Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

04/11/2009 03:00 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
HB 50-LIMIT OVERTIME FOR REGISTERED NURSES                                                                                    
4:42:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  50,  "An Act  relating  to  limitations  on                                                               
mandatory overtime  for registered nurses and  licensed practical                                                               
nurses in health care facilities;  and providing for an effective                                                               
4:43:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PEGGY  WILSON, Alaska State  Legislature, declared                                                               
that HB 50 was a patient and  nurse safety bill.  She referred to                                                               
the earlier hearing  on the bill, and announced  that the changes                                                               
to the bill addressed the four major concerns.                                                                                  
4:44:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HERRON said  that he  would continue  to work  with the                                                               
sponsor on HB 50.                                                                                                               
4:45:16 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  DAVIS, President,  Alaska Nurses  Association (ANA),  said                                                               
that the ANA  was aware of the proposed changes  to the bill, and                                                               
that  the  ANA supported  the  bill.    She stated  that  nurses,                                                               
employers,  and  health care  facilities  should  all assure  the                                                               
safety  of patients.    She declared  that  a statewide  standard                                                               
would  protect  patients  and nurses,  and  that  patient  safety                                                               
should  not be  a negotiable  issue.   She expressed  support for                                                               
flexible  staffing,  and said  that  employers  and nurses  could                                                               
agree on  the shift length.   She  pointed out that  an important                                                               
part of HB 50 was the  protection against retaliation for a nurse                                                               
who spoke  up for  safety.   She noted  the challenges  for rural                                                               
staffing.   She directed attention  to the limitations  placed by                                                               
other professions to  the number of hours worked.   She said that                                                               
ANA had worked  for five years to limit excessive  work hours and                                                               
overtime, and that ANA offered its support for HB 50.                                                                           
4:51:16 PM                                                                                                                    
LANETTA  LUNDBERG, Director,  Human Resources,  Ketchikan General                                                               
Hospital,  said  that HB  50  placed  unwarranted regulation  and                                                               
management, and  that it was  a response to  isolated situations.                                                               
She opined that HB 50 was  structured for a few people, but would                                                               
place an undue hardship on the majority.                                                                                        
4:53:23 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  SMITH, Tanana  Chiefs Conference  (TCC), explained  that                                                               
Tanana  Chiefs  Conference (TCC)  was  a  tribal consortium  that                                                               
provided health  care services to the  Interior Native community.                                                               
He acknowledged  the shortage  of nurses, but  stated that  HB 50                                                               
exacerbated the  problem for  Native non-profit  health services.                                                               
He directed  attention to  the unique challenges  of Alaska.   He                                                               
listed  some of  the  TCC major  concerns  for regulation,  which                                                               
included  the application  to federal  facilities and  the Indian                                                               
Health Services.   He noted the ambiguity for travel  time in the                                                               
proposed bill.   He offered to listen to  the proposed amendments                                                               
and then  to work  with the  sponsor for  changes that  would not                                                               
adversely affect rural healthcare providers.                                                                                    
4:58:22 PM                                                                                                                    
STACY  ALLEN, Health  Care Representative,  said that  HB 50  was                                                               
about patient  safety.   She stated  that unlimited  overtime was                                                               
not a safe nursing practice.  She offered support for HB 50.                                                                    
5:00:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN noted that he  had a conflict of interest, as                                                               
his daughter was a registered nurse.                                                                                            
5:00:31 PM                                                                                                                    
JUANITA DIAMOND  stated that  the bill was  for the  promotion of                                                               
better patient  care and nurse safety.   She pointed out  that 15                                                               
states had  already adopted similar  legislation.  She  said that                                                               
she supported HB 50.                                                                                                            
5:01:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTINA  VANCLEVE, RN,  said  that  the passage  of  HB 50  was                                                               
crucial  to protect  the health  and safety  of Alaskans,  and to                                                               
protect the occupational safety of nurses.                                                                                      
5:02:54 PM                                                                                                                    
PATRICIA  SENNER, RN,  said that  HB 50  had a  lot of  workforce                                                               
implications.  She  noted that the average age of  nurses was 48,                                                               
and that  extending the number  of hours worked could  impact the                                                               
decisions for nurses  to stay in the work force.   She noted that                                                               
younger nurses  had families  and could not  work long  hours and                                                               
overtime.  She  shared an example of mandated  overtime at Alaska                                                               
Psychiatric  Institute which  resulted  in the  departure of  the                                                               
young nurses.   She stated that  the other states in  the Pacific                                                               
Northwest had eliminated mandatory overtime.                                                                                    
5:04:35 PM                                                                                                                    
DEBBIE  THOMPSON, Executive  Director, Alaska  Nurses Association                                                               
(ANA), said that ANA supported  HB 50, and she offered assistance                                                               
with the draft work for any changes to the bill.                                                                                
5:05:30 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHLEEN   GETTYES,  President,   Providence  Registered   Nurses                                                               
Bargaining  Unit, Providence  Hospital, shared  a personal  story                                                               
about nursing care.  She spoke in  support of HB 50, and she said                                                               
that Alaskans  should expect that  nurses are alert  and properly                                                               
rested.   She stated that HB  50 would protect the  patients, the                                                               
nurses, and the health care facility.                                                                                           
5:08:02 PM                                                                                                                    
LEE  ANN COX,  Human  Resources Manager,  Wildflower Court,  said                                                               
that  Wildflower  Court  opposed  HB  50.    She  explained  that                                                               
Wildflower  Court  did  not  have   any  mandatory  overtime,  or                                                               
mandatory on-call, and  did not have any complaints.   She stated                                                               
that HB 50 "would eliminate  our ability as a healthcare provider                                                               
to responsibly staff in a time of  need if it was to arise."  She                                                               
detailed its  staffing schedule  options.   She pointed  out that                                                               
the  bill   would  set  a   needless  precedent   for  government                                                               
intervention  for Wildflower  Court, and  many other  facilities.                                                               
She  questioned the  need to  report on  a non-existent  issue at                                                               
Wildflower Court, especially with  the myriad of already required                                                               
reports and forms.                                                                                                              
5:12:28 PM                                                                                                                    
ANGEL  DOTOMAIN,  President &  CEO,  Alaska  Native Health  Board                                                               
(ANHB), agreed  with the concerns  raised by other  tribal health                                                               
care services.   She  acknowledged the concerns  by the  ANA, and                                                               
its  goal to  improve  the  workplace and  patient  safety.   She                                                               
listed the concerns of ANHB,  to include: similar legislation had                                                               
not  been  implemented in  any  rural  states;  there was  not  a                                                               
documented need for HB 50, as  the shortage of nurses allowed the                                                               
freedom to move; ANHB organizations  did not agree that mandatory                                                               
overtime  was an  issue,  as there  were  existing processes  for                                                               
addressing  nurse concerns;  the  exemption  for some  facilities                                                               
raised legal questions,  especially for any impact  on the Alaska                                                               
Native  Medical  Center  (ANMC)   Level  II  trauma  center;  the                                                               
legislation did  not address  the regional  recruitment concerns.                                                               
She commented  on the onerous and  costly reporting requirements.                                                               
She  explained that  the Fair  Labor Standards  Act was  recently                                                               
revised to  recognize the  need for  flexibility with  some nurse                                                               
scheduling.  She pointed out  that Tribal Health facilities would                                                               
be adversely  impacted by HB  50.  She  offered to work  with all                                                               
the stakeholders to meet the needs for patient safety.                                                                          
5:19:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HERRON  asked  to  see some  data  that  supported  the                                                               
assumption that patient  safety was at risk.  He  referred to the                                                               
current  bargaining discussions  between Providence  Hospital and                                                               
its  nurses, and  questioned whether  mandatory  overtime was  an                                                               
5:21:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  referred to  a power  point and  a nurses'                                                               
survey [included in  the members' packets.] and  pointed out that                                                               
these were a good source for many answers.                                                                                      
5:22:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  expressed  her   concern  for  the  rural                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE WILSON  acknowledged that there was  a problem for                                                               
the rural areas, and she  posed the possibility that an exemption                                                               
might be allowed.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA said  that  she would  like  to work  with                                                               
Representative Wilson on that possibility.                                                                                      
5:23:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON  reflected that  it was  important to  not create                                                               
two types of nurses, based on federal and private facilities.                                                                   
5:24:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  expressed   concern  with  the  allowable                                                               
working hours and the reporting requirements of HB 50.                                                                          
[HB 50 was held over.]                                                                                                          
5:25:00 PM                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
50.PDF HHSS 4/11/2009 3:00:00 PM