Today’s health care human resource professionals are intimately familiar with the disruptive workforce challenges faced by the nation’s hospitals and health systems. Workforce shortages are a substantial concern made more prevalent by provider burnout. The amount of time physicians and nurses spend on non-clinical responsibilities, such as tending to regulatory requirements for compliance, contribute to this accelerated burnout rate. 

To shed light on this issue and amplify the AHA’s advocacy efforts on regulatory burden, the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration, a professional membership group of the American Hospital Association, drew attention to this issue, along with others during the 2018 ASHHRA Advocacy Committee Hill Visit last month. 

ASHHRA works to bring attention to many factors impacting the health care workforce through education, resources, and advocacy efforts. Each year, the ASHHRA Advocacy Committee, a group of 12 committed volunteers, convene in Washington, D.C., for a full-day meeting at the AHA office, and visits with representatives on Capitol Hill. In June, the committee met with representatives from AHA’s advocacy team, the Society for Human Resource Management’s advocacy team, and experts in labor and legislative issues to discuss and share common struggles and challenges that needed to be addressed with congressional representatives. Particular attention was spent on issues related to regulatory burden with a focus on a recent AHA report, Regulatory Overload – Assessing Regulatory Burden on Health Systems, Hospitals, and Post-acute Care Providers. 

Per this report, 59 full-time equivalent staff are required in each hospital to meet the demands of regulations – 15 of those are doctors and nurses. Armed with data, statistics, and reports from AHA and SHRM, committee members met with more than 30 representatives or their staff to discuss a variety of legislative issues impacting the health care workforce. To encourage further discussion and participation from ASHHRA’s nearly 3,000 members, copies of the presentations are available on the ASHHRA website, and resources have been created for members to use when they approach their own representatives. ASHHRA and its Advocacy Committee will continue to amplify these issues and future AHA Advocacy efforts.