Lawmakers urge White House to probe alleged price gouging by staffing agencies

A group of bipartisan lawmakers are urging the White House to investigate the "extreme prices" staffing agencies are allegedly charging hospitals during the most recent COVID-19 surge. 

The lawmakers want the White House to investigate if these agencies are taking advantage of the nationwide staffing crunch to increase their profits at the expense of patients and hospitals. 

"We have received anecdotal reports that the nurse staffing agencies are vastly inflating price, by two, three or more times pre-pandemic rates, and then taking 40 percent or more of the amount being charged to the hospitals for themselves in profits," the lawmakers said. "We have heard the amounts charged to hospitals rose precipitously when the most recent wave of the COVID-19 crisis swept the nation and the agencies seemingly seized the opportunity to increase their bottom line."

The lawmakers want the White House to enlist a federal agency to investigate the alleged price gouging to determine if the activity is anticompetitive, collusion or a violation of consumer protection laws. It also wants the White House to understand its effect on rural communities. 

The lawmakers who signed the letter are:

  • Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.
  • Sen. Bill Cassidy, MD, R-La.
  • Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif.
  • Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va.

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