Are Staffing Agencies Overcharging?
Over the years, the issues among overcharging staffing agencies have become a problem. Many nurses have been asking for a better ratio and higher pay for their services, but it all seems to fall on deaf ears. Even before the pandemic, this has been an ongoing issue among the nursing community. Now that we are facing a pandemic, the same problem still exists.
In this episode, we will talk about the overcharging staffing agencies for nurses, how the pandemic affected nurses’ jobs, and even share some of our experiences as travel nurses.
In the letter, Senators Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Bill Cassidy, MD (R-La.), and Representatives Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.) wrote:
“We have received anecdotal reports that the nurse staffing agencies are vastly inflating the price, by two, three or more times pre-pandemic rates, and then taking 40% or more of the amount being charged to the hospitals for themselves in profits.”
They asked for an investigation by “one or more of the federal agencies with competition and consumer protection authority” to find any evidence of anti-competitive price patterns, price collusion, and higher pay for nurses due to the rate increases.
Our opinion is that they will find out the rates are driven by supply ad demand. There isn’t not necessarily pricing fixing or gouging going on, just a shortage of nurses.
Insider info: This started with Aya, who, at the start of the pandemic, where in New York they were charging like $350/hr bill rates. The hospital fired them and filed a complaint .
We don’t think this will have any impact on nurses as they have been underpaid for years. The market dictates the rate, not the agencies. Don’t forget that the hospitals got $35,000 for every Covid patient.
What does AMN Healthcare say about this?
AMN Healthcare is the largest travel nursing company, with a 17% market share, and most significant in allied healthcare staffing, with a 12% market share .
Kelly Rakowski, chief operating officer for strategic talent solutions at AMN Healthcare, wrote in an email to MedPage in a general response that its “pricing is agreed upon directly with our healthcare organization clients. Inflationary pressures and demand drive up the wages needed to attract clinicians to open positions. Any price increases are driven primarily by the compensation directly to healthcare practitioners.”
Several things contributed to the healthcare shortage; it was not only a national pandemic. The pandemic did two things: Increasing the direct number of patients needing care and driving some nurses out of the healthcare system due to burnout.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the seasonally adjusted number of nursing and residential care facility staff on payrolls nationwide dropped by 157,000 from October 2020 to October 2021, to just under 3 million.
Hospitals in states like Pennsylvania and Dewelare say the hospitals cannot compete with staffing agency pay rates, which makes them unable to retain local nursing staff.
Travel Nursing Fun Facts
The most popular contract spots are Texas, California, and New York.
The most popular cities for travel nurses are:
- Denver, Colorado
- New York, New York
- Austin, Texas
- Tucson, Arizona
- San Diego, California
- Dallas, Texas.
Only about 20% of people that start traveling go back to a perm job for more than two years. The highest paying contract for 36hrs is $5,000-$6,000 per week, gross .
The lowest paying contract for 36hrs is $2,000 per week, gross.
Nurses will not travel for less than $2,000 per week, gross.
To watch the full episode, click here for more 👇👇👇
0:48 Cup of Nurses Introduction
2:33 Episode Introduction
3:00 Are Staffing Agencies Overcharging?
4:03 Letter about staffing agencies that are overcharging
10:48 How travel nursing agencies work
13:33 What AMN Healthcare say about this?
23:58 Who’s paying for FEMA nurses?
26:31 Travel Nursing fun facts