With 2023 underway, healthcare organizations continue to prioritize employee retention and recruitment in the face of economic trends impacting the healthcare industry, such as significant staff shortages, employee turnover, a marked increase in healthcare professionals leaving the industry, and rising inflation.

Several healthcare employers throughout the country are increasing employee wages, organization-wide, either of their own accord or to comply with state or local pay laws.

As previously reported, in June 2022, the City of Los Angeles approved an ordinance to raise the minimum wage for certain healthcare workers at privately-owned healthcare facilities within the city to $25 per hour. Several other cities in California followed suit with similar ordinances.

In late fall last year, New York announced significant pay increases and upgraded nursing titles for nurses employed by 15 state agencies. The wage increases vary dependent upon the nurses’ titles and what shifts the nurses work (with night shift employees receiving a larger wage increase), but the changes impacted approximately 6,500 nurses employed by New York state. Such changes were in addition to the geographic pay increases implemented for nurses earlier in the year.

Baltimore-based Life Bridge Health raised the minimum wage from $15 to $16 per hour, effective November 2022. The wage increase will apply to approximately 2,500 positions across the hospital system.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Novant Health raised its minimum wage from $15 to $17 per hour, effective March 3, 2023. The wage increase will apply to more than 4,400 employees across Novant’s 15-hospital system.

Healthcare industry employers who have yet to consider any organization-wide wage increases but who are also experiencing staff shortages, employee turnover, and rising concerns relating to employee retention should be aware of what other organizations are offering to remain competitive in the already-strained healthcare market. Wages are only one important factor impacting employee wellbeing. As workplace trends are also shifting with a renewed focus on mental and behavioral health, healthcare employers may also want to consider offering creative benefits to address employee welfare, retention, and burnout, such as providing employees with access to onsite clinics, population health management services, and/or other wellness programs with an emphasis on mental, financial, and behavioral health. Adopting benefits like this may provide healthcare employers a competitive edge in this dynamic market for talent.

Stay tuned for further updates regarding healthcare workplace trends, and please do not hesitate to contact the Healthcare Group at Jackson Lewis if you wish to discuss these topics.