States ramp up efforts to address healthcare worker shortages

Amid healthcare worker shortages that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, states are stepping in to address the issue, according to Stateline.

Shortages have long existed in healthcare. However, the situation worsened during the pandemic, with the American Hospital Association describing workforce challenges facing hospitals as a national emergency

The issue has even gone mainstream, with data from the CVS Health-Harris Poll National Health Project showing 80 percent of Americans are concerned about healthcare's workforce shortages.

To address shortages, at least 20 governors this year proposed various policy solutions in their state of the state speeches, Stateline reported, citing information from the National Academy for State Health Policy, a nonpartisan forum of state health policymakers. These solutions have focused on recruitment efforts, relaxing licensing requirements, expanding training programs and raising providers' pay, according to the report.

On March 23, for instance, Pennsylvania officials shared details about programs that will provide $225 million to support the healthcare workforce, including funding specific to recruitment and retention.

Lawmakers in Indiana, Kentucky, Washington state and New Mexico are also seeking to train more nurses through means such as reduced education regulations and funding.

Read the full Stateline report here

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