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NY bill would mandate hospital nurse staffing

ALBANY -- A bill to mandate minimum nursing staffing at New York's 185 acute care hospitals has begun advancing in the state Assembly while gathering two-dozen bipartisan sponsors in the Senate led by the Health Committee chairman.
 
Advocates say required staffing of one nurse for every two intensive-care patients and to 1-to-4 ratios in regular medical-surgical units will improve patient care, reduce deaths and re-admissions and keep hospitals financially intact. California has a similar mandate.
 
New York hospitals oppose it, saying the ratios would cost them and nursing homes about $3 billion annually, infringe on flexibility to shift staff as needed and cut some services and beds as it did in California.
 
The Assembly health and codes committees advanced the bill.
 
The Legislature's 2013 session is scheduled to end June 20.

   AP-WF-06-11-13 1421GMT