Minimum wage word written on wood block with American Dollar bills. Directly above.

Calif. Healthcare Bill Proposes $25 Minimum Wage For All Healthcare Workers 

26 Aug, 2023 F.J. Thomas

Minimum wage word written on wood block with American Dollar bills. Directly above.

Sarasota, FL ( – Most people enroll in nursing school with the full intention of treating patients the majority of their time while working. However, according to Accenture, which specializes in information technology services and consulting, on average, nurses only spend around 21 percent of their time on direct patient care. 

According to the Accenture report, around 92 percent of clinicians believe that too much time is spent on administrative duties, which has shown to be a major contributor to provider burnout. However, it’s estimated that around 30 percent of administrative nursing tasks can be either automated or re-assigned due to advancements in technology. With an increase in the use of medical technology, which can automate some processes, around 52 percent of clinicians believe that AI could improve determining diagnoses. Around 32 percent believe that AI could enhance procedure accuracy, and 31 percent believe it would allow them to spend more time with patients - which is exactly why they attending nursing or medical school. 

Within the last year, the healthcare industry has seen an enormous surge in healthcare layoffs. However, even factoring in the increase in layoffs, healthcare is still experiencing a nursing shortage due to a combination of factors including retirement, burnout, and feeling undervalued or unsupported by their employers. While AI may be able to help carry some of the burden, it doesn’t solve the nursing shortages entirely.

As a result of continued nursing shortages in the face of increased staffing costs, employers are taking on different strategies to recruit nurses, and other clinical staff. In California, legislation has been proposed that would raise the minimum wage to $25 an hour for healthcare workers.  According to a report from the San Diego Union-Tribune, Senate Bill 525 was passed in the state Senate in June and will be voted on by the Assembly in the coming days. 

According to information from law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Senator María Elena Durazo (D) is the author of the bill, and the intent is to provide better benefits for healthcare workers, which in turn affects patient care and outcomes. However, healthcare organizations including California Hospital and California Children’s Hospital Associations, the California Medical Association, among others have strongly opposed the bill, citing increases in cost. 

According to a report from the Sacramento Bee, the increase would raise the operating budget for the University Of California by 2.5 percent. By contrast, in 2017 it was estimated that half of UC’s healthcare workers could not afford a rental close to their job, and 6 percent of workers would have spent more than half their gross earnings on housing had they rented near their job. Given the discrepancy between salaries and available housing, healthcare has quite the dilemma to solve.

If passed, the bill would raise salaries in two phases, with the requirement of a minimum wage of $21 per hour by June 1, 2024. The second phase would increase the minimum to $25 by June 1, 2025, and would provide the right of workers to enforce the minimum wage requirement. 

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    About The Author

    • F.J. Thomas

      F.J. Thomas has worked in healthcare business for more than fifteen years in Tennessee. Her experience as a contract appeals analyst has given her an intimate grasp of the inner workings of both the provider and insurance world. Knowing first hand that the industry is constantly changing, she strives to find resources and information you can use.

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