Nursing shortage critical part of rising health costs - page 3

There are several reasons for the continually escalating health care costs: The increased development and use of clinical and operational technology. Higher employment costs due to the shortage... Read More

  1. by   live4today
    Hi Rickprn

    I live up North, but just finished a travel nurse assignment a couple months ago out in California. I love California by the way.

    When I say there is no nursing shortage, I am referring to the many nurses seeking employment in this country who are not being hired.
    It's not just "location" as to why nurses don't get hired; it has a lot to do with all the media hype surrounding the bullcrap being fed to them by hospital heads who want the public to think they are doing all they can to rectify the situation. I know of one hospital who recently fired a lot of nurses just so they could build their women's center, and another nearby hospital that just closed. Why???? Beats me!

    Then, when nurses do land a job today, many of them can't stand the drama behind the hospital walls to stomach being on their job so they leave.

    I am NOT loving nursing today the way I did back in the late eighties and mid-nineties. I'm so disgusted with the way nursing has become today. It's sad. No nursing autonomy today. Seems to me nurses have just become "slave workers" to the upper headmasters who rake in all the money, and fail to recognize the worth of a nurse.
  2. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from cheerfuldoer
    I agree with those who say "There is NO nursing shortage!"

    I'm also sick of hearing about "the age of nurses being a problem".
    Who makes it a problem? Certainly not the ones that are "older" who continue to bust their buns in this high stress job we identify as "nursing".

    If there is a nursing shortage, then why am I out of work? Nuff said. :stone
    I agree.
    Why is our average age coing up every year?
    Because new nurses do not stay at the bedside.
  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    "Nursing shortage critical part of rising health costs"

    Sorry, THESE facilities can't logically blame the nurses for their obscene profits:

    If the links to the summary and full report don't work use this:

    New Study on 4,000 U.S. Hospitals Documents How High Hospital Charges Fuel National Healthcare Crisis
    For a summary of the report click here For the full text of the report click here

    New research on pricing practices of over 4,000 hospitals across the U.S. documents that huge markups in charges to patients, especially for prescription drugs, medical supplies, and surgeries, are a major factor in exacerbating the nation's health care crisis and the pricing scandal that has prompted hearings, lawsuits and a growing public outcry.

    The research is contained in the second annual report on charges by the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy (IHSP), commissioned by the California Nurses Association. It underscores that high prices are directly linked to industry profits and the increased corporatization of the healthcare industry, and correlates hospital markups to other healthcare industry pricing practices, especially by the pharmaceutical giants.

    The nation's most expensive - and least expensive - hospitals

    Included in the report is a listing of the nation's 100 most expensive and 100 least expensive hospitals, the top 10 most expensive hospitals by state, and the 40 hospitals that charge the most for operating room services, prescription drugs, and medical supplies. The research is based on federal cost reports with aggregated data for over 30 million patient discharges in fiscal years 2002-2003 filed for all patient services and other financial categories for 4,100 U.S. hospitals.

    Overall, the nation's 100 most expensive hospitals marked up their gross charges an average of 673% over their costs - meaning the average top 100 hospital would bill $673 for a patient's case where the actual costs were $100.

    The national average for all 4,184 hospitals surveyed was a 232% markup, a 13% increase over the national average for the prior IHSP report. The increase was even greater for the 100 most expensive hospitals, a 28% jump over the prior IHSP/CNA survey.

    Among the highest markups are those that have become the major profit centers for hospitals - charges to patients or health plans for prescription drugs, medical supplies or operating room services.

    For the top 40 hospitals, the study found medical supply markups of up to $9,593%, drug charge markups as high as 6,796%, and operating room markups of up to 1,950%. In other words, the hospital that leads in supply charges puts an average sticker price of $9,593 on supplies that cost the hospital on average $100. On drugs, the national average sticker price was a 399% markup - an increase of more than 50 points over prior IHSP findings.

    Other highlights of the report include:

    Hospitals that charge the most tend to make the most profits or net income. The hospitals ranked in the top 10% of markups on charges reported an average of $14.8 million in profits. The bottom 10% in charges reported average financial net loses of $159,000.

    Hospitals that are part of systems and large hospitals tend to have higher markups on charges than independent and small hospitals. For-profit hospitals had the highest average sticker prices, a 351% markup, while government hospitals had the lowest average charges of 185% over their costs.

    Contrary to the argument that an unfettered market reduces costs, Maryland, the most highly regulated state on healthcare in the U.S., had the lowest state average markups on charges over cost, an average of 120% - with no effects on profitability, about two thirds of Maryland hospitals were profitable, right at the national average.

    New Jersey, California, Florida, and Pennsylvania are the most expensive places to get sick. New Jersey hospitals marked up their charges over costs by an average 415%.

    The IHSP study cites the list price charged by hospitals. Typically Medicare as well as HMOs and other large third party payers negotiate discounts on final payment. But high charges also prompt higher payments by Medicare and the other payers, a fact increasingly recognized in the current national debate on charges.

    However, the list price is the charge demanded of the uninsured, one reason for the widespread scrutiny and lawsuits over hospital billing practices.

    Massive markups by pharmaceutical corporations

    Drug companies have been shown to mark up their prices over costs fueled by the unprecedented economic concentration among big pharmaceutical firms. Fifty companies now control two-thirds of the world's pharmaceutical market, and five of the 10 largest firms have recently merged.

    As these firms consolidate and gain market power, they can more easily dictate higher drug prices, and fan consumer demand for name drugs through massive advertising campaigns. HMOs and health plans respond to the price hikes with their own premium increases and tightening up drug formularies available to plan members.

    "The battle among HMOs, Pharmas and Hospitals to enrich and/or protect their market shares, revenues and profits" is a key factor in driving up overall healthcare costs, increasing the ranks of the uninsured, and fostering a growing healthcare crisis, writes IHSP executive director Don DeMoro.

    "Tough restrictions on price gouging, which should be applied to all segments of the healthcare industry are long overdue. But that step will fall far short of resolving the broader healthcare crisis unless accompanied by fundamental overhaul of our market driven healthcare system," said CNA President Burger, RN.
  4. by   teeituptom
    Quote from spacenurse
    I agree.
    Why is our average age coing up every year?
    Because new nurses do not stay at the bedside.

    Im so excited about my age going up

    1 nore year and I get the senior citizens discount at Golf courses and theaters :hatparty: :hatparty: :hatparty:
  5. by   MN_Steve
    I live in Rochester, MN and am just finishing an ADN. I am a middle aged, second career nurse.

    The Mayo Clinic has rejected all of my applications and has told me point blank 'We prefer BSN's, come back when you get a year of experience.'
    There don't seem to be a lot of jobs in the 50 mile radius for 2 year RN's.

    I used to be an engineer and may be able to find an engineering job. What would any of you think of me going for an engineering job and then chipping away at a BSN at night so I could try to re-enter nursing in 2-3 years?

    Quote from cheerfuldoer
    I agree with those who say "There is NO nursing shortage!"

    I'm also sick of hearing about "the age of nurses being a problem".
    Who makes it a problem? Certainly not the ones that are "older" who continue to bust their buns in this high stress job we identify as "nursing".

    If there is a nursing shortage, then why am I out of work? Nuff said. :stone
  6. by   tencat
    I think there's a nursing shortage in some areas of the country, and there is a surplus in other areas. For example, Hospitals in Albuquerque, NM are trying to hook students before they finish a nursing program. Some will pay for your education with a stipulation that you work for them for 2 years. The community hospital in my town is always hiring nurses from staffing agencies. So, I think there's a shortage in New Mexico.

    I used to be from Spokane, WA and I think there is currently a surplus of nurses there. A couple of months ago I read that one of the big hospitals there laid off something like 100 nurses, who mostly were LPN's, I think. So it's probably harder to get a job right now in Spokane. It just all depends on where you are in the US as to whether or not there's a "nursing shortage".
  7. by   Jessy_RN
    Quote from Norbert Holz
    The "Nursing Shortage " is a misnomer! There is no shortage of Registered Nurses. There could be one some time in the future in some places. Market forces will easily be able to solve these perceived shortages!

    Blaming nurses for the rise in healthcare costs is a severely flawed leap of logic! Nurses have been severely underpaid for decades - perhaps since nursing began.

    If anything nurses contribute significantly to the containment and limit the rise in health care costs. Registered Nurses - in properly staffed patient care situations save far more that mere money we save lives and suffering!

    I am growing weary in defense of the Nursing profession. Countless administrators, academics and observers proclaim the alleged shortage. There is no shortage!

    If and when Registered Nurses are ever compensated with an appropriate amount. The supply will simply increase.

    I would like to make a contrast. There is a car shortage! There are not enough new full size sedans available for me to buy for $7,000.

    Car shortage, car shortage car shortage!

    Seems silly doesn't it? There is no real shortage of full size sedans. Purchasing an auto like a Ford Crown Victoria is done with consideration of market forces. Ford sets the price at what they believe the market will pay for such a vehicle. They also make as many as they think can be sold.

    Nursing services are a market commodity. If there is a shortage then real wages will rise. If an abundant supply is available prices, cost, will remain fairly stable just as they seem to have been for the past twenty years or longer.

    If and when a "Nursing Shortage" happens then compensation - for the actual nurse - will rise accordingly! Anyone seen a substantial raise lately? I sincerely do not believe that is the case.

    Brian please save the "Nursing Shortage" hype for those who are ignorant of facts. Stop spreading the rumors propagated by employing entities who's only desire is to have an overabundant supply of nurses to choose from while compensation proffered barely elevates them out of poverty!
    Makes sense to me. I know tons of qualified seasoned nurses who are without a job and everytime they apply they are told the spots have been filled and it is untrue. I can see where your view is coming from and makes total sense to me. I love your post