Economic Cost Drivers

Employee Benefits

Economic Cost Drivers

Adequate provider staffing significantly impacts both patient and nurse satisfaction and the quality of care provided to patients. Conversely, higher patient-tonurse ratios produce outcomes such as turnover, burnout, job dissatisfaction and intent to leave. Doctors and nurses have said the stress they endured during the pandemic has increased consideration around leaving the profession.

As it relates to cost, greater nurse staffing is associated with decreased risk of hospital-related mortality, hospitalacquired pneumonia and other negative patient outcomes. The opposite is also true; registered nurse shortages can lead to:

  • Lower quality of care for patients
  • Return visits to medical facilities
  • Access issues
  • Overall greater out-of-pocket costs for individuals and plan sponsors

Healthcare markets are increasingly consolidating, giving one health system control over multiple clinics, hospitals, and specialists. While consolidation efforts can extend efficiency gains, the leverage it generates can equally drive inflationary pricing and contracting pressures in a given market.

Staffing shortages, competition and supply and demand are not the only impacts on healthcare systems. Our aging population contributes considerably to healthcare spending. Since the first baby boomers turned 65 in 2011, healthcare systems have seen a higher percentage of total charges paid by Medicare compared to private payers. This means hospitals are getting paid less per charge for a larger portion of their total services delivered.

Employee Benefits Team