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RN told she will now get LPN wages

I am an LPN and I take care of a child in his home. The other nurse who works with this child is an RN. Mom said that the agency told the RN that if she wanted to continue with this child that she would now only get LPN wages. It's a shame to lose this good nurse. She is not going to accept LPN wages so is going to get a new case. Does this kind of thing happen very often in home care? I feel sorry for the nurse because I am sure she is very attached to this child like I am.:crying2:

No, it does not happen often, but it does happen, especially lately. RNs who are desperate for work might accept the situation, but most look for employers who respect them.

Thanks caliotter3. I'm glad to hear that it does not happen often.:mad: I bet they were thinking that she was indeed attached to the child and would accept LPN wages. I think they are going to end up regretting their decision. He is not "an easy case" and they might have trouble finding a replacement. So it sounds like this situation is just "an agency decision" and it is not a "medicaid decision." I love this child but if they ever tell me they are going to just give me "CNA wages" I will leave too.

Medicaid establishes their reimbursement rate. It is up to the agency to decide wages for their employees. The medicaid people do not care (one exception, that I am aware of, but that was an individual) what the agency pays their employees. A good example of this is overtime. Required by labor laws, but medicaid pays a set rate, they do not pay overtime rates. It is up to the agency to avoid paying nurses overtime. They can pay more, less, or equal to what the reimbursement rate would justify. Their call, and the call of the employed nurse to decide whether s/he is being paid enough.

Below I've copied and pasted a post I made on Medicaid reimbursement a while back. While no company can afford to pay the entire reimbursement they get because there of office overhead, state mandated supervisory and reassessment visits, Start of Cares etc., you can see that there is still plenty to cover that without cutting the employee wages. My agency would never ask a RN to accept LPN wages or a LPN to accept HHA wages. I'd find another agency to work for! Sometimes these things are a sign that it's time for a change. Don't short change yourself!

Kyasi

I would say the biggest money maker for a Medicaid agency is Prior Authorizations where the per hour reimbursement is $18.34/hr for a HHA, $25.01/hr for a LPN, and $37.36/hr for a RN. I'm sure this varies from state to state. The biggest reimbursement is the 'overhead' where they pay $34.30/day of service. So if the agency is paying roughly $9.50 - $10.00/hr for a HHA, $17.00 - $18.00/hr for a LPN, and $22.00 - $23.00/hr for a RN, you can see the profit.

So an example would be: let's say we provide a HHA 10h/day, 7 days per week. Reimbursement will be is $1,283.80 + overhead $240.10 = $1,523.90/week. If the average HHA pay is 9.75/hr, the pay out is $614.50/week. Toss in there minimal benefits and a very small travel reimbursement and you can see in a years time that there is a big profit. But then you do have to take into account the nursing staff who does the paperwork to obtain this funding and who do the needed start of care and follow-up visits with the clients. That's what the overhead pays for. But obviously, there is profit or the company would fold.

Thanks all so much. I talked to the RN and this is the story the agency told her. The agency told her that it had to do with the payor source. They feel if an LPN can do the job then there is no need for an RN. :confused::confused::confused:

This still sounds strange to me. Any of our field staff Skilled Nurse positions can be filled with either a RN or LPN but if this is Medicaid you are talking about, the reimbursement is commensurate to both. I just don't see how it matters unless you are talking about Medicare reimbursement, which I understand is very different.

I know a while back, Medicaid cut reimbursement to LPN's and a large HHAgency in town cut their LPN's wages by 3.00/hr. It turned out to be a huge mistake. They lost some really good, experienced nurses and they came to me. (Their loss, my gain!) Our company decided that they would ride out the cuts and that we would not ever cut our staff's wages. So pulling this kind of thing only hurts the agency in the end.

Kyasi

Thanks again. This is a medicaid client and I think the agency is lying to this nurse. I know the paperwork in the chart for this client specifically says "RN or LPN to care for the child". I am wondering if they were having problems in finding an RN for another client so maybe decided to make up this story? Or perhaps they were hoping she was so attached to this child already that she would accept LPN wages.

Bingo! It could be all of the above. The reason isn't because they don't get enough reimbursement for the RN.

Kyasi

Just yesterday I made the observation to someone that it does not make sense that one agency can pay X amount to their employees for a medicaid patient, including covering necessary overtime by following the law, while the next agency can not. It is all a matter of how the agency chooses to allocate their income and how much they respect their nurses as the basis for them being able to stay in business.

With the reimbursement rates from medicaid above it seems most of the profit is from the rn. Maybe I should have posted on this forum when it happened to me!

With the reimbursement rates from medicaid above it seems most of the profit is from the rn. Maybe I should have posted on this forum when it happened to me!

Smartnurse1982. So this has happened to you too!!!! Please tell us exactly what happened to you. I am very curious as to what lies your agency told you. Thanks.

caroladybelle specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

Medicaid establishes their reimbursement rate. It is up to the agency to decide wages for their employees. The medicaid people do not care (one exception, that I am aware of, but that was an individual) what the agency pays their employees. A good example of this is overtime. Required by labor laws, but medicaid pays a set rate, they do not pay overtime rates. It is up to the agency to avoid paying nurses overtime. They can pay more, less, or equal to what the reimbursement rate would justify. Their call, and the call of the employed nurse to decide whether s/he is being paid enough.

Good points but a small discrepancy. Per federal policies, I believe that RNs can fall in a class that actually exempts them from legally having to be paid OT. This may be stricter on the state level, but there was a big hoopla over this a few years ago. People went on and on about how it would eliminate OT pay.

That said, because of the way most RNs employed (hourly) and the policies of most facilities, RNs do get OT pay. Most places would have difficulty gettings RNs to work otherwise. But federal labor laws do not necessarily require it due to job classification.

Where I am, we have no choice. Labor laws require we pay overtime to all employees. I have employees who beg to work extra hours but not for overtime and I can't do it because of the Labor laws. They end up going to other agencies to get extra hours. I would love to be able to let them work extra without the overtime pay if they want to.

Kyasi

Smartnurse1982. So this has happened to you too!!!! Please tell us exactly what happened to you. I am very curious as to what lies your agency told you. Thanks.

It seems with private duty issues I should start posting in the pdn forum because I had posted something similiar in the general discussion board and they thought that I was attacking the lpn. They also were saying since its lpn work and I as an rn wasn't doing anything special it was ok for my agency to pay me less than the lpn,and all the yada about maybe she was a better nurse and deserved it. It was never about that but I was trying to see how I could appraoch the agency

About it.

Here is the story briefly:

I got the lpn's paycheck by mistake and found she was making 2 dollars more than me. The agency told me my wages were the going rate for rns. Since that time I had found most lpns within the same agency were getting paid 2 to3 dollars more than I. At least they could have made the pay equal.

OMG!!!!!:eek: The LPN was making $2 an hour more than you the RN!!!!!:mad: Unbelievable!!!!!! Good grief, I've never heard of such a thing. What was that agency thinking?????? Just when I think I have heard it all, I hear something else that totally blows my mind.

Well from the responses I got from the general forum,well I will just tell you some of the answers I got when I ask if I should approach the agency about finding out:

1. Someone said ill just make myself look silly because she just might be a better nurse.

2 it was my fault because I didn't negotiate my wages when I got hired.

3 because I and the lpn were doing the same work,if I wasn't doing rn work,why should I expect to get more.?

4.why should iyou get paid more? You only have a adn and you don't specialize.

Unreal! I can't believe this! The fact that you were paid less than a LPN and that others thought that was ok. Are you still working there???

Kyasi

I am an LPN and make more $$ than several RNs that I work with (I know this because one aspect of my job is to evaluate performance and help determine pay raises). My job is in management and I applied along with other RNs, but ultimately was hired over them. The highest paid nurse for our company is an LPN, she has been one for 33 years, but worked for us for only 4. She makes $37/ hr, and this is not agency pay. I felt the need to post because it always seems as if LPNs get no respect, as if what we do is not equal to what an RN does (not pointing fingers, I'm just saying). I am the boss of several LPNs and RNs - believe me, we all have the same exact job. Our staff educator is an LPN, she could answer ANY nursing question you can think of and teaches LPNs AND RNs things every day they never knew. I feel fortunate that I work for an outfit that does not share this line of thinking, and have just as much advancement opportunity as any nurse there. RN is not short for real nurse, nor is LPN short for low priority or low pay nurse, nor is LVN short for low validity nurse.

I was just talking about private duty nursing here. I think management jobs are hellish and are a whole different story. I think that LPN's who are in management should definately be paid well.

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