Kelly, Cassidy Urge Biden Administration to Investigate Reports of Extreme Prices from Hospital Staffing Agencies
Today, U.S. Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) wrote a letter to the Biden administration urging an investigation into reports of extreme prices being reported for nurse staffing agencies from hospitals in Arizona and other states across the country amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) also signed this bipartisan letter.
“We are writing to inquire about the extreme prices being reported for nurse staffing agencies from hospitals in our states, and the concern that certain staffing agencies may be taking advantage of these difficult circumstances to increase their profits at the expense of patients and the hospitals that treat them,” the lawmakers wrote. “…We urge you to ensure that this matter gets the attention from the federal government it merits to protect patients in dire need of life-saving health care treatment and prevent conduct that is exacerbating the shortage of nurses and continuing to strain our health care system…,” the lawmakers continued.
“Healthcare providers remain fundamental to our COVID-19 response, yet staff shortages continue to challenge hospitals and staff when they need to be focused on care for the patients and communities they serve,” said Ann-Marie Alameddin, president and CEO of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association. “The exorbitant prices charged by staffing agencies have a dire financial impact on hospitals throughout the country and take an emotional toll on permanent staff who remain steadfast at the bedside throughout the pandemic. We support this call for an investigation to ensure staffing agencies are not price gouging to profiteer off of a pandemic.”
Health care providers across the country have reported extreme physical and mental burnout, and in September 2021 alone, health care employment fell by 17,500. In the joint letter, the lawmakers noted that the persistent strain of the pandemic on health care providers has required many hospitals to rely on nurse-staffing agencies to supply urgently needed staff to care for the increasing number of patients.
Read the lawmakers’ letter HERE.