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HAP Year in Review: Top Stories for 2023

December 29, 2023

As we sign off on 2023, it’s time to take a look at some of the biggest stories that made headlines during another busy year for Pennsylvania’s hospital community.

The transition to a post-pandemic world, efforts to grow Pennsylvania’s health care workforce, the reauthorization of the Quality Care Assessment, and the potential uses of artificial intelligence were among the top health care newsmakers this year.

Here’s a look at back at some of the biggest stories in HAP Daily during 2023:

Story:  Survey Finds High Vacancy Rates for Health Care Professionals

  • Date:  January 23
  • Summary:  More than 3 in 10 positions for some of the key professionals who make up patient care teams in Pennsylvania hospitals were vacant at the end of last year, a HAP report found. The survey would be cited in dozens of media outlets throughout the year, highlighting hospital workforce needs.

Story:  Shapiro Announces Order to Expedite Licensure Review Process

  • Date:  January 31
  • Summary:  State leaders announced efforts to address unpredictability and long wait times for commonwealth-issued licenses, certificates, and permits. The issue was among the key priorities included in HAP’s Roadmap for Growing Pennsylvania's Health Care Talent.

Story:  The Need to Reform Pa.’s Health Care Regulations

  • Date:  February 21
  • Summary:  Bringing Pennsylvania’s regulations into the 21st century will support hospitals, the health care workforce, and patient access to care across the commonwealth. HAP and hospital leaders were among the testifiers in a state House Republican Policy Committee focused on the state’s regulatory climate.

Story:  Nation’s Maternal Death Rates, Disparities Rise

  • Date:  March 17
  • Summary:  The National Center for Health Statistics issued its latest report on maternal health, revealing a significant increase in deaths among pregnant people.

Story:  What to Know: The End of Continuous Medicaid Enrollment

  • Date:  March 27
  • Summary:  The end of the COVID-19 public health emergency marked a transition in the nation’s pandemic response and the end of continuous enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Story:  Nicole Stallings Named HAP President and CEO

  • Date:  April 18
  • Summary:  HAP named Nicole Stallings as its next president and CEO. Stallings, succeeding Andy Carter, who retired in June after more than a decade leading the organization.

Story:  HAP, Hospital Community Address Health Care Workforce Shortages

  • Date:  May 2
  • Summary:  Pennsylvania needs comprehensive policy solutions that bring more nurses to the bedside, not government-mandated staffing ratios that won’t produce more nurses, HAP and Pennsylvania nurse leaders told state lawmakers.

Story:  Wildfires Causing Unhealthy Air Quality in Pennsylvania

  • Date:  June 7
  • Summary:  Pennsylvania faced Code Red Air Quality Action Days after smoke from wildfires in Canada contributed to unhealthy—and even hazardous in some areas—levels of fine particulate matter in the air.

Story:  Nurse Leaders Urge Workforce Solutions over Ratio Mandates

  • Date:  June 14
  • Summary:  Pennsylvania nurse leaders urged the General Assembly to make investments that would grow the commonwealth’s nursing workforce and bring more nurses to the bedside rather than mandate staffing ratios.

Story:  Data Highlights Financial Strain on Hospitals

  • Date:  June 22
  • Summary:  More than 2 in 5 Pennsylvania general acute care hospitals ended fiscal year (FY) 2022 with a loss, according to new data highlighting financial instability that threatens the care hospitals provide their patients and communities.

Story:  Launching HAP’s Racial Health Equity Learning Action Network

  • Date:  July 27
  • Summary:  Pennsylvania’s hospital community, representatives from government and commercial payors, and other health care stakeholders convened to kick off HAP’s Racial Health Equity Learning Action Network.

Story:  Federal Advocacy: HAP Calls for Support for Rural Health, 340B Hospitals

Story:  HAP Statement on New Interstate Nurse Pathway Solution

  • Date:  August 22\
  • Summary:   HAP applauded the Shapiro administration’s announcement of a new pathway for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses from other states to work in Pennsylvania. 

Story:  State Lawmakers Send QCA Reauthorization to Governor’s Desk

  • Date:  October 18
  • Summary:  State lawmakers agreed to reauthorize the Quality Care Assessment (QCA) for five years, sending the legislation to the governor’s desk for final approval.

Story:  5 Takeaways on the Future of AI in Health Care

  • Date:  November 29
  • Summary:  Federal lawmakers are exploring critical questions about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in health care.

Story:  What’s in the Fiscal Code

  • Date:  December 14
  • Summary:  The General Assembly passed and Governor Shapiro signed legislation that finalizes outstanding pieces of the 2023–2024 state budget, including support for financially distressed hospitals and other notable items for the health care community.

HAP thanks our members for their outstanding dedication to their communities and looks forward to chronicling the latest happenings in Harrisburg and Washington, and other health care topics in HAP Daily during 2024.