Health Workforce Policies and Guidelines – Archive

(06/29/20) Medicare Shouldn’t Make Ground Ambulance Services Take a Financial Hit for Providing at-home Care
An opinion piece discussing the lack of reimbursement ambulance services are facing as they treat patients at their homes, in an effort to avoid unnecessarily reducing capacity in hospitals. Some states require ambulance crews to treat patients on site if possible, especially during the pandemic, and yet Medicare is refusing reimbursement.

(06/25/20) Primary Care Practice Finances in the United States Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
This article, published in Health Affairs, examines the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had thus far and will continue to have on primary care practices in the United States. The article also covers potential impacts of regulatory changes such as reductions in telehealth reimbursement

Alliance for Health Policy COVID-19 Webinar Series:
(06/24/20) Session 20 – Tensions, Tradeoffs, and Takeaways: What’s at Stake for America 100 Days into the Pandemic  and Where We Go From Here
(06/19/20) Session 19 – Advancing Mental Health During the Pandemic and Beyond
See all webinars here
The Alliance for Health Policy is hosting a webinar series to provide insight on current policies addressing COVID-19. Emphasis is placed on the status of this response as well as the gaps in the system that impact the response to the COVID-19.

(06/23/20) Improving Prenatal Care and Delivery in the Wake Of COVID-19: Lessons From the Strong Start Evaluation
A blog post contextualizing a recent journal article published in the June edition of the Health Affairs journal. The post covers the Strong Start program, which utilizes evidence-based prenatal care models, and relates them to policy recommendations to better utilize the health workforce and health care settings for improving maternal health care.

(06/17/20) Coronavirus Could Change How You Go to the Doctor
An article covering the changes many health systems are implementing and advocating for in order to better address payment both during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. The article argues that continuing to use the current fee-for-service payment model will lead to a collapse of primary care when the nation needs it the most.

(06/17/20) Options to Support Medicaid Providers in Response to COVID-19
An issue brief discussing the problems Medicaid providers are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Medicaid providers were already experiencing significant revenue issues prior to the pandemic. Some solutions to help Medicaid providers include increasing reimbursement rates for COVID-19 related treatment, advance and interim or retainer payments, and state-specific plans to help these providers.

(06/16/20) Limitations of the Program for Uninsured COVID-19 Patients Raise Concerns
The program created by the federal government to help clinics deal with the costs of treating patients with COVID-19 does not explicitly include those treating uninsured patients. Now, with some funding available for that purpose, yet contingent on a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, many providers are concerned they will be able to continue providing care to the uninsured.

(06/16/20) What Impact Has the Coronavirus Pandemic Had on Healthcare Employment?
A chart collection covering the many different impact COVID-19 has had on various roles and settings in the health care industry. Employment and health expenditure are two indicators that can better help to identify what roles have been deemed most essential and what settings may require aid to continue operating.

(06/15/20) Health Workforce Innovations in Response to the COVID Pandemic
The Canadian Health Workforce Network has released a database to maintain information on health workforce strategies that have been implemented to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Searches can be conducted to seek out innovative practices by capacity, flexibility, availability, setting, and profession.

(06/12/20) Fee for Service Is a Terrible Way to Pay for Health Care. Try a Subscription Model Instead
An article discussing a new subscription-like payment model some clinics are using that has allowed them to continue operating with minimal lost revenue and without furloughing workers. This method allows Medicare Advantage plans to set an annual budget for patients to seek treatment, and pays the clinics monthly to deliver this care.

(06/12/20) State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus
A frequently updated issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation outlining the many actions states have taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This brief includes both state health policy and guideline changes, as well as other regulations.

(06/11/20) How One Health System Is Transforming in Response To COVID-19
This article from the Harvard Business Review covers the crisis management strategies used by the Geisinger Health System to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These strategies included reevaluating and monitoring the urgency of their work, implementing telehealth visits, and preparing for a second wave to keep their health workforce and patients safe.

(06/10/20) Healthcare Workforce Rose 312K Despite Ongoing Hospital Job Losses
An article highlighting the changes to the health workforce as reported in the May jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The majority of jobs gained were in the dental workforce, which had been losing jobs in previous months. Hospitals reportedly lost nearly 27,000 jobs, adding to losses in previous months.

(06/09/20) Safety-Net Health Providers Get $25 Billion To Help Keep Their Doors Open
An article covering the announcement from the United States Department of Health and Human Services of funding for safety-net providers across the country. $10 billion will go to hospitals seeing primarily Medicaid and uninsured patients, and $15 billion will go to doctors, dentists, and facilities that treat primarily low-income adults and children.

(06/07/20) Hospitals Will Struggle Until They Get Patients Back in the Door
An article discussing some of the ways in which hospitals have been struggling throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While their outlooks are improving and furloughed staff are returning to work, adaptations like telehealth with lower reimbursement and lack of patients are still leading to financial issues.

(06/05/20) Beyond COVID-19: Telehealth, Partnerships, Member Engagement
An article covering the ways in which some organizations around the United States are addressing COVID-19 and the increased use of telehealth, both during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

(06/04/20) Hospitals Furloughing Workers in Response To COVID-19
A regularly updated list that breakdowns hospitals that have furloughed staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(06/03/20) Open (Your Wallet) Wide: Dentists Charge Extra for Infection Control
An article highlighting a new trend of dental clinics charging extra fees for visits in response to changes to the practice due to COVID-19. New fees are being seen across the country at dental clinics, in part to help dentists make up for financial losses.

(06/03/20) New CMS Payment Model Flexibilities for COVID-19
A blog post from Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), discussing some of the changes that have been enacted on payment models by CMS in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alliance for Health Policy COVID-19 Webinar Series:
(06/03/20) Session 17 – The Role of Medicaid
(05/20/20) Session 16 – The Changing Landscape of Primary Care
See all webinars here
The Alliance for Health Policy is hosting a webinar series to provide insight on current policies addressing COVID-19. Emphasis is placed on the status of this response as well as the gaps in the system that impact the response to the COVID-19.

(05/25/20) Doctors Face Pay Cuts, Furloughs and Supply Shortages as Coronavirus Pushes Primary Care to the Brink
An article covering the struggles primary care clinicians faced prior to and now throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with many expected not to survive the year without further governmental financial aid. Furloughs, reductions in pay, and difficulty affording and acquiring personal protective equipment are further exacerbating the issues.

(05/21/20) Hospitals Furloughing Workers in Response to COVID-19
A regularly updated list that breakdowns hospitals that have furloughed staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(05/19/20) COVID-19 and the PA Workforce
The American Academy of Physician Assistants has released a report covering clinically practicing physician assistants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Issues covered include changes to regulations and scope of practice, as well as redeployment and furloughing of physician assistants.

(05/19/20) 9 Ways COVID-19 May Forever Upend the U.S. Health Care Industry
An article describing some ways in which the health care industry has changed as a result of COVID-19. These include increased adoption and advancement of telehealth technologies, shifts in the long-term care industry to home health care, and changes to scope of practice for non-physician clinicians.

(05/11/20) Opportunities and Barriers for Telemedicine in the U.S. During the COVID-19 Emergency and Beyond
An issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation highlighting the opportunities and issues relating to telehealth implementation in response to COVID-19. These include state and federal government responses as well as those implemented at the organization level by insurers and health systems.

(05/08/20) As Hospitals Lose Revenue, More Than a Million Health Care Workers Lose Jobs
A story from NPR describing the issues facing health care workers now, where the situation has evolved from requests for health care providers to come out of retirement to the current issues of furloughs and reduced hours.

(05/08/20) Health-Care Industry Loses 1.4 Million Jobs in Pandemic
An article describing how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the health care industry, where nearly one in twelve jobs were lost in April. Settings impacted the most include hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, diagnostic labs and home health

(05/06/20) From Shortages to Furloughs, Pandemic Gives In-Demand Nursing Profession a Stress Test
An article describing the issues with maintaining a nursing workforce the State of Washington is facing both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article describes shortages of nurses pre-pandemic and the efforts to grant temporary and emergency permits to meet surge demands, followed by furloughs and layoffs and changes to professional plans.

(05/04/20) What CMS’s Response to COVID-19 Means for Front Line Clinicians
An article describing the impact of many of the new waivers and flexibilities from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on clinicians practicing on the front lines.

(05/02/20) Healthcare Workers Face Coronavirus Layoffs and Furloughs
An article discussing the realities of furloughs on health care workers in California, following a surge in recruitment during the initial stages of response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(04/27/20) Telehealth Strategies
This National Governors Association memorandum discusses strategies for governors seeking to improve coverage and access to telehealth services in a manner that best addresses the COVID -19 pandemic.

(04/20/20) Health Care Workforce is Recession Proof. Is it ‘Pandemic Proof?’
An article about the job threat health care workers are facing-pay cuts, furloughs, and layoffs-amid the worse disease outbreak in a century.

(04/06/20) Gubernatorial Strategies for Health Care Workforce and Facility Capacity
This memorandum from the National Governors Association discusses strategies for governors to increase the capacity of the health care workforce in responding to COVID-19.

(04/06/20) States Address Provider Shortages to Meet the Health Care Demands of the Pandemic
An article on the National Academy for State Health Policy website that looks at strategies states are using to address provider shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. Strategies discussed include: expanding scope of practice, relicensing retired providers, and amending out of state licensing laws.

(04/01/20) The Respiratory Therapist Workforce in the U.S. Supply, Distribution, Education Pathways, and State Responses to Emergency Surges in Demand
This Rapid Response Brief from the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University of Washington provides information about the respiratory therapist workforce in the US. It includes descriptions of the supply, distribution, and education pathways of the workforce. The brief also addresses COVID-19 emergency concerns about the respiratory therapist workforce capacity and examples of state approaches to address workforce gaps.