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AMN Survey: Nurses to Have Bigger Impact on Hospital Revenue
Date:11/12/2008

'Never Events' to Enhance Nurses' Role as Rainmakers

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- New payment systems being implemented by Medicare will enhance the role of nurses as hospital revenue generators, according to a new survey.

Conducted by AMN Healthcare, the largest healthcare staffing company in the nation, the survey of 305 hospital Chief Nursing Officers (CNOs) looks at hospital nurse staffing patterns and the emerging role of nurses as financial rainmakers.

CNOs were asked about an ongoing Medicare effort to tie hospital reimbursement to patient satisfaction scores as tracked through the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. Sixty-two percent of CNOs surveyed indicated that patient satisfaction-based payment systems would enhance the status of nurses.

CNOs also were asked how Medicare's 2008 Inpatient Prospective Payment System rules, which stipulate Medicare will not pay hospitals for care provided to patients as a result of various hospital-acquired conditions known as "never events," will affect the status of nurses. Over 54 percent of CNOs said the new rules would enhance the status of nurses.

"Many hospitals in the past have considered nurses to be a cost," notes Marcia Faller, Chief Nursing Officer of AMN Healthcare. "Under the new payment systems, they are more likely to be seen as an investment."

According to Faller, hospitals with a full complement of nurses may be less likely to experience costly "never events" than hospitals that are understaffed. In addition, patient satisfaction scores may be higher in hospitals fully staffed with nurses than in hospitals that are understaffed. In both cases, hospital revenue will be more dependent on nurses than it has been in the past, according to Faller.

CNOs responding to the survey generally agreed with this statement. When asked how the new payment systems will affect the way nurses are viewed at their facilities, 70 percent of CNOs said nurses will be considered more important as a source of revenue.

The survey also asked CNOs to comment on their use of travel nurses. Over 62 percent of CNOs said their hospitals had used travel nurses to supplement their staffs during the last 12 months. About 44 percent of CNOs indicated their facilities currently are using travel nurses. When asked to rate the quality of travel nurses, over 70 percent of CNOs rated travel nurses as either "excellent" or "good," about 28 percent rated them as "fair," while less than two percent rated travel nurses as "poor."

Complete results of the survey are available on AMN Healthcare's web site at http://tinyurl.com/6g5cvd.

AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. is the largest healthcare staffing company in the United States and the largest nationwide provider in all three of its business segments: travel nurse and allied staffing, locum tenens staffing (temporary physician staffing), and physician permanent placement services. AMN Healthcare recruits healthcare professionals both nationally and internationally and places them on variable lengths of assignments and in permanent positions at acute-care hospitals, physician practice groups and other healthcare settings throughout the United States. For more information, visit http://www.amnhealthcare.com.


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SOURCE AMN Healthcare Services, Inc.
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