to ensure they get the care they so desperately need.”
  • Discharging “as many patients as appropriate” and shifting providers – inpatient care on the fundamental and West services, and emergency and youngster psychiatry on the Morningside campus

A Mount Sinai supply instructed Information 4 that there have been greater than 50 NICU infants on website, barely under the utmost capability of 64.

The supply who works within the hospital went on to say that the mother and father of these infants didn’t seem to have been notified but that their infants must be moved to a different facility — though no infants have been moved as of Thursday night.

Moreover, in line with a number of hospital insiders and union representatives, nurses within the Mount Sinai neonatal intensive care unit are livid they weren’t knowledgeable about plans to switch their frail new child sufferers to different hospitals. They stated that they came upon after it was reported by Information 4.

A number of sources additionally stated that Mount Sinai was being dishonest about transferring the NICU infants, and that it was an try by the hospital to make nurses look dangerous.

A Mount Sinai spokesperson responded, saying that the plan is to maneuver sufferers on Friday if no deal is in place.

Nurses have stated that there was some progress at some bargaining tables the place hospitals are negotiating with their respective staffs, however not sufficient progress to keep away from a strike — but.

“The New York State Nurses Association will rescind a strike notice when we reach a tentative agreement at Mount Sinai that respects nurses and our patients. Not before,” stated New York State Nurses Affiliation president Nancy Hagans.

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

The New York State Nurses Affiliation says its nurses aren’t backing down in a battle for higher wages, staffing and advantages. Rana Novini reviews.

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

The union stated Thursday morning that offers have been struck Wednesday night time at Maimonides Hospital and Richmond College Medical Heart, leaving the opposite 5 nonetheless pending.

Every of the hospitals negotiates individually with their very own nurses, so relying on how talks go, there could possibly be no strikes in any respect, a single strike or as many as 5 strikes.

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

Seven personal hospitals are on discover for a possible strike Monday morning. Melissa Russo reviews.

The nurses union stated there was not less than one signal of progress: The entire hospitals on the checklist have agreed to not reduce well being advantages. The union had stated on Wednesday that Flushing Hospital had not made such an settlement, however a hospital spokesperson on Thursday stated that they’ve “always maintained the healthcare benefits of our employees during active negotiations,” calling it “unequivocally false” that they have been contemplating reducing them.

“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 % raises over the following three years, with added incentives to retain skilled nurses. There was additionally a promise to handle continual understaffing, which was the union’s greatest criticism.

However there’s a massive 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 can not afford to pay as a lot — a giant sticking level contemplating some hospital executives are paid within the hundreds of thousands.

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. A number of the others on the checklist say they’re hemorrhaging cash, however nurses at these hospitals aren’t shopping for the argument.

In keeping with a supply conversant in Mount Sinai’s previous talks, the hospital had beforehand supplied nurses a deal that included 19.1 % raises over three years. Administration says they negotiated previous midnight on Friday with the assistance of a mediator however have been nonetheless at an deadlock over wages. That deal was greater than the one prolonged by NY-Presbyterian over the weekend.

“If Montefiore can afford to pay its executives so much, they can’t hardly cry broke when it comes to negotiate a contract with frontline nurses,” 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 keeping with 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 probably unattainable for different hospitals on the checklist, however now nurses at NY-Presbyterian might imagine twice about ratifying the deal they tentatively agreed to (voting started Tuesday night time 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 day by day updates on the talks. Whereas the hospitals concerned are all personal, which means neither Hochul nor Adams have any formal function, some have questioned whether or not they would step in to use stress or attempt to dealer a deal.

Aides to Gov. Hochul confirmed that she has been very engaged for a lot of days, circuitously on the bargaining desk however chatting with each side repeatedly and pushing each side to get to sure. The state has additionally began to evaluation the hospitals’ strike contingency plans.

“We have been working with all parties to help reach a fair resolution to keep New Yorkers and health care workers safe,” stated Hochul spokesperson Avi Small.

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

NBC New York has realized that the opposite hospitals that haven’t reached agreements with their nursing staffs are beginning to shell out tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in nonrefundable down funds to have touring short-term nurses on reserve — an enormous expense they need 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 would 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 price as a lot as $32 million to temp businesses, a value they stated might surge to greater than $90 million if the journey nurses must 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 10,000 members threatening to conduct strikes at 5 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 large bonuses to executives), and Mayor Adams’ current transfer to forcibly hospitalize psychiatric sufferers. All of these components have left staff 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 Larger New York Hospital Affiliation is pressured to arrange. Melissa Russo reviews.

In an announcement 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 large disparity between nurse pay in personal vs public hospitals, the place salaries are virtually $20,000 much less.

Supply says there’s a variety of frustration amongst docs and NICU nurses that the hospital is now asserting plans to relocate their NICU infants, as a result of they are saying there have been nurse shortages on this unit that make it not possible to take care of goal nurse to child ratios.  “They didn’t care about the staffing problems in the NICU until there was a threat of a strike.”

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

The town has already issued an advisory (however not a mandate) suggesting that individuals return to sporting masks indoors.

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