Workforce and Administrative Requirements

An aging population, increased demand for care, the widening gap in the number of health care providers needed to provide care, and specific shortages of certain providers including mental and behavioral health professionals necessitate policy efforts to enhance the health care team talent pool and transform the health care workforce to reflect 21st century health care needs. Certain regulatory and legislative proposals directly impact the hospital workforce.

HAP Report: Resources for a Resilient Workforce

HAP Report: Resources for a Resilient WorkforceView report | Download report

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has made the need to address health care worker wellness even more relevant as many health care workers are on the front lines of managing the outbreak.

To support Pennsylvania’s health care workforce, HAP has developed a resiliency resource tool that provides an overview of the issue, guidance on building resiliency, and a compendium of resources and strategies to implement resiliency initiatives. Best practices from Pennsylvania hospitals have also been included.

Questions regarding HAP’s resiliency resource tool may be addressed to Beth Murray, HAP’s readmissions project manager, and Mary Marshall, HAP’s director for workforce and professional development.

HAP advocates for policies that support:

  • Flexibility to respond to changing health care demands
  • Sufficient education programs for physicians, nurses, and health care professionals
  • Adequate residency slots for physicians
  • Safe workplaces
  • Team-based models of care
  • Limited administrative burdens

HAP’s Health Care Talent Task Force is guiding the development of strategies that will help attract and retain the health care talent pool. This work is informed by the Joint State Government Commission Workforce Report that was issued in April 2019 as a result of HAP’s advocacy for state policymakers to place a priority on identifying challenges and opportunities to promote Pennsylvania’s health care workforce.

HAP's Health Care Task Force Members 

State Advocacy

Workplace Safety

HAP supports:

Advanced Practice Professionals

  • HAP supports Senate Bills 870 and 871, which modernize the practice of physician assistants by allowing, among other things, written agreements to be filed instead of approved by the medical and osteopathic boards, so as to allow physician assistants to begin working immediately
  • HAP supports Senate Bill 25, which allows advanced practice nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training in all health care facility settings

Nurse Staffing Requirements

Patient volume, acuity, and staff availability influence nurse staffing levels. Every day, hospitals review these and other factors to develop staffing plans. HAP advocates to give hospitals complete flexibility to establish safe, effective, and collaborative staffing practices. 

HAP opposes Senate Bill 63/House Bill 867 which establish rigid nurse-patient ratios.

Federal Advocacy

To grow the health care workforce, at the federal level, HAP advocates for sustained investments in training for doctors and nurses by: 

  • Maintaining Medicare graduate medical education payments that support the training of resident physicians 
  • Increasing the number of federally funded residency positions through federal legislation, S. 348 and H.R. 1763, the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act, which would increase the number of Medicare direct graduate medical education and indirect medical education slots by a total of 15,000 nationwide 
  • Strengthening the health care workforce’s ability to respond to the opioid crisis through federal legislation, H.R. 3414, the Opioid Workforce Act, that incentivizes the training of physicians specialized in the treatment of substance use disorders and pain management 
  • Supporting S. 948 and H.R. 2895, which waives the requirement to return home for a period of time if physicians holding J-1 visas agree to stay in the United States to practice in a federally designated underserved area for three years 
  • Funding Federal Title VII and VIII health professions and nursing education programs 
  • Supporting nurse workforce training, including hospital-based nurse education and the innovative Graduate Nurse Education demonstration project, which was enormously successful in the Philadelphia region, to increase the supply of advanced practice nurses

HAP Contacts

For more information, contact Jeffrey Bechtel, senior vice president, health economics and policy; Stephanie Watkins, vice president, state legislative advocacy; Laura Stevens Kent, senior vice president, strategic integration; or Mary Marshall, director, workforce and professional development. For media inquiries, contact Rachel Moore, director, media relations.

HAP News

September 29, 2020

HAP-Supported Licensure Compact Bills Head to State Senate

Today in Harrisburg, the House of Representatives took action to bring the commonwealth closer to meeting its health care workforce needs by passing legislation authorizing Pennsylvania to join other states in interstate licensure compacts for certain health care professionals. Participation in the various compacts allows Pennsylvania’s patient population the opportunity to leverage the nation’s entire health care workforce and ensures greater access to care for families across the commonwealth.