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News | Financial Leadership

Healthcare News of Note: The negative impact of work on health and well-being is the No. 1 reason nurses gave for why they are planning to leave their job

News | Financial Leadership

Healthcare News of Note: The negative impact of work on health and well-being is the No. 1 reason nurses gave for why they are planning to leave their job

  • Nurses say the negative impact of work on their health and well-being is the main reason they plan to leave their current job, according to a new survey.
  • Average annual healthcare spending for people with employer-sponsored insurance increased to an all-time high of $6,001 in 2019, says a new report.
  • Climate change is taking its toll on people’s health, and the effects are likely to get worse, according to two reports released in October.

Over the last few weeks, I have found these industry news stories that should be of interest to healthcare finance professionals.

1. The No. 1 reason nurses give for intending to leave their jobs is the negative impact of work on their health and well-being, according to a survey

A plurality of nurses (46%) cite “Work is negatively affecting my health/well-being” as the reason they would leave their current job, according to a recent American Nurses Foundation survey. The other top reasons were:

  • 41% – Insufficient staffing
  • 31% – Lack of support from employer during the pandemic
  • 25% – Inability to deliver quality care consistently
  • 24% – Distrust of employer

Half of nurses surveyed could leave their current jobs within six months

Some 21% of nurses indicated they intend to leave their jobs within six months, with another 29% saying “maybe,” according to a survey of 9,572 nurses conducted Aug. 20-Sept. 2. Half of the nurse respondents said they do not intend to leave their current job.  

Top feelings nurses had within past 14 days

Regarding what feelings survey respondents had experienced in the past 14 days, the top responses were stressed (75%), frustrated (68%), exhausted (67%) and overwhelmed (62%).

The survey, which included additional questions about emotional health and trauma, is the third in a series conducted by the American Nurses Foundation since spring 2020.

2. HCCI report: Spending for people with employer-sponsored insurance increased to an all-time high of $6,001 in 2019

Average annual healthcare spending for people with employer-sponsored insurance “increased to an all-time high of $6,001 in 2019,” according to the Health Care Cost Institute’s (HCCI’s) “2019 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report.” The figure represented a 2.9% increase from 2018.

“We are publishing this report in somber times,” wrote Niall Brennan, president and CEO, HCCI.

“With the world still reeling from a once-in-a-generation pandemic, releasing data about health care utilization and spending in 2019 feels strange, and possibly even irrelevant. … In other respects, however, the detailed study of US health care spending and utilization has been rendered more important than ever as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Commercial health care spending, driven predominantly by health care prices, continues to climb at unsustainable rates.”

Other key findings

The report, which draws on data from more than 2.5 billion medical and prescription drug claims for approximately 55 million individuals, also finds:

  • Spending grew 21.8% from 2015 to 2019.
  • About two-thirds of the spending growth increase was due to hikes in service prices.
  • Average per person out-of-pocket spending totaled $829 in 2019.
  • There was a 0.7% decline in the use of services between 2018 and 2019, “attributable to a 4.9% decline in inpatient admissions in 2019.”

Brennan noted that the 2019 report describes healthcare spending and utilization in the commercial market immediately before the COVID-19 pandemic, and in early 2022, HCCI will release its report on 2020 trends, which “will begin to describe healthcare spending in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

3. Climate change is bad for health and will affect everyone, say two new reports

Climate change is taking its toll on people’s health, and the effects are likely to get worse, according to two reports released in October.

The Lancet Countdown: tracking progress on health and climate change

“All of us have been or likely will be affected by climate change, with some hazards more easily recognizable than others,” authors of the Lancet brief (log-in required ) wrote.

“While everyone’s health is already at risk, some populations bear a greater burden. Health risks from climate change escalate with increased exposure (e.g., by geography or type of work) and heightened susceptibility (e.g., with pregnancy, certain medical conditions, age).”  

The brief, which explores three interrelated hazards — extreme heat, droughts and wildfires — also urges policymakers to:

  • Make urgent investments in research and interventions that protect health and prioritize equity
  • Account for the health costs of fossil-fuel burning in decision-making
  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions rapidly, particularly in areas suffering most from fossil- fuel-related air pollution

NIHCM infographic: impact of climate change on health

“Every American faces a health risk associated with climate change,” wrote the authors of the new NIHCM infographic.

More deaths due to climate change. “Between 2030 and 2050, the World Health Organization expects approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year globally from causes related to climate change without strong, rapid and sustained reductions in heat-trapping gas emissions from burning fossil fuels,” wrote the authors.

Impacts of climate change on health. The infographic depicts the following health risks due to climate change: effects of extreme heat, population displacement from rising sea levels, changes in the distribution and burden of vector-borne and water-borne infectious diseases, occupational health dangers, undernutrition from crop failure and increases in noncommunicable diseases.

Health costs of climate change. “The often-overlooked financial costs to human health from fossil-fuel generated air pollution and climate change surpasses $820 billion in health costs each year,” the authors wrote. In addition, “The $820 billion figure highlighted in our report refers exclusively to the economic impact of premature deaths associated with fossil fuel-generated air pollution.”

More details can be found in the cited report: “The Costs of Inaction: The Economic Burden of Fossil Fuels and Climate Change on Health in the United States.”

HFMA deep dive on climate change and healthcare

“Climate Change: Could it give rise to the next viral disease outbreak?” was the cover story of our March 2020 hfm magazine. In the article, health futurist and medical economist Jeffrey Bauer, PhD, discussed what he thinks will be among the most consequential changes affecting healthcare the next five to 10 years. And a sidebar offered insight on how providers could protect themselves from the perils of climate change. 

About the Author

Deborah Filipek

is a senior editor at HFMA, Westchester, Ill.

Sign up for a free guest account and get access to five free articles every month.

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