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: Addressing Pennsylvania's Health Care Workforce Challenges

Addressing Pennsylvania's Health Care Workforce Challenges Recommendations Report

During the past year, HAP's Health Care Talent Task Force conducted a thorough analysis of member hospital workforce needs and developed and recommended board-approved strategies which are contained in HAP's Addressing Pennsylvania's Health Care Workforce Challenges report.

Highlights from the report include efforts to:

  • Build the infrastructure to ensure collection of and access to health care workforce data Develop programs and activities to encourage individuals to enter and remain in health care fields
  • Expand the commonwealth's education and workforce development capacity to provide training and remove barriers to help transition qualified professionals into health careers
  • Foster diversity in the workplace
  • Incorporate changes in the structure and delivery of health care to promote improvements in quality and efficiency

View the report | Download the report

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 2019 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

June 23, 2020

Healthcare Workplace Safety Legislation Heads to Governor’s Desk

HAP supported bills to protect health care workers against violence were approved by the House of Representatives and now head to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Sponsored by Senator Kristen Phillips-Hill (R-York), Senate Bill 842 eliminates a state requirement for photo identification badges in health care facilities to include the employee's last name. Senate Bill 351, sponsored by Senator Judy Ward (R-Blair), increases the penalty for an assault on a health care worker from a misdemeanor to a felony.

June 18, 2020

Supreme Court Agrees to Decide PA Disaster Declaration Dispute; Regulatory Waivers Remain in Place

After Governor Wolf failed to recognize last week’s concurrent resolution by the General Assembly to terminate the COVID-19 Disaster Declaration issued by the governor during March, Senators Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), Jake Corman (R-Centre), and the Senate Republic Caucus filed a petition in Commonwealth Court asking that the governor be directed to terminate the declaration. The governor then filed a petition with the state Supreme Court to intervene in the case and rule in his favor.