Mayo Clinic Threatens to Withdraw Investment in Minnesota Over Healthcare Proposals
The Mayo Clinic, Minnesota's largest private employer, has threatened to withdraw its investment in the state if lawmakers do not make significant changes to two healthcare proposals being discussed in the state's legislature. In an email to the governor's office and DFL legislative leaders, Mayo Clinic's Kate Johansen wrote, “Because these bills continue to proceed without meaningful and necessary changes to avert their harms to Minnesotans, we cannot proceed with seeking approval to make this investment in Minnesota. We will need to direct this enormous investment to other states.” Mayo Clinic has been planning a “Destination Medical Center,” a multi-billion-dollar project aimed at revamping the city of Rochester, where the health giant is located.
Mayo Clinic's concerns center around two bills, the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act and the creation of the Health Care Affordability Board. Under the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act, hospitals would need to establish committees comprising nurses and other personnel to assess staffing schedules and workload demands. Mayo suggested a noteworthy modification to the legislation that would render it exempt from said requirements. The second bill would establish a Health Care Affordability Board and penalize hospitals engaging in high-cost growth. Mayo Clinic has concerns that these bills will negatively impact access to care and its ability to transform healthcare to support its staff and meet the evolving needs of its patients.
The Minnesota Nurses Association has supported the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act, saying it is designed to retain nurses and improve staffing to protect and improve patient care. However, Mayo Clinic warned that committee-driven staffing ratios as required in the act will exacerbate current staffing challenges. Hospitals have also warned that the legislation will close beds and hurt access for some of the most vulnerable patients.
Mayo Clinic's threat to withdraw investment has caused concern among lawmakers, as the healthcare system is a significant economic driver in the state. Governor Tim Walz has said that he believes a compromise can be reached that works for everyone. However, Mayo Clinic is standing firm on its position, with Dr. Amy Williams, Mayo Clinic's chair of Midwest Clinical Practice, issuing a statement on behalf of the clinic that said, “This bill is extremely problematic and poses a huge threat to the well-being of Minnesota’s healthcare system as drafted. It must be removed from the HHS omnibus bill and consideration for Mayo to move forward with the previously stated investment.”
Lawmakers are currently working in a conference committee to reconcile differences between health bills that cleared each chamber. A compromise bill will have to pass both chambers and be signed into law by the governor before it can take effect. Mayo Clinic's investment in Minnesota hangs in the balance, with the healthcare system's decision expected to be made in a matter of days.
0. “Mayo Clinic Warns Bills Could Scuttle $Billions in MN Investments” KROC-AM, 5 May. 2023, https://krocnews.com/mayo-clinic-warns-bills-could-scuttle-billions-in-mn-investments/
1. “Mayo Clinic threatens to pull billions in investments over proposed legislation” Minnesota Reformer, 5 May. 2023, https://minnesotareformer.com/2023/05/05/mayo-clinic-threatens-to-pull-billions-in-investments-over-nurse-staffing-health-care-affordability-bills
2. “Mayo Clinic threatens to kill billions in state investment, if two health care bills pass” St. Paul Pioneer Press, 5 May. 2023, https://www.twincities.com/2023/05/05/mayo-clinic-threatens-to-kill-billions-in-state-investment-if-two-health-care-bills-pass
3. “Mayo Clinic pressures lawmakers over health budget bill” MPR News, 5 May. 2023, https://www.mprnews.org/story/2023/05/05/mayo-clinic-pressures-lawmakers-over-health-budget-bill
4. “Mayo Clinic vows to take billion-dollar project to other states if DFL moves forward on health care bills” KARE11.com, 6 May. 2023, https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/mayo-clinic-to-take-billion-dollar-project-to-other-states-if-dfl-moves-forward-on-health-care-bills/89-68659984-645a-4bad-8efd-86a34feee7d2
5. “Sen. Nelson: If Mayo Clinic and the state's care providers are sounding the alarm, then Gov. Walz and Legislators …” Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus, 6 May. 2023, https://www.mnsenaterepublicans.com/sen-nelson-if-mayo-clinic-and-the-states-care-providers-are-sounding-the-alarm-then-gov-walz-and-legislators-should-listen