The high cost of losing nurses to administration

The U.S. is facing a critical nursing shortage in the near future that threatens the quality of patient care and the healthcare system as a whole

In today’s healthcare environment, being a “frontline” nurse is often no longer a long-term career goal, but rather a stepping-stone to other things. As a result, traditional nursing is becoming devalued as a career and an increasing number of nurses today are leaving the bedside for advanced practice or administrative positions.

Experienced bedside nurses are a resource we can’t afford to lose. Not only do lower nurse-to-patient staffing ratios translate to better patient outcomes, high nurse turnover costs organizations a significant amount of money, both in terms of the financial burden of training new staff and the consequences of increased mistakes and reduced patient satisfaction.

What’s caused this shift from nurses spending their careers in traditional nursing roles to seeking more nontraditional positions?

Burnout

While physician burnout has been recognized as a “public health crisis” (with good reason), cite this without the “good reaso” tag the cite to “public health crisis” many nurses also experience burnout with feelings of emotional exhaustion, compassion fatigue and a lack of professional accomplishment. A recent study by RNnetwork found that “in 2018, 62 percent of nurses felt regularly burned out in their jobs and 44 percent of nurses believed that burnout had affected their work performance.”

A leading cause of nursing burnout is increased workload in the face of due to staffing shortages. Endless paperwork and EHRs that are disruptive to their workflow leave many feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, they are forced to combat the constant inefficiencies of dealing with health insurance companies on the phone as they watch their time with patients diminish daily.

Staffing shortages and “churn”

As more nurses move on to administrative positions or change professions, tenured staff must constantly orienting waves of new nurses. This a churn that places even more undue burden on experienced nurses in an already stressful workplace, them away from the bedside and continuing the cycle.

Physical demands

Nursing is a physically demanding job. As the weight of the average patient increases many nurses are choosing to leave the bedside for a desk job to avoid, or as a result of suffering, physical injuries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, eight out of 10 nurses say they regularly work with musculoskeletal pain and 24 percent say they have taken sick leave or changed shifts to recover from an unreported injury.

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Larry Hightower

Founder & CEO

An acknowledged industry innovator, Larry has spent his career improving clinical and economic outcomes through disruptive medical technologies and high value healthcare services. He founded Vxtra in 2005 to address the financial inequities, opaque practices, and technological challenges associated with the health benefits large, independent medical practices offered their employees. Leveraging his experience and relationships with entrepreneurial physicians nationwide, Larry continues to spearhead the search for financial and technology-based solutions designed to improve the delivery of healthcare benefits for our clients.

William E. Pritts, II

Chief Financial Officer

A results-driven leader, Bill is responsible for the oversight of Vxtra’s financial matters, as well as developing business forecasts to meet the company’s future operational needs. In addition to senior partnership positions with Ernst & Young during his career, Bill has a demonstrated success in corporate acquisition and development for both public and venture-backed private companies. He has served as both a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant.

Elizabeth Gordon

Vice President of Operations

With a background built on understanding physician/patient relationships, Elizabeth is responsible for managing the company’s operations team. In her role, she develops benefit plan design, funding rates, and renewal strategies. In addition she leads a team focused on delivering timely plan performance metrics and analytics. Versed in ACA and HR compliance, she is certified by the the National Association of Health Underwriters as a Self-Funding Professional.

Carmen Michea

Client Services Manager

An award-winning customer service specialist, Carmen is exceptional at developing and customizing service packages based on each client’s unique needs. In her role she assists clients with on general benefit questions, claims resolution, billing questions, and enrollment issues.

Emily Rathvon

Senior Healthcare Analyst

Emily is responsible for building and managing the distribution of our performance reports and supporting our big data analytics deliverables for our clients. Additionally, she  creates and maintains internal and external reports to assist senior management in decision-making, overseeing quality assurance, and data analytics.

Contessa Rollins

Client Services Specialist

With a background in organizational and multitask management, Contessa places a high priority on customer service and client relationships. She is focused on enrollments, billing and handling service issues for all clients.

Bret Hightower

Director of Business Development

A Vxtra team member since 2005, Bret is hands-on with optimizing partner relationships and focusing on captive membership growth. He is adept at educating clients on everything from the specific value of the self-funded captive platform and network considerations to plan design flexibility and levels of reinsurance appropriate for their profile. Past roles at Vxtra include servicing, marketing and renewing large medical practices in multiple states nationwide.

Mark Meade

Underwriting & Risk Management

A seasoned healthcare underwriter and risk manager with experience in large, self-funded health plans, Mark oversees the development of rates and projections in conjunction with Vxtra’s risk partners. With more than 30 years’ experience working with private and public sector plans, insurance carriers, and HMOs, Mark has developed financial and business models for both managed care and large provider organizations.

Dr. Robert Bulgarelli, DO, FACC

Chief Medical Officer

A Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Bulgarelli, provides clinical oversight for our operations team as well as strategic population health management counsel for our captive Members. He formerly served as National Medical Director for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, providing analytical and clinical support for population health initiatives with large, self-funded employers across the US.

He completed his Internal Medicine Residency and Cardiology Fellowship at the Lankenau Hospital, a Jefferson Health affiliate in Philadelphia. A member of the first graduate class of the Associate Fellowship in Integrative Medicine in 2002, he practiced more than 20 years with one of the largest independent cardiology groups in southeastern Pennsylvania, and he continues to serve as a hospital-based cardiologist in a Geisinger affiliated hospital in Harrisburg, PA.

Marybeth Ochoa

Account Manager

A highly-skilled account executive with extensive industry experience, Marybeth is a proactive problem solver gifted in client relations. She is exceptionally qualified in issue resolution, communication strategies, and designing deliverables for clients, brokers, and strategic vendors. Her customer-focused interpersonal and teamwork skills include analysis, reporting and relationship building.