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(Quartz)   Hospital admins, after years of sending out inflated bills, discover the other side of "Your money or your life"   (qz.com) divider line
    More: Ironic, Health care, Patient, intensive care nurse, Health care provider, Hospital, St. Anthony Hospital, Nursing, hot spot New Jersey  
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6342 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Dec 2020 at 3:30 AM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-12-04 2:26:51 AM  
Oh they can afford it, they just don't want to. Trim a few executives and you free up several million.
 
2020-12-04 3:36:16 AM  
So nurses are finally getting paid what they deserve to be paid every other week of the year? Good.
 
2020-12-04 3:43:47 AM  
We can expect that the administrators will pass the "savings" for this onto us.
 
2020-12-04 3:57:15 AM  
Well obviously you cannot expect a city in the Dakotas to pay the $8000/wk a nurse can get in... Fargo?
 
2020-12-04 4:08:35 AM  
Cool
 
2020-12-04 4:16:27 AM  
FTFA: Earlier, in New Jersey, [Claire Tripeny] was scarred by the times she couldn't give people the care they needed, not to mention the times she would take a deceased patient off a ventilator, staring down the damage the virus can do as she removed tubes filled with blackened blood from the lungs.

She has to pay for mental health therapy out-of-pocket now, unlike when she was on staff at a hospital. But as a so-called traveler, she knows each gig will be over in a matter of weeks.

At the end of each week in New Jersey, she said, "I would just look at my paycheck and be like, 'OK. This is OK. I can do this.'"


Taking things one day at a time seems to be a useful coping method. I never thought I'd see it apply to nurses.
 
2020-12-04 4:17:39 AM  
If there is some immunity derived from exposure and infection, then this was bound to happen. From the time of the bubonic plague, people figured out that once you had been infected and recovered, your value as a medical worker, or worker of any kind, shot way up.

Certainly anyone willing to work in these conditions with the necessary knowledge and training is being snapped up. I hope they ask for the moon and get it.
 
2020-12-04 5:10:04 AM  
"Nurses quit, join traveling nursing companies and go work for a different hospital down the street, making two to three times the rate," he said. "So, it's really a kind of a rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul staffing situation."

Or, instead of that awful analogy where an employee is stolen from one company to go work in the same industry for another company, perhaps we could celebrate American freedom in the marketplace. After all, a person is so free they can choose to go work somewhere that values them more. They aren't being stolen at all!
Indeed, the market has decided that nurses are in such demand, that they should work to hire them at competitive market rates.

In this instance, competitive market rates are wages in competition with other healthcare providers who potentially charge high rates for services, as opposed to how it was previously competing with minimimum wage to cost of living wages.

Wait. Sorry. I forgot. American exceptionalism, especially as it pertains to the free market, is only patriotic and to be celebrated when the company wins. If the independent owners of labor (simple people!) knew their value and went to work for a fair representation of the profits they made, why, there would be less profits for companies! And what a tragedy that would be!
 
2020-12-04 5:25:06 AM  
I guess it sucks when the workers can use the free market.
 
2020-12-04 5:47:12 AM  

PerryWinnwet: Or, instead of that awful analogy where an employee is stolen from one company to go work in the same industry for another company, perhaps we could celebrate American freedom in the marketplace. After all, a person is so free they can choose to go work somewhere that values them more. They aren't being stolen at all!


A friend of mine - an American Jesuit priest, as it happens - once said "The core economic tenet of Thatcher and Reagan was that to incentivise the rich you pay them more and to incentivise the poor you pay them less." We're always told that CEOs deserve enormous pay because there is a shortage of talent in the field; it's only fair that that should apply to nurses as well.
 
2020-12-04 5:49:40 AM  

EvilEgg: Oh they can afford it, they just don't want to. Trim a few executives and you free up several million.


This. CEO of the last system I worked for made 7 million a year. And fired underpaid housekeepers for taking home pop cans for the recycling money. Another of the ever popular religious hospitals of course.
 
2020-12-04 5:54:52 AM  
You can bet that after this is over hospital administrators will blackball these nurses as payback.
 
2020-12-04 6:16:17 AM  

EvilEgg: Oh they can afford it, they just don't want to. Trim a few executives and you free up several million.


Between the dozens of useless middle men, profits to investors, and insurance administration, the majority of the $2 trillion or so we spend every year on health care is wasted. It's the least efficient, most expensive, and worst outcome of any so called developed nation (we are ranked 27th next to Slovenia).  Our life expectancy is actually decreasing thanks to the opioid and covid-19 crisis but it's also an effect of weak leadership at the federal and state levels.
The idea that workers have to either take a pay cut or not get paid for doubling their hours is obscene, especially since the money to pay them is abundant in the system.  Why do we protect the useless middle men at a massive cost to society?
Second, the federal government has abandoned their responsibilities in regards to OSHA.  Those employers knowingly placed their employees at high risk of death or permanent disability to cut costs.  Fark that.  Those health care workers are doing the right thing in our 19th century garbage regulatory environment.  The voters in those states are also getting the health care system they deserve.
 
2020-12-04 6:20:03 AM  
$7k a week is one of the reasons hospital bills are so high.
 
2020-12-04 6:45:46 AM  
So, if I'm reading this right, all the hospitals in the rural red bits of the USA are losing their nurses to the urban and bluer parts that can afford to pay them?

What's the downside?
 
2020-12-04 6:45:59 AM  

sinner4ever: You can bet that after this is over hospital administrators will blackball these nurses as payback.


Nope. Nursing has seen a shortage for the last 20 years. The hours suck, the pay sucks, the stress is terrible, the emotional price tag is more than most people are willing to pay. I'm relatively new to the industry, but I see the toll it takes on young people they're just getting into it. Right now in our hospital we have enormous turn over. A lot of the nurses that are leaving had plans to leave Before Covid hit. The only reason they were acting on it now is the financial incentive is there to make the move. We are actually importing nurses right now from anywhere we can get them. People understand that the decisions nurses make aren't on a personal level, in most cases. I can't think of a single nurse that's left here in the last six months that I wouldn't take back in a heartbeat.
 
2020-12-04 6:54:18 AM  
 Those rates continued would lead to a glut of people educating themselves to be nurses. If you thought your pay was poor before, just wait until there is a pool of fresh faces willing to take the job for half the price.

Horrible situation all around but I completely understand people "getting while gettin's good."
 
2020-12-04 6:57:20 AM  

starsrift: FTFA: Earlier, in New Jersey, [Claire Tripeny] was scarred by the times she couldn't give people the care they needed, not to mention the times she would take a deceased patient off a ventilator, staring down the damage the virus can do as she removed tubes filled with blackened blood from the lungs.

She has to pay for mental health therapy out-of-pocket now, unlike when she was on staff at a hospital. But as a so-called traveler, she knows each gig will be over in a matter of weeks.

At the end of each week in New Jersey, she said, "I would just look at my paycheck and be like, 'OK. This is OK. I can do this.'"

Taking things one day at a time seems to be a useful coping method. I never thought I'd see it apply to nurses.


That traveling gig (not just for nurses, but also techs) seems to be really popular right now.  Singles who want to get away from their hometowns can spend 3 months at a time living in different cities, try out different locales.
is night and day.

/not much nightlife in many of those at the moment
 
2020-12-04 7:04:29 AM  
They're poaching nurses now? Damn!
 
2020-12-04 7:08:24 AM  
Ive seen just about 100% turnover in the ICU on my floor When this started up the young nurses took off to New York and California They came back and did a few shifts for a week or two and then they were gone again The more senior nurses have had to step up a notch The ones that used to walk around in street clothes are back in scrubs for now

NOT AN ADMINISTRATOR just a personal observation from a guy just trying to keep the lights on around here
 
2020-12-04 7:13:14 AM  
Good nurses make the worst situations feel infinitely better. I have been very fortunate with my experiences in the hospital and really hope that something good comes of this. Hearing that they are forced to use duck tape in order to repair ppe is awful.

I wish our government could figure this all out.
 
2020-12-04 7:14:57 AM  

EvilEgg: Oh they can afford it, they just don't want to. Trim a few executives and you free up several million.


Spelled prison wrong.
Ghouls.
 
2020-12-04 7:19:49 AM  
Well sure, you *could* pay nurses more, but what if we gave more bonuses to the top executives? That could work too. Maybe we should try that before wasting all that money on nurses.
 
2020-12-04 7:54:20 AM  
A bidding war?

I'll pay 16.25 an hour.

Oh yeah, well, I'll pay 16.50!

Oh, now it's on! 2/hr hazard pay.

Ooooh. Well, 18.52!
 
2020-12-04 7:56:22 AM  

MythDragon: Well sure, you *could* pay nurses more, but what if we gave more bonuses to the top executives? That could work too. Maybe we should try that before wasting all that money on nurses.


media2.giphy.comView Full Size
 
2020-12-04 8:03:19 AM  

ghost_who_walks: So nurses are finally getting paid what they deserve to be paid every other week of the year? Good.


I'm not sure nurses deserve to be paid $8,000-$10,000 a week.
 
2020-12-04 8:13:00 AM  

DammitIForgotMyLogin: So, if I'm reading this right, all the hospitals in the rural red bits of the USA are losing their nurses to the urban and bluer parts that can afford to pay them?

What's the downside?


You are an Asshole....Karma is creeping around your window....
 
2020-12-04 8:18:18 AM  

debug: ghost_who_walks: So nurses are finally getting paid what they deserve to be paid every other week of the year? Good.

I'm not sure nurses deserve to be paid $8,000-$10,000 a week.


It's a skilled labor job that requires 6-8 years of school, is physically difficult, requires both meticulous attention to detail and high level people skills, and puts the worker at risk of acquiring infections such of HIV, MRSA, that influenza, and o Covid on a regular basis.

If nurses don't deserve 10000/week, then who does?
 
2020-12-04 8:23:31 AM  

wingedkat: debug: ghost_who_walks: So nurses are finally getting paid what they deserve to be paid every other week of the year? Good.

I'm not sure nurses deserve to be paid $8,000-$10,000 a week.

It's a skilled labor job that requires 6-8 years of school, is physically difficult, requires both meticulous attention to detail and high level people skills, and puts the worker at risk of acquiring infections such of HIV, MRSA, that influenza, and o Covid on a regular basis.

If nurses don't deserve 10000/week, then who does?


Plus they deal with all of the sick/dying body's effluent.  That alone should command big money.
 
2020-12-04 8:26:17 AM  

Hey Nurse!: sinner4ever: You can bet that after this is over hospital administrators will blackball these nurses as payback.

Nope. Nursing has seen a shortage for the last 20 years. The hours suck, the pay sucks, the stress is terrible, the emotional price tag is more than most people are willing to pay. I'm relatively new to the industry, but I see the toll it takes on young people they're just getting into it. Right now in our hospital we have enormous turn over. A lot of the nurses that are leaving had plans to leave Before Covid hit. The only reason they were acting on it now is the financial incentive is there to make the move. We are actually importing nurses right now from anywhere we can get them. People understand that the decisions nurses make aren't on a personal level, in most cases. I can't think of a single nurse that's left here in the last six months that I wouldn't take back in a heartbeat.


My wife was a floor nurse for about 15 years and left after our last new-city move to work in pharma reporting, and watching her shake loose of the hospital floor over the next three months was like watching someone recover from a long-term abusive relationship.
 
2020-12-04 8:26:32 AM  
Oh look another story about Colorado and it's stagnant wages. Colorado seen a massive influx in business commerce's  and population yet businesses don't adjust their wages accordingly. I wonder where all that money is going?
 
2020-12-04 8:27:59 AM  

wingedkat: debug: ghost_who_walks: So nurses are finally getting paid what they deserve to be paid every other week of the year? Good.

I'm not sure nurses deserve to be paid $8,000-$10,000 a week.

It's a skilled labor job that requires 6-8 years of school, is physically difficult, requires both meticulous attention to detail and high level people skills, and puts the worker at risk of acquiring infections such of HIV, MRSA, that influenza, and o Covid on a regular basis.

If nurses don't deserve 10000/week, then who does?


Nobody?

But sure, if you want to pay nurses $520,000 dollars a year, go for it.  Think your insurance is expensive now?  Boy are you going to be in for a surprise.
 
2020-12-04 8:29:45 AM  

2fardownthread: people figured out that once you had been infected and recovered, your value as a medical worker, or worker of any kind, shot way up


My understanding is Ebola confers about 3 months of immunity before it wanes. People who survive are put to work helping care for patients in Ebola wards.
 
2020-12-04 8:32:12 AM  

sinner4ever: You can bet that after this is over hospital administrators will blackball these nurses as payback.


Then they'll end up with a shortage of nurses have have to hire the same nurses as traveling nurses at higher rates.
 
2020-12-04 8:41:10 AM  
How dare those peasants subject Job Creators to market forces.
 
2020-12-04 8:42:51 AM  
You know why the bills are inflated?   Medicare, and the law.

Medicare sets the prices it will pay for a procedure by a "conversion factor", and that factor is *NOT* adjusted for inflation:

https://bulletin.facs.org/2019/09/med​i​care-physician-payment-on-the-decline-​its-not-your-imagination/

So the doctors and hospitals have to wildly inflate the cost of everything in order to get the government to cover the *ACTUAL* cost.   They have to, because the people on Medicare and Medicaid don't have excess money to cover the rest of the actual cost if the government only covers some fraction of it.  So if they charged what an appendectomy might actually cost, plus a small profit, the government might only reimburse them for half that, and they'd be stuck.

But if they charge double the actual cost+small profit and the government only reimburses for half that, everything works out in the end.

There's just one small problem.  *BY LAW*, hospitals and doctors can't charge cash customers or other insurance companies less than they charge the government.   Insurance companies can either negotiate lower prices with the doctor and/or hospital, or they can pass the extra cost on to you, or a combination of both.   And some hospitals are willing to accept less for cash customers to settle their bills, but federal law says they have to *CHARGE* equally.

But the 10 or 15% you save by using cash still represents a massive overpayment compared to what the government and insurance companies pay.

.
 
2020-12-04 8:44:25 AM  

Marcos P: They're poaching nurses now? Damn!


There's nothing unusual about nurses in hot tubs.
 
2020-12-04 8:45:44 AM  
What could be more American than capitalism in its purest form? Now with Trump supporters choking on gurneys forgotten in ambulance bays. That's fine, they don't believe in COVID anyway.
 
2020-12-04 8:49:53 AM  

debug: ghost_who_walks: So nurses are finally getting paid what they deserve to be paid every other week of the year? Good.

I'm not sure nurses deserve to be paid $8,000-$10,000 a week.


Are you suggesting that we should have a maximum income law?

Keep in mind that it would apply to everyone.
 
2020-12-04 9:00:19 AM  

dittybopper: You know why the bills are inflated?   Medicare, and the law.

Medicare sets the prices it will pay for a procedure by a "conversion factor", and that factor is *NOT* adjusted for inflation:

https://bulletin.facs.org/2019/09/medi​care-physician-payment-on-the-decline-​its-not-your-imagination/

So the doctors and hospitals have to wildly inflate the cost of everything in order to get the government to cover the *ACTUAL* cost.   They have to, because the people on Medicare and Medicaid don't have excess money to cover the rest of the actual cost if the government only covers some fraction of it.  So if they charged what an appendectomy might actually cost, plus a small profit, the government might only reimburse them for half that, and they'd be stuck.

But if they charge double the actual cost+small profit and the government only reimburses for half that, everything works out in the end.

There's just one small problem.  *BY LAW*, hospitals and doctors can't charge cash customers or other insurance companies less than they charge the government.   Insurance companies can either negotiate lower prices with the doctor and/or hospital, or they can pass the extra cost on to you, or a combination of both.   And some hospitals are willing to accept less for cash customers to settle their bills, but federal law says they have to *CHARGE* equally.

But the 10 or 15% you save by using cash still represents a massive overpayment compared to what the government and insurance companies pay.

.


That's true Medicare prices are absolutely set too low. Anyone who is serious about universal healthcare, as I am, must recognize this problem. It needs to be addressed.

We also need to get away from this typical American mindset that it is always better to pay less. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for. The last thing we want is a nationwide is a discount, blue-light special healthcare system.

So, we need to raise Medicare/Medicaid payouts substantially;
Increase and guarantee base rate pay for nurses at $50 per hour;
Guarantee base rate par for doctors at $100 per hour;
Insure that every county - no matter how rural or poor - has at least a two doctor clinic with an appropriate nursing staff;
Slightly increase the number of medical school seats available and consider a scholarship program that can be repaid with a year of service in a less desirable area for every year of medical education funded.
 
2020-12-04 9:02:37 AM  
And this is why my folks' nursing home has half the nurses & CNAs that they need... and the CNAs they do have are under-trained, glorified burger-flippers about 30 seconds after being shown how to empty a bedpan for the first time.

It's not like they can demand Medicare and Medicaid start paying more.  So everyone left for the higher pay, if they were going to be exposed to COVID-19 anyway.

This is why federal leadership means something.  This could have been foreseen, and even if not, it could have been addressed after the first few months.  A tiny piece of that 1.2 trillion giveaway would've stopped the place from turning into a glorified, shiat-stained warehouse full of frazzled, pissed-off people working their 3rd double in a row.
 
2020-12-04 9:25:48 AM  

debug: ghost_who_walks: So nurses are finally getting paid what they deserve to be paid every other week of the year? Good.

I'm not sure nurses deserve to be paid $8,000-$10,000 a week.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-12-04 9:30:52 AM  

debug: ghost_who_walks: So nurses are finally getting paid what they deserve to be paid every other week of the year? Good.

I'm not sure nurses deserve to be paid $8,000-$10,000 a week.


As I am told by the bigwigs, it's not about what you deserve, it's about what you can negotiate.
 
2020-12-04 9:32:12 AM  
Travel nursing is definitely a lucrative gig, but usually it doesn't come with benefits like vacation and employer paid insurance. So get that bread while you can! Just hope that this pandemic ends soon and that our lawmakers can do something about the healthcare disparities. But that's a wet dream.
 
2020-12-04 9:35:50 AM  

Hey Nurse!: sinner4ever: You can bet that after this is over hospital administrators will blackball these nurses as payback.

Nope. Nursing has seen a shortage for the last 20 years. The hours suck, the pay sucks, the stress is terrible, the emotional price tag is more than most people are willing to pay. I'm relatively new to the industry, but I see the toll it takes on young people they're just getting into it. Right now in our hospital we have enormous turn over. A lot of the nurses that are leaving had plans to leave Before Covid hit. The only reason they were acting on it now is the financial incentive is there to make the move. We are actually importing nurses right now from anywhere we can get them. People understand that the decisions nurses make aren't on a personal level, in most cases. I can't think of a single nurse that's left here in the last six months that I wouldn't take back in a heartbeat.


I've worked at a hospital for 10 years and this is the exact opposite of what I've witnessed.  My sister is a nurse as well and she can concur.  The only thing she disliked was while in school, having to work night shifts.  For those nurses afraid to work because of covid, she tells them to suck it up because that's what you went to school for.  I'm all for nurses getting better pay for covid, because a lot of those nurses are working far more than your standard 40 hours.  But, to even say their pay is "mediocre" much less underpaid, well, I wonder where this circle jerk for nurses is coming from.  I suppose it's true people love a good righteous fury even when they know it's not so righteous.  Not to mention, and here's where I could have some confusion, a lot of these nurses spent their time gossiping and getting knocked up by any doctor they could latch themselves onto (not all, but those stories of an entire nursing team being pregnant at the same time are there for a reason).  Maybe this is just the associate degree level nurses and the bachelor's degree ones are of a significantly higher caliber?  I don't know.

Anyway, since we seem to be mid circle jerk here...

/fame on.
 
2020-12-04 9:45:39 AM  

Bruscar: debug: ghost_who_walks: So nurses are finally getting paid what they deserve to be paid every other week of the year? Good.

I'm not sure nurses deserve to be paid $8,000-$10,000 a week.

Are you suggesting that we should have a maximum income law?

Keep in mind that it would apply to everyone.


Not at all, you asked who I thought "deserved" to make over half a million dollars a year.  I don't think anybody deserves to make that much.
 
2020-12-04 10:04:27 AM  

Hey Nurse!: sinner4ever: You can bet that after this is over hospital administrators will blackball these nurses as payback.

Nope. Nursing has seen a shortage for the last 20 years. The hours suck, the pay sucks, the stress is terrible, the emotional price tag is more than most people are willing to pay. I'm relatively new to the industry, but I see the toll it takes on young people they're just getting into it. Right now in our hospital we have enormous turn over. A lot of the nurses that are leaving had plans to leave Before Covid hit. The only reason they were acting on it now is the financial incentive is there to make the move. We are actually importing nurses right now from anywhere we can get them. People understand that the decisions nurses make aren't on a personal level, in most cases. I can't think of a single nurse that's left here in the last six months that I wouldn't take back in a heartbeat.


In April when the shiat was really starting to hit the fan, one of our local hospital systems quietly changed the rehire policy to require that employees give a one month notice instead of two weeks in order to be eligible for rehire. HR only told upper management about the change. So nurses trying to leave with a two week notice were unknowingly burning that bridge.
 
2020-12-04 10:15:48 AM  

debug: wingedkat: debug: ghost_who_walks: So nurses are finally getting paid what they deserve to be paid every other week of the year? Good.

I'm not sure nurses deserve to be paid $8,000-$10,000 a week.

It's a skilled labor job that requires 6-8 years of school, is physically difficult, requires both meticulous attention to detail and high level people skills, and puts the worker at risk of acquiring infections such of HIV, MRSA, that influenza, and o Covid on a regular basis.

If nurses don't deserve 10000/week, then who does?

Nobody?

But sure, if you want to pay nurses $520,000 dollars a year, go for it.  Think your insurance is expensive now?  Boy are you going to be in for a surprise.


These nurses are paid that because no one else will work for cheaper. No business jacks up salaries for shiats and giggles. They generally pay as little as they can. When there is a shortage of supply and a heightened demand the cost naturally rises.

Why do you hate the free market?
 
2020-12-04 10:19:53 AM  

Alwysadydrmr: Hey Nurse!: sinner4ever: You can bet that after this is over hospital administrators will blackball these nurses as payback.

Nope. Nursing has seen a shortage for the last 20 years. The hours suck, the pay sucks, the stress is terrible, the emotional price tag is more than most people are willing to pay. I'm relatively new to the industry, but I see the toll it takes on young people they're just getting into it. Right now in our hospital we have enormous turn over. A lot of the nurses that are leaving had plans to leave Before Covid hit. The only reason they were acting on it now is the financial incentive is there to make the move. We are actually importing nurses right now from anywhere we can get them. People understand that the decisions nurses make aren't on a personal level, in most cases. I can't think of a single nurse that's left here in the last six months that I wouldn't take back in a heartbeat.

In April when the shiat was really starting to hit the fan, one of our local hospital systems quietly changed the rehire policy to require that employees give a one month notice instead of two weeks in order to be eligible for rehire. HR only told upper management about the change. So nurses trying to leave with a two week notice were unknowingly burning that bridge.


Seems kinda illegal
 
2020-12-04 10:26:22 AM  
Hospital administrators are used to getting reamed for pricing.  For a mid sized hospital, EPIC charges $50 million for the software to run the hospital plus pretty hefty annual support.  Hospital beds?  Those run about $25,000 each, and they are typically leased.
 
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