GNYHA sent a letter (attached) to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) to identify health care and public health sector workforce issues highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. GNYHA also provided recommendations to encourage innovation in addressing industry and worker needs.
GNYHA urged Congress to provide physician workforce development opportunities and highlighted legislation to promote graduate medical education in the nation’s teaching hospitals. A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives recently introduced the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021 (S. 834/H.R. 2256), a bill that gradually raises the number of Medicare-supported residency positions by 2,000 per year for seven years, for a total of 14,000 new slots. Increasing the number of Medicare-supported residency positions will help teaching hospitals train future physicians and address an impending physician shortage.
The letter also outlined GNYHA’s recommendations for developing other members of the health care team. Providing these opportunities will ensure that the health workforce is prepared to care for the aging population and navigate future public health emergencies. GNYHA recommended investing in “pay for success” training programs that provide job training at no initial cost to the participant; eliminate financial barriers to workforce development; reward organizations demonstrating success; invest in health workforce training accounts that allow workers to save for future education and develop a broader skillset; and invest in health care digital literacy and cybersecurity training programs.