Striking nurses seek probe into Allina spending

Striking nurses at Allina Health are questioning the organization's spending, including the Minneapolis-based system's $108 million investment in medical data company Health Catalyst, according to a Star Tribune report.

The nurses argue that the investment in Health Catalyst is corporate waste that will come at the expense of workers, according to the report. But Allina officials told the Star Tribune Health that Catalyst is receiving money that the health system previously spent in-house to analyze data and reduce waste in care.

Penny Wheeler, MD, president and CEO of Allina, also noted to the publication that Health Catalyst does not play a role in setting nurse staffing. She said Allina wants to discuss a plan with the union that would involve using a separate computer "acuity" system to set nurse staffing levels based on patients' medical and psychological needs.

Roughly 4,800 nurses, represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association, began a weeklong strike Sunday at five Minnesota facilities — Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis, Unity Hospital in Fridley, United Hospital in St. Paul, Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis.

The nurses are striking primarily because Allina wants to eliminate union-backed health insurance and move the workers to plans that other health system employees receive. Allina anticipates saving $10 million a year in savings from the switch.

According to the report, representatives from the MNA leaders also have asked Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson to audit Allina.


More articles on human capital and risk:

Allina, striking nurses at odds over quality of replacements
Nurses at Illinois hospital file complaint over recent 'boot camp' training
Kaleida Health reaches tentative labor deal covering 7,500 employees


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