The Federal Trade Commission should use its authority to protect skilled nursing and assisted living operators, as well as consumers, from direct care staffing agencies “charging supercompetitive prices to desperate LTC centers that simply need workers,” American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living President and CEO Mark Parkinson wrote Tuesday to FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan.
Parkinson requested the commission’s assistance “with an anticompetitive practice with direct care staffing agencies.”
In spite of boosts from the Provider Relief Fund and the development of vaccines to fight COVID-19, the CEO said, “the LTC sector remains in grave danger,” and some providers are being taken advantage of. Given the ramifications of the delta variant “explosion” and vaccine mandates, the long-term care industry “is in the midst of the perfect storm and will be on the verge of collapse if the workforce decline is not properly addressed by the federal government,” Parkinson said.
State affiliates of AHCA / NCAL, he said, are working for “legislative fixes to prevent these agencies from charging double to quadruple plus of what operators pay their staff.” The agencies do not pass the extra money to the workers, who make only a fraction of what the agency is charging the provider, he said.
“Our providers have little choice but to pay the exorbitant prices and hope that the agency does not poach their staff once in the building,” Parkinson added.