Without commenting on nurses' worth -- and we all know they deserve more jingle in their pockets -- increased pay certainly affects hospital bottom lines.
I just recieved a new report that is being distributed to the media today (Monday) by the unbiased Center for Studying Health System Change. Its entirety is embargoed for release by all media until Wednesday, but here are the first couple of paragraphs:
Spending on health care jumped 10 percent in 2001, the
first double-digit increase in more than a decade, according to a study bythe Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).
Driven by increased use of services and higher prices (payment rates), spending on inpatient and outpatient hospital care climbed 12 percent in 2001, accounting for more than half, or 51 percent, of the overall health care spending increase.
"People are getting more tests and treatments as managed care plans
abandon tight restrictions on care, but higher hospital prices are playing a role as well in rising costs," said Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., president of HSC, a nonpartisan policy research organization funded exclusively by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
You will find the complete story posted here
There have been 12 HMOs close or leave California, the richest state in the country, so far this year. It's an obvious problem that we're going to hear a lot more about in coming months.