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White House urged to investigate price gouging by nurse staffing agencies. Bipartisan lawmakers are calling for an investigation into "exorbitant" rate hikes by some nurse staffing agencies. In their November 15, 2021, letter to the White House, the lawmakers claim that "nurse staffing agencies are vastly inflating price, by two, three or more times pre-pandemic rates, and then taking 40% or more of the amount being charged to the hospitals for themselves in profits." Faced with severe staff shortages due to COVID-19, hospitals have no choice but to contract with outside nurse staffing agencies to meet their staffing needs. While this has opened up opportunities for nurses to earn record high salaries-about $100 per hour or upward of $9,000 a week for critical care nurses-the situation is unsustainable for hospitals.