Investigation and pending class action against the major corporate owners of hospitals and healthcare facilities in the Chicago, Illinois area including Advocate Health Care, Children's Memorial Hospital, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, Michael Reese, Medical Center Corporation, Doctors Communit Healthcare Corporation, Resurrection Health Care and University of Chicago Hospitals.
The class action complaint alleges that the defendant hospitals have for years conspired among themselves and with other hospitals in the Chicago 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 Chicago-area hospitals in the compensation of RN employees, and has depressed the compensation they have paid to such employees, in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.
The Chicago-area hospitals' conspiratorial conduct has occurred in the context of a national nursing shortage. Absent their conspiracy, Chicago-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 Chicago 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 Chicago 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)
Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Corporation
Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Corporation operates hospitals and healthcare facilities in Illinois. It is now known as NorthShore University HealthSystem.
Advocate Health Care
Advocate Health Care is a large fully integrated not-for-profit health care delivery system serving Northern Illinois. Advocate Health Care has eight hospitals with 3,500 beds and a home health care company among its more than 200 sites of care. More than 24,500 people work at Advocate Health Care. Advocate Health Care has 4,600 affiliated physicians, including almost 2,000 in physician hospital organizations (PHOs).
Childrens Memorial Hospital
Childrens Memorial Hospital is a 275-bed hospital in Chicago dedicated to pediatric care.
Michael Reese Hospital
Michael Reese Hospital is a hospital in Chicago that filed for bankruptcy in 2008.
Doctors Community Healthcare Corporation
Doctors Community Healthcare Corporation did operate as private, investor-owned healthcare management company. It filed for bankruptcy in 2002.
Resurrection Health Care
Resurrection Health Care operates hospitals and health care facilities in Chicago, Illinois.
University of Chicago Medical Center
University of Chicago Medical Center operates a hospital and medical facilities in Chicago.
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