An article in the November 2007 American Jouranl of Nursing Vol. 107, No 11 discusses Class action lawsuits allege anticompetive activity. The article is written by News Director Maureen Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN.
From the article:
"In May the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Arizona sued the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association ( AzHHA), charging that it conspired to set mandatory billing rates for temporary and travel nurse staffing agencies doing business with member hospitals. On the day the charges were filed, the AzHHA agreed to stop setting uniform bill rates."
"In four nearly identical cases filed in June of 2006 on behalf of nurses in Albany, NY; San Antonio, TX; Chicago, and Memphis, TN, plaintiffs alleged that human resources staff at many hospitals in those cities exchanged detailed, non-public compensation information, agreed not to compete when recruiting or setting compensation rates for nurses, and paid nurses at the same or nearly the same rate. In fact, the Chicago suit says: "Human resources employees have been evaluated by their superiors on their ability to accomplish this RN compensation coordination." The defendants, are seeking to have the cases dismissed. Anthony David Balto, who represents one of the nurses in the AZ case, said that such conduct is likely in response to rising costs, with hospitals and hospital associations seeing nurses' wages as an easy target for budget cuts. These are among the first cases of their kind, he said."
Take the time to read the article. I believe most nurses know this is happening these articles bring the isuues to the forefront.
Wondering why even in a national nursing shortage we are still unable to move forward and take control of our professional practice environment!
The author can be reached at shawn.kennedy@ wolterskluwer.com