How U.S. Hospitals Pay Nurses and Why It’s an Issue

Published by NURSE JOURNAL on 9/26/22 (Source)

Nearly a third of Americans have not sought medical care just to avoid the cost. It's no wonder why. It's difficult to predict how much you will end up spending on a visit to the emergency room or even a trip to the doctor's office. Prices vary significantly depending on where you live, what services you receive, and what kind of insurance you have.

One of the many culprits of this problem is our outdated "fee-for-service" (FFS) model that many healthcare centers in the U.S. still use.

In FFS systems, every service that a doctor orders (e.g., tests, scans, surgeries, and prescriptions) translates into a profit. So, the more doctors a facility has, the greater their profit opportunities. The result is higher-priced, lower-quality care.

But it's not just patients who are exploited in these healthcare systems. Nurses are also taken advantage of.

Staff nurses Kare Yates and Edna Cortez, co-chairs of the WSNA unit at Seattle Children's are contributors.