In-house Agency Staff
The nursing home industry often uses temporary agency nurses. Now, the industry demands federal protection from alleged price gouging. Nursing homes are upset that former employees would rather work for an agency instead of a crappy nursing home. Nursing homes are notorious for not pay a living wage or providing any benefits. Better work conditions would help too.
“Why do they like agency? Obviously, they like to get paid more, but a lot of it is also the flexibility to be able to have more control over their schedule,” one manager said. “They also tend to like the idea of moving around, going into different care settings and having the opportunity to develop their skills, perhaps across multiple different specialties in multiple different facilities.”
Some of the nursing home owners and operators launched their own staffing agencies to divert funds to related entities. In-house agency staff is less expensive than traditional agency use when regular staff calls off. Lori Porter is CEO of the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA). She warned operator-grown staffing agencies and float pools need to be cognizant of travel logistics and staff demographics.
The American Health Care Association wants the government to investigate the billing of temporary staffing agencies. In a joint letter, AHCA and the American Hospital Association complains about alleged “exorbitant staffing agency rates.” The associations argued that staffing agencies exploit the alleged shortage of caregivers.
A federal investigation into alleged price gouging tactics by temporary staffing agencies is a waste of time. The pricing is based on the free market. The group whined that providers have no choice but to pay the exorbitant rates. They could recruit, train, and retain good caregivers if they paid a competitive wage and had safe staffing levels.