WASHINGTON – US Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) launched the Journey Nursing Company Transparency Research Act. The laws requires the Authorities Accountability Workplace (GAO) to conduct a examine and report back to Congress on enterprise practices and the results of company contracting within the well being care business throughout the COVID pandemic. -19.
The well being care business was already experiencing a scarcity of execs earlier than the pandemic, however COVID-19 has exacerbated this drawback throughout the nation, particularly in rural communities. Journey nurses have been employed to assist meet the rising calls for. Lately, there have been anecdotal stories of recruitment businesses inflating costs and monopolizing the nursing workforce, which may result in various worrying penalties for suppliers, sufferers, and payers, together with inflated nursing costs. care, a rising nursing scarcity and continued pressure on your complete well being system.
“Nurses serve on the entrance strains and supply a necessary service to our communities, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, recruitment businesses are reportedly making the most of the demand created by labor shortages, charging inflated charges and preserving a major proportion for their very own income. Such enterprise operations of those businesses may have far-reaching results on the standard of our well being care system in rural America and must be reviewed. When well being care suppliers pay itinerant nursing businesses, each suppliers and contract nurses must understand how a lot the businesses maintain. The Journey Nursing Company Transparency Research Act ensures that the enterprise practices of those businesses get the essential mild they want. The American folks and your complete well being care business deserve a greater understanding.” Senator Cramer mentioned.
The Journey Nursing Company Transparency Research Act is supported by the North Dakota Medical Affiliation (NDMA), the North Dakota Hospital Affiliation (NDHA), and the American Hospital Affiliation (AHA).
“The North Dakota Medical Affiliation helps efforts to cut back well being care prices and helps Senator Cramer’s efforts to have a look at nursing journey company practices and the way they have an effect on well being care and prices. It is a matter advanced and deserves a better look. NDMA thanks Senator Cramer for acknowledging the scenario and shifting the problem ahead,” mentioned North Dakota Medical Affiliation Govt Director Courtney Koebele.
“Hospitals in North Dakota have been already experiencing work challenges earlier than COVID-19 got here alongside and made them worse. The inflated salaries and wage disparity for employees and company nurses over the past two years have reached a disaster degree. The excessive charges paid to those employment businesses are merely unsustainable. We help Senator Cramer’s proposal to check the enterprise and fee practices of nursing staffing businesses to raised perceive how these excessive costs negatively have an effect on sufferers and hospitals and discover options that stop behaviors that solely worsen the nursing scarcity.” North Dakota Hospital Affiliation President Tim Blasl mentioned.
“Traveller nursing staffing businesses are charging hospitals and well being methods unsustainable charges throughout the pandemic. The ensuing monetary burden makes it harder to take care of the scientific workers wanted to look after sufferers, particularly in rural communities. We thank Senator Cramer for his management in calling for a complete examine of the problematic practices of those businesses,” mentioned American Hospital Affiliation Govt Vice President Stacey Hughes.
These allegations are significantly regarding given the elevated demand we’re seeing for healthcare employees in rural settings as we proceed to transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many points going through distant and rural areas, labor shortages in the end have a giant affect on rural and underserved areas like North Dakota. In keeping with the New York Occasions journal, “As ICU beds in metropolis hospitals stuffed up and nursing workers started to go away en masse, one other story unfolded of a well being care system precariously overextended in smaller hospitals throughout the nation. Rural hospitals, which for a very long time despatched their most acute circumstances to bigger hospitals, have been left with sufferers for whom they weren’t effectively geared up. Many of those hospitals, with decrease earnings and salaries, struggled to retain nurses.”
A November 2021 letter from Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Invoice Cassidy, MD (R-LA) to COVID-19 Response Staff Coordinator Jeffrey Zients said: “We’re writing to inquire concerning the excessive costs being reported for hospital nursing staffing businesses in our states, and issues that sure staffing businesses could also be making the most of these tough circumstances to extend their income on the expense of sufferers. and the hospitals that deal with them. We’ve got acquired anecdotal stories that nursing staffing businesses are grossly inflating costs, two, three or extra occasions pre-pandemic charges, after which pocketing 40% or extra of the quantity charged to hospitals within the type of earnings.
The media has reported on the advantages of itinerant nursing businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In keeping with Kaiser Well being Information and NBC, “Final yr was significantly worthwhile for employment businesses. Cross Nation Healthcare, one of many few publicly traded corporations that staffs itinerant nurses and different healthcare employees, posted a revenue of $132 million in 2021, in comparison with a lack of $13 million the yr earlier than and losses nonetheless to come back. older in 2019.” In keeping with the climate, “AMN Healthcare Companies reported gross revenue of $434 million within the fourth quarter of 2021, up 109% from a yr earlier, in keeping with an annual earnings report. His web revenue, which takes into consideration all business-related bills and taxes he needed to pay, was $116 million, a rise of 1,100%. One other healthcare staffing company, Cross Nation Healthcare, noticed income enhance 93% between the third quarters of 2020 and 2021. It additionally hit $1 billion in annual income for the primary time in firm historical past in 2021.”
Click on right here to see the textual content of the bill.