Mount Sinai Health System fined $2M for understaffing nurses

Over the past few weeks, arbitrators have ordered New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System to pay more than $2 million in fines for understaffing nurses in units at three of its hospitals, the New York State Nurses Association said in a Feb. 20 news release.

On Feb. 2, an arbitrator found "persistent understaffing" of shifts in the emergency department at Mount Sinai Morningside, the union said. The hospital was first cited for the issue last June, and the arbitrator ruled it did not hire enough new nurses to improve staffing practices over the past six months. Morningside was fined nearly $934,000 and was also ordered to hire up to 94 full-time employees. 

Mount Sinai West was also fined $957,050 after an arbitrator cited similar staffing issues in a Feb. 9 ruling. Mount Sinai Hospital was fined $240,000 for "persistent staffing violations" in its oncology unit. 

The arbitration awards will be paid out to nurses who worked understaffed shifts, the union said. This marks the eighth time the health system has been fined for staffing policies since a new contract for NYSNA nurses was approved in January 2023. 

A spokesperson for the health system sent the following statement to Becker's

"Hospitals everywhere have grappled with nursing and other healthcare worker shortages, and these are not challenges unique to any health care provider and have been well documented across the city, state and country. We are confident that Mount Sinai is appropriately resourced to provide excellent care as we continue to recruit top caregiver talent and maintain the highest standards of clinical quality for our patients."

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