Findings presented to COPA Advisory Council: Nurse pay per patient day is up

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The Tennessee man whose job it is to make sure Ballad Health follows the rules outlined in a state agreement revealed nurse pay per patient day has increased since the merger took effect.

A report released last month revealed 13 recommendations from the state’s local advisory council following a public meeting in February.

Consultant Larry Fitzgerald told the COPA Advisory Council that, according to his findings, nurse pay and hours per patient day have not decreased, but are are up around 10%.

Fitzgerald said he interviewed six nurse managers, two from Johnson City, two from Bristol and two from Holston Valley.

He said Ballad Health chose the managers for him to talk to.

Council chair, Doug Varney, was surprised by the numbers, but said that Fitzgerald did a good job addressing the issues from the public hearing. 

“When it comes out,” said Varney, “the official report will really indicate, based on the information he gave us today, that Ballad Health has really done its best to make sure that everyone got equal pay for equal work, and that no one actually lost overall compensation.”

The report that Fizgerald prepared for the council will be released later this week.

Varney also announced during the meeting that he is stepping down from his position as council chair to make time for family.

The advisory council had no comment on the lawsuit recently brought against a few members of Ballad Health. 

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