Introduced by Representatives Donahue of Northfield, Deen of Westminster, Donovan of Burlington, Grad of Moretown, Head of S. Burlington, Hosford of Waitsfield, Jerman of Essex, Kiss of Burlington, Klein of East Montpelier, Larson of Burlington, Marek of Newfane, McLaughlin of Royalton, Niquette of Colchester and Nuovo of Middlebury
Subject: Health; health care facilities; staffing ratios
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to require health care facilities to disclose the facilities’ staffing levels and the facilities’ plan to provide sufficient staffing levels for patients.
AN ACT RELATING TO DISCLOSURE OF HEALTH CARE STAFFING LEVELS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 18 V.S.A. § 9405c is added to read:
§ 9405c. HEALTH CARE STAFFING LEVEL REPORTS
(a)(1) Health care facilities shall compile a report including the following information for each unit and for the end of the prevailing shift as appropriate:
(A) the number of registered nurses providing direct patient care and the ratio of registered nurses to patients;
(B) the number of licensed practical nurses providing direct patient care and the ratio of licensed practical nurses to patients;
(C) the number of licensed nursing assistants providing direct patient care and the ratio of licensed practical nurses to patients;
(D) the number of unlicensed individuals providing direct patient care and the ratio of unlicensed individuals to patients;
(E) the number of other licensed or registered health care professionals providing direct patient care; and
(F) the methods used by the hospital for determining and adjusting direct patient care staffing levels.
(2) The health care facility shall post the report daily required by subdivision (1) of this subsection in the patient care area of each unit of the hospital and shall provide the report upon request to a member of the public. The report required by (a)(1) shall be reported monthly to the commissioner and the public oversight commission in the form and manner prescribed by the commissioner. The commissioner shall make the report available quarterly to the public by publishing the report on a public website, including a format for comparing health care facilities. The paper report shall also be available upon request.
(b)(1) Health care facilities shall develop a minimum staffing plan and report the plan to the commissioner annually. Each health care facility shall notify the commissioner of any changes occurring between reporting periods. The plan shall specify the method used by the facility for determining and adjusting staffing levels for each patient unit and the number of nonmanagerial registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed nursing assistants, other licensed or registered health care professionals, and unlicensed individuals providing direct patient care. The plan shall also include the average number of patients upon which the staffing levels are based.
(2) The commissioner shall publish the health care facility minimum staffing plan annually on a public website and shall include a format for comparing health care facilities. The commissioner shall update the website if changes are reported pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.
(c) The health care facilities shall post a notice in the patient care area in each unit of the facility stating that the staff ratio report required by subsection (a) of this section and the minimum staffing plan required by subsection (b) of this section are available upon request to the public. The information that is posted shall be displayed in a manner that is visible and accessible to all patients or residents and their families and caregivers in the facility.
(d) A health care facility which fails to comply with this section shall be subject to a fine of up to $5,000.00 per violation and shall post a notice of failure to comply in the location specified in subsection (c) of this section.
(e) For the purposes of this section:
(1) “Health care facility” shall have the same meaning as subdivision 9432(7) of this title.
(2) “Licensed nursing assistant” shall have the same meaning as subdivision 1592(1) of Title 26.
(3) “Licensed practical nurse” shall have the same meaning as in subchapter 1 of chapter 28 of Title 26.
(4) “Registered nurse” shall have the same meaning as in subchapter 1 of chapter 28 of Title 26.
Sec. 2. EFFECTIVE DATE
This act shall be effective 60 days after passage.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street