The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association would be prohibited from setting rates paid to nurse staffing agencies through a group purchasing subsidiary, under a proposed settlement with the U.S. Justice Department announced late Tuesday.
The groups efforts to save money caused wages paid to temporary nurses to fall below competitive levels, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Phoenix by the Justice Department and Arizonas attorney general.
The Arizona association has agreed to the proposed settlement, which would end the practice regarding bill rates and bar the organization and its members from discriminating against agencies or hospitals that dont use the registry, according to Justice Department spokeswoman Gina Talamona.
This action allows AzHHA to continue a program that is good for hospital patients, as it demands the highest quality standards for the healthcare professionals who provide supplemental staffing in Arizona hospitals, John Rivers, CEO of the association, said in a statement. The consent decree contains no finding of wrongdoing and includes no penalties or fines. -- by Gregg Blesch