Investigation and pending class action against the major corporate owners of hospitals and healthcare facilities in the Memphis, Tennessee area including Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corporation and Methodist Healthcare.
The class action complaint alleges that the defendant hospitals have for years conspired among themselves and with other hospitals in the Memphis area to depress the compensation levels of registered nurses ("RNs") employed at the conspiring hospitals. These hospitals agreed to regularly exchange detailed and non-public information about the compensation each is paying or will pay to its RN employees. The agreement to exchange such information has facilitated the formation, implementation and enforcement of defendants' wage-fixing conspiracy. Pursuant to this agreement defendants and their co-conspirators in fact have exchanged such information, through meetings, telephone conversations and written surveys. The exchange of this information itself has suppressed competition among Memphis-area hospitals in the compensation of RN employees, and has depressed the compensation they have paid to such employees.
Defendants' conspiratorial conduct has occurred in the context of a national nursing shortage. Absent their conspiracy, Memphis-area hospitals would have responded to the nursing shortage by, among other things, substantially increasing RN compensation in an effort to attract a sufficient number of RNs to their respective hospitals. The history of hospital RN compensation and vacancy rates in the Memphis area, however, reveals that hospital RNs are not being compensated at competitive levels. Despite years of high vacancy rates, compensation for hospital RNs in the Memphis area has remained low and surprisingly stagnant. The few compensation increases in the past several years have been far too small to substantially decrease the area's nursing shortage.
Name (Stock Symbol)
Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corporation
Baptist Memorial Health Care operates 15 affiliate hospitals and a variety of outpatient clinics throughout the mid-south region of the US.
Methodist Healthcare owns and operates seven hospitals in the mid-south.
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