WASHINGTON – US Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) today highlighted outside groups’ support for the Travel Nursing Agency Transparency Study Act. Introduced last week, the legislation requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study and report to Congress about business practices and the effects of employment agencies across the health care industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I appreciate the strong support from a wide range of healthcare industry stakeholders for the Travel Nursing Agency Transparency Study Act,” Senator Kramer said. Nurses work on the front lines and provide an essential service to our communities, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is reported that recruitment agencies are taking advantage of the demand created by the shortage of manpower, charging inflated rates, and keeping a large percentage of their own profits. Such business operations of these agencies could have far-reaching effects on the quality of our healthcare system in rural America and should be reviewed. The Travel Nursing Agency Transparency Study Act ensures that these agencies’ business practices get the critical sunlight they need. We all deserve a better understanding.”
The healthcare industry was already under-professional before the pandemic, but COVID-19 has exacerbated that problem across the country, especially in rural communities. Travel nurses have been employed to help meet the increasing demands. Over the past few years, there have been anecdotal reports of staffing agencies inflating prices and monopolizing the nursing workforce, which could lead to a number of troubling consequences for caregivers, patients and taxpayers, including inflated care prices, additional nursing shortages, and a continuing stressful care system. entire health. Learn more here.
Senator Kramer’s legislation is supported by the following groups:
what are they saying:
“The North Dakota Medical Association supports efforts to reduce health care costs and supports Senator Cramer’s efforts to analyze travel nursing agencies’ practices and how they affect health care and costs. This is a complex issue that deserves closer consideration. The NDMA is grateful to Senator Cramer for recognizing the situation and for bringing the issue forward”, North Dakota Medical Association Executive Director Courtney Quibilly said.
Hospitals in North Dakota were already facing workforce challenges before COVID-19 made it worse. Wage inflation and the pay disparity for agency nurses and staff nurses over the past two years have ballooned to crisis level. The high fees paid to these recruitment agencies are simply unaffordable. We support Senator Kramer’s proposal to study the business and payment practices of nurse recruitment agencies in order to better understand how these extreme pricing negatively impact patients and hospitals and to find solutions that prevent behavior that only exacerbates the nurse shortage.” North Dakota Hospital Association President Tim Blastle said.
“Travel nurse recruitment agencies are charging hospitals and health systems at unsustainable rates during the pandemic. The resulting financial burden makes it difficult to maintain the clinical staff needed to care for patients, particularly in rural communities. We thank Senator Kramer for his leadership in calling for a comprehensive study of these agencies’ problematic practices. “, said Stacey Hughes, executive vice president of the American Hospital Association.
“We commend Senator Cramer for introducing this important legislation to investigate travel nurse agency practices, and encourage members of Congress to support its swift passage. Nursing homes and assisted living communities face a historic workforce shortage, forcing many to turn to temporary employment agencies in order to ensure Population access to adequate caregivers.However, many of these agencies charge two to three times more than pre-pandemic rates, draining precious resources from long-term care facilities when we prefer to invest in dedicated, full-time caregivers.?It’s time to highlight these travel nurse agencies,” American Health Care Association/National Assisted Living Center (AHCA/NCAL) President and CEO Mark Parkinson said.
“The North Dakota Long-Term Care Association is excited to support the legislation that Senator Cramer introduced called the Travel Nursing Agency Transparency Study Act. Our legislative committee has been studying this issue for over a year and has concluded that the best solution is not state but federal legislation to bring transparency and facts to this important issue. Last year, two ND nursing facilities were closed or announced to close and adequate staffing and the cost of contract nursing were central issues in both cases. We salute Senator Kramer’s action on this proposed legislation, it cannot pass soon enough,” North Dakota Long-Term Care Association President Shelley Peterson said.
“The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) commends Senator Cramer for introducing S. 4352, the Itinerant Nursing Agency Transparency Study Act, and directing the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the impact of an increase in nurses’ costs on providers. In our historically disadvantaged rural communities, the surge in Salaries coupled with increased use are causing a crisis. NRHA urges Congress to act on this important legislation to understand the impact of mobile nurses on the rural health care workforce,” National Rural Health Association CEO Alan Morgan said.
“We are pleased to offer our support for your legislation as it will help gain important insights into the unfortunate practices that have been used during the COVID-19 pandemic and identify solutions to ensure that recruitment agencies remain a reliable partner for hospitals and healthcare providers in the future,” Vizient, Inc. said. Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations Shoshana Krillo.