Stethoscope on dollars It is reasonable to anticipate that, in the near future, providers will demand rate hikes to cover their increased overhead.

Four months ago, a Morning Consult poll reported that, since February 2020, almost one in five (18%) health care workers had quit their jobs due to the pandemic. Then a USA Today/Ipsos Poll found that 23% of health care workers say they’re likely to leave health care soon.

As it turns out, these figures are misleading. Relatively few health care workers have left the industry entirely. Most who have moved have gone to higher-paying health care jobs. A recent Altarum Institute analysis found that hospitals’ workforces fell only 1.8% since February 2020. A December Washington Post article reports that hospital staff nurses are tripling their hourly rate by taking travel gigs with short-staffed health care organizations. A just-out New Jersey Hospital Association survey estimated that its members’ 2021 spending for agency and travel staffing grew three-fold over the previous year, consuming an additional $450 million.

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