In a letter submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee in advance of an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing today on the pandemic’s impact on the health care workforce, AHA called the challenges facing America’s health care workforce as the country enters the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency that demands immediate attention and “workable solutions.” Specifically, the letter detailed ways hospitals are supporting their workforce, discussed the pandemic’s toll on the behavioral health of health care workers and current workforce shortages, and offered policy solutions to Congress.

Members of Congress and witnesses highlighted several AHA priorities, including issues surrounding the diversion of funds from the Provider Relief Fund; reports of anticompetitive behavior from travel nurse staffing agencies; telehealth issues; boosting support for nursing schools and faculty; and supporting the behavioral health of physicians, nurses and others so they can deliver safe and high quality care.  

Witnesses at the hearing included Tawanda Austin, chief nursing officer at Emory University Hospital Midtown; Laura Riley, M.D., obstetrician and gynecologist-in-chief for New York Presbyterian Hospital; Megan Ranney, M.D., emergency physician at Rhode Island Hospital; Daniel Calac, M.D., chief medical officer at Indian Health Council, Inc.; and Lucy McBride, M.D., an internist in private practice.

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