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I read this article and the comments about VMS/MSP programs. I would like to comment from a nurse’s perspective. One of the writers commented that the agencies should be considered and treated more fairly…WELL WHAT ABOUT THE NURSES WHO DO ALL THE WORK???? I have worked agency on and off for the last 10 years and I think I have very good relationships with two agencies that I primarily work with. Since the advent and proliferation of these programs we, the nurses , have not received any pay rate increases from our agencies , in fact , they have come to the nurses many times and actually reduced our pay rates. The story goes like this , “ Acme Hospital just signed on with Broadlane, or some other vulture organization, and they have reduced our bill rates across the board by $8.00 - $10.00 an hour and therefore we must reduce your pay rate because we cannot continue to pay you what we were paying you given the devastating reduction in bill rates”. You know what I tell my agencies when they tell me that, I tell them “do not call me for assignments at those facilities”. I think it is ridiculous that  agencies agree to these kind of reductions ……and as I understand it , not only are their rates reduced they also have to pay the VMS company something like 3 or 4 % of their sales. What are they ….STUPID??? I would like to say to my fellow nurses, wise up! Don’t you see what these programs are doing to the nurses? They are, in effect, suppressing our pay rates, which to me seems illegal. So even if your agencies are not smart enough to realize they should just say no to these bad programs ……..we the nurses should be smart enough to say NO, we won’t work at facilities that use these programs. I understand that hospitals are under a lot of pressure to reduce costs but we are not a commodity, we are professionals who deserve to be treated like professionals and not like bedpans or syringes. Only when  facilities cannot get their needs filled will they realize that they cannot get away with this and go back to working directly with the agencies and coming up with agreements that are fair  for everyone. Right now it seems to me , the hospitals get cheap rates , the VMS operators get money for doing nothing and the agencies and nurses who do all the work get screwed. WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE ?? Don’t you see that by agreeing to these reduced rates we are undermining and cheapening our profession. I really think this is a conspiracy to suppress pay rates. Once the hospitals suppresses agency  pay rates they take away the attractiveness for nurses to work agency which forces the nurses to take staff jobs… and when a hospital has its staff jobs filled they eliminate the pressure of giving their staff nurses increases. We nurses are strongest when we have options, these programs ultimately take away our options and play right into the hands of the hospitals. And if agencies keep agreeing to these bad programs they will ultimately go out of business and then the hospitals will really control us. From what I understand the nurses in administration and on the floor at these hospitals have very little to say about these programs, I think they value us , but unfortunately it is the bean counters at the hospitals who do not care about us or about quality that drive these programs ……..they really do look at us like we are bedpans that can be purchased cheaper by the dozen. It is sickening!

1 year, 10 months ago on Why Small Healthcare Staffing Firms Should Take a Stand on VMS/MSP