Health Workforce Shortages – Archive

(11/24/21) Texas Has Spent $7B in Federal Money to Pay Temporary Health Care Workers During COVID Pandemic
Texas has spent approximately $7 billion of federal COVID-19 funds since the pandemic to hire temporary nurses, respiratory therapists, and some physicians to sustain operations at hospitals and alternate care centers. However, the state is trying to close the expensive program. Some health professionals in the state are concerned that the decision may be premature when considering many people who would gather inside and without masks during the forthcoming holidays, including unvaccinated state residents, resulting in a spike in seasonal flu and COVID-19 infections that further strain hospitals to capacity.

(11/24/21) Oregon Health Care Workers Report Long Hours, Insufficient Staffing as COVID-19 Crisis Continues
Health care employees in Oregon report that their work environments have become more difficult in recent months as a result of the surge in the summer. Health care workers have not recovered physically or emotionally from the toll taken by COVID-19 over the last year and a half. Additionally, there is a work culture concern. Healthcare employees feel required to volunteer for shifts in order to assist their colleagues, or they choose to work additional shifts rather than entrusting their patients’ care to a temporary replacement.

(11/16/21) Why Health-care Workers Are Quitting in Droves
This¬†Atlantic¬†article examines the reasons behind ‚Öē health care workers leaving the profession during the pandemic. Burn out, salary cuts, health workforce shortages, grueling working conditions extreme exhaustion, and post traumatic stress are some of the factors contributing to workers quitting and making the job of those who stay exceedingly difficult.

(11/12/21) Colorado Hospitals on Edge Amid Renewed COVID Surge, Staffing Shortages
Health care workers in Colorado on the front lines are overworked and tired, resulting in crucial staffing shortages. Over 1,500 patients are receiving care across the state for COVID-19, the largest amount in nearly a year. In response to the re-surge of cases, Colorado has recently renewed crisis standards of care for staffing of health care system.

(11/08/21) Why the US Nursing Crisis is Getting Worse
This article from Vox covers the current difficulties with maintaining staff experienced at health care facilities across the United States, with areas of lower population struggling the most. With flu season coming and fears of another COVID-19 surge, these staffing issues may require patients to travel much farther to receive treatment, or find treatment unavailable altogether.

(10/25/21) Gov. Mills Announces $14 Million Plan to Strengthen Health Care Workforce
Maine’s Governor Janet Mills announced a $14 million plan to address the workforce shortage in the state. The plan targets to help people to pursue careers in health care and improve accessibility to care. It includes several initiatives including $4 million in scholarships and student loan relief and $8.5 million to make professional training cost-free, and $1.5 million marketing campaign.

(10/21/21) Long-term Care Providers Win FIght for $400 million in COVID-19 Relief to Address Workforce Shortages
Texas long-term care facilities are set to receive nearly $400 million in federal COVID-19 relief to address staffing shortages. The bill is awaiting the signature of the Texas Gov. Greg Abbot.

(10/20/21) Front-line Health Care Worker Shortage due to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, Burnout
Hospital workforce shortages caused by disputes over COVID-19 vaccine requirements have persisted this month throughout the US. Employees have been fired as a result of resistance on COVID-19 vaccine mandates in other hospital systems as well. In addition, exhausted nurses are retiring, leaving their jobs, and traveling positions due to burnout. For example, according to the Oregon Nurses Association, 60 percent of nurses at Oregon Health & Science University, the state’s biggest hospital, have shown interest in quitting the profession completely.

(10/20/21) It’s Not Just Doctors and Nurses Reporting Burnout. Support Staff are Feeling Stressed. Here’s Why
While most of the reports have focused on nurse and doctor burnout, over half of front-line clinical support staff are reporting moderate to extreme burnout, according to a new Well Health survey, and nearly two-thirds have considered quitting. Of the 320 clinical support staff surveyed, 88% report moderate to extreme burnout, with half 56% rating their burnout as ‚Äúhigh‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúextreme.‚ÄĚ

(10/18/21) Rebuilding the Nation’s Health Care Workforce During and After COVID-19: Lessons From Disaster Management
This perspective piece published by STAT offers an emergency medicine physician’s views on the strain COVID-19 has placed on the health care workforce as well as some solutions to recover and rebuild.

(10/08/21) Webinar on COVID-19’s Impact on Rural Health Workforce is Oct. 14
A new report examines the impact of COVID-19 on the rural health workforce in Illinois and offers recommendations to better utilize the current health workforce. Recommendations include: providing incentives and opportunities to recruit and retain a rural health workforce, building rural community health workforce collaborations between the public health and healthcare to improve service delivery, and utilizing telehealth in rural areas to improve medical and behavioral health specialists.

(09/30/21)¬†Ohio Health Care Workers Warn of ‚ÄėAstronomical‚Äô COVID-19 Pediatric Surge
As COVID-19 infections among children continues to remain at elevated levels, a hospital in Ohio is warning that surge capacity is impacting care in children’s hospitals throughout the state and country. Ohio currently has the second highest level of pediatric hospitalizations in the US.

(09/23/21) Nurses Are in Short Supply. Employers Worry Vaccine Mandate Could Make it Worse
This article from NPR highlights a major issue related to staff at health care clinics being let go for refusing to vaccinate against COVID-19: lack of providers for patients. Nursing home staff and rural hospitals are at the lowest rates of vaccination among health care providers, with the federal mandate potentially forcing many of these individuals out of work if they refuse to vaccinate.

(09/21/21)¬†Washington State Seeks 1,200 Health Care Workers for COVID-19 ‚ÄėHospital Crisis‚Äô
The governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, has requested help from the federal government to staff hospitals and long-term care facilities amidst recent surges in the delta variant of the coronavirus. Both clinical and non-clinical positions are needed as addressing surge capacity continues to be a challenge for the state.

(09/13/21) COVID-19 County Workforce Deficit Estimator
Weekly updates from a interactive tool developed by the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity at the George Washington University tracks hospital workforce strain at county levels throughout the United States.

(09/10/21)¬†‚ÄėWorld Is on Fire‚Äô: Kentucky Health Care Workers Exhausted Amidst Latest COVID-19 Surge
Hospitals in Kentucky are struggling to address surge capacity as Governor Andy Beshear claims the COVID-19-related hospital situation in the state is the worst in a lifetime. New weekly records of cases and high rates of hospitalization for unvaccinated individuals is contributing to burnout and fatigue among health care workers, as well as requiring the Kentucky National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deploy at hospitals throughout the state.

(09/09/21) Coronavirus Disease 2019 Planning and Response
A new article published in the journal Medical Care describes the development of two tools used for health workforce planning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The George Washington University Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity developed these tools to help with workforce planning at state hospitals as well as contact tracing at county, state, and national levels.

(08/31/21)¬†Delta Cutting ‚ÄėLike a Buzzsaw‚Äô Through Oregon-California Border Counties
Kaiser Health News details the issues with surge capacity occurring among the nine counties on the Oregon-California border, with the major hospitals in the area requesting field hospitals to be established in an effort to stem the tide of COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit beds.

(08/30/21) National Union Blames Hospitals For Staffing Crisis; Hospitals Point to Pandemic Challenges
National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union of registered nurses, has placed blame on hospitals for creating a nurse staffing crisis. The union exclaims that hospitals provide unsafe working conditions and intentionally drive nurses away. However, hospitals believe that the staffing crisis has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

(08/30/21) Texas Hospitals to Get Staffing Boost From 8,100 Contract Workers
As COVID-19 cases continue to surge, Texas hospitals are challenged with surge capacity issues including staffing shortages. In efforts to assist Texas hospitals, the state is being aided more than 8,000 contract workers to help relieve some front-line workers and expand workforce capacity.

(08/27/21) Hospitals Scramble to Hire Workers: Snapshots From 5 States
Hospitals across the nation are facing a severe shortage of health care workers amid the fourth wave of COVID-19 cases. This article from Becker’s Hospital Review highlights five states that are overwhelmed by the staffing crisis and their efforts to hire as many health care workers as possible to alleviate staffing strains.

(08/24/21) How Hospitals in 7 States are Alleviating Staffing Strain
This article from Becker’s Hospital Review discusses some strategies being used by health systems and state governments to deal with short-staffing and improve access to hospitals burdened with surge capacity issues.

(08/24/21) Oregon, Once a Virus Success Story, Struggles with Surge
This article from the Associated Press covers the ways in which new surges of transmission of the coronavirus delta variant has turned what was seen as an initially successful curbing of the pandemic into a difficult time for the state. Low COVID-19 vaccination uptake in some counties and low supply of hospital beds even pre-pandemic are fueling the struggles.

(08/24/21) Arkansas COVID Patients on Ventilators Reaches New Record
Arkansas is reporting record levels of patients on ventilators as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the state. Arkansas has among the lowest levels of vaccination for COVID-19 in the United States, and is struggling to meet surge capacity with COVID-19 patients taking up more than half of all ICU beds and few beds remaining open.

(08/24/21) To Boost Covid-19 Vaccine Uptake, One Health System Hunts For Patients Who Fell Through The Cracks
This article published by STAT describes the efforts by a health system in North Carolina to reach patients for vaccination who were most likely to be missed: those without digital accounts and access to the internet. While traditional strategies use community-level data as a substitute for patient-level data and utilize digital services such as electronic health records and email, these strategies can miss those who have difficulty accessing digital records, such as elderly and poorer individuals.

(08/19/21) Pandemic, Labor Shortages Have Left Long-term Care Facilities Competing for Staff
Nursing home advocates say that the COVID-19 pandemic with a general labor shortage and vaccine mandate is making it more difficult to keep staff. The Biden administration announced that it will require nursing home staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for those facilities to receive federal funding. Advocates say the decision will lead to more staff shortages, as ‚Äúmany providers struggle to recruit and retain caregivers who can often find less demanding jobs in other settings, such as hospitals and industries that can offer better pay.‚ÄĚ

(08/17/21) Louisiana Offers Child Care Help for Hospital Workers Amid Staffing Shortages
This article from Becker’s Hospital Review highlights Louisiana State’s response to hospital staffing shortages during the COVID-19 surge. In efforts to support essential hospital personnel, Louisiana public health and education officials have opened a new child care assistance program. The program offers subsidized care for children ages twelve and under for twelve months.

(08/13/21)¬†Florida Hospitals Are ‚ÄúStacking Patients In Hallways‚ÄĚ As The Delta Variant Surges
As the Delta variant surges, 85 percent of inpatient hospital beds are now occupied in Florida, a state where less than half of the population is vaccinated. This article looks more closely at the disturbing recent trends of increasing daily COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths related to the pandemic in Florida.

(08/12/21) Mississippi’s Hospital System Could Collapse Within 10 Days Under COVID’s Strain
As the Delta variant leads to another surge in infected cases, health officials in Mississippi warned that the state’s hospital system could collapse in several days. The University of Mississippi Medical Center system has been preparing to expand its capacity, however, the combination of staff shortages and limited ICU capacity makes it challenging to meet the demands.

(08/12/21) Substance Use Issues Are Worsening Alongside Access to Care
This article from the Kaiser Family Foundation discusses the high prevalence of substance use disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently released data shows a significant increase in substance use issues and drug overdose death rates which are disproportionately affecting communities of color. Although states and the federal government have implemented strategies to expand access to treatment, these high-risk groups are severely challenged by new and existing barriers to accessing mental health and substance use disorder services.

(08/11/21) Vaccinating During Pregnancy Has Become Even More Urgent as ICU Beds Fill Up
Doctors across the nation are extremely concerned with the significant increase in severe COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations among unvaccinated pregnant women. With the delta variant surging, unvaccinated pregnant women are at an increased risk for experiencing complications during pregnancy, being admitted to the intensive care unit, and being intubated. The Center for Disease Control, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine are strongly recommending that pregnant women get vaccinated against COVID-19.

(08/10/21) The State Of Arkansas Has Only 8 Empty ICU Beds, As COVID-19 Cases Resurge
The state of Arkansas is among one of the states that have been severely impacted by the new wave of COVID-19 cases. Arkansas has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country and has recently reported that only 8 unoccupied ICU beds are available statewide.

(08/10/21) Hospitals Face a Shortage of Nurses As COVID Cases Soar
With the surge of the Delta variant and increase in daily COVID cases, hospitals are now experiencing a shortage of nurses and other front-link health workers in virus hot spot areas such as Florida, Oregon, Louisiana and Arkansas. As a result of the huge increases of COVID cases, hospitals are losing health workers to burnout and temporary out-of-state work.

(08/02/21) Florida Hospitals Continue Seeing Surge in COVID-19 Patients
Florida Hospital Association has announced that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state have reached the highest daily total for two consecutive days. Approximately 96% of hospitalizations were unvaccinated individuals and 50% of the individuals hospitalized were between the ages of 25 and 55.

(08/02/21)¬†Washington Hospitals ‚ÄėQuite Full‚Äô Amid New Surge of COVID-19 Cases
The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) has recently held a press brief to discuss the recent COVID-19 surge and its profound impact on the health care delivery system in the state. WSHA is strongly advocating for hospitals and health care providers to implement COVID-19 vaccination mandates for their staff as hospitals reach capacity thresholds.

(07/30/21) Primary Care Stepping Up Involvement in COVID Vaccination Effort, but Future of Primary Care Is Uncertain
This article highlights new data released by the Larry A. Green Center in collaboration with the Primary Care Collaborative, and 3rd Conversation. The data suggests that primary care is playing a larger role in COVID-19 vaccination efforts as the nation faces its latest surge in COVID-19 cases.

Primary Care & COVID-19:
(07/27/21) Round 29 Survey
(04/21/21) Round 28 Survey

A frequent primary care survey about COVID-19 from the Primary Care Collaborative and the Larry A. Green Center. The goal of this project is to assess primary care’s ability to evaluate and manage patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and to consider policy implications going forward.

(07/06/21) COVID-19, Masks, and Hearing Difficulty: Perspectives of Healthcare Providers
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society assessed the perspectives of healthcare providers on mask wearing and communication challenges among adult patients with hearing difficulties. The researchers conducted a national survey containing 37 questions which focused on hearing loss awareness, patient communication challenges, and tools used by providers to improve communication. The findings suggest that COVID-19 safety measures have significantly increased the awareness of communication challenges related to hearing difficulties and have adversely impacted the quality of care received for hearing impaired patients.

(07/02/21) The Health Care Workforce is Understaffed for Life After COVID-19
This opinion piece from STAT News discusses the profound impact the COVID-19 pandemic has made on the health care workforce. As the nation slowly approaches a sense of normalcy, an anticipated spike in the demand for health care workers is magnifying the worsening health workforce shortages that negatively affect the health care system. Reaching pre-pandemic levels of the supply in health care workers may need to begin with improving the educational pipeline and investing in a higher paying labor market.

(06/28/21) COVID’s Lingering Effects Can Put the Brakes on Elective Surgeries
Due to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical experts are not sure when it might be safe to have elective surgery for patients who contract the disease. Even though guidelines are being developed for surgery, it is still difficult to determine a proper time frame for elective surgery for many COVID-positive patients.

(06/17/21) We Already Needed More Doctors. Then COVID-19 Hit
This opinion article addresses the worsening doctor shortages in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent workforce report from the Association of American Medical Colleges estimated a shortage of 17,800 ~ 48,000 primary care physicians and 21,000 ~ 77,100 specialty physicians. The pandemic has also disproportionately imposed burdens on women physicians, physicians of color, and small, rural hospitals.

(06/15/21) AMA Adopts Policies to Advance Telehealth, Close Digital Divide and Tackle Prior Authorization Burdens
The American Medical Association has approved new policies to help advance telehealth, rural health, and COVID-19-related difficulties experienced throughout the pandemic. Some of these changes include new methods for reimbursing for health care delivery both in-person and digitally and advising the federal government on equitable distribution of resources, such as personal protective equipment.

(05/26/21) Shuttered Hospitals, Soaring COVID-19 Deaths: Rural Black Communities Lose a Lifeline in the Century’s Worst Health Crisis
Several hospital closures are forced due to a lack of staff, resources, and high financial risks. This article from STAT news highlights the impact of hospital closures in rural and low-income communities that disproportionately affect the African American population amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

(05/21/21) Pandemic Has Made Shortage of Health Care Workers Even Worse, Say Experts
An article from ABC News looking at the current COVID-19 pandemic-related shortages in the health workforce, exacerbated by individuals leaving the workforce through retirement or seeking better job opportunities. High turnover due to low pay in nursing and long-term care as well as pandemic-related burnout and fatigue continue to disrupt the health workforce supply.

(05/21/21) The Health Care Worker Squeeze
This article from Axios looks at the issue of health care workforce shortages, an issue that preceded the COVID-19 pandemic and has been exacerbated by it, according to the Michael Dill, the director of workforce studies at the Association of American Medical Colleges.

(05/11/21) Riding Herd on Mental Health in Colorado Ranching Country
Access to mental health services continues to be a major challenge in rural communities, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic’s shuttering of many gathering places in these communities. While local public health departments identify the issues with mental health for these communities, there is a shortage of health care providers, requiring primary care providers and other health professionals to take on extra roles.

(05/04/21)¬†MNA Nurses and Healthcare Professionals to Unveil Results of ‚ÄėState of Nursing in Massachusetts‚Äô
The Massachusetts Nurses Association will hold a press conference on May 6th, marking the beginning of National Nurses Week. The conference will focus on the results of a randomized survey of more than 500 Registered Nurses in Massachusetts that practice various health care settings. The survey entitled ‚ÄúThe State of Nursing in Massachusetts,‚ÄĚ was conducted March 25 ‚Äď March 30 by Boston-based Beacon Research and has revealed the concerning impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Registered Nurses and the health care system in Massachusetts.

(05/26/21) Shuttered Hospitals, Soaring COVID-19 Deaths: Rural Black Communities Lose a Lifeline in the Century’s Worst Health Crisis
Several hospital closures are forced due to a lack of staff, resources, and high financial risks. This article from STAT news highlights the impact of hospital closures in rural and low-income communities that disproportionately affect the African American population amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

(05/21/21) Pandemic Has Made Shortage of Health Care Workers Even Worse, Say Experts
An article from ABC News looking at the current COVID-19 pandemic-related shortages in the health workforce, exacerbated by individuals leaving the workforce through retirement or seeking better job opportunities. High turnover due to low pay in nursing and long-term care as well as pandemic-related burnout and fatigue continue to disrupt the health workforce supply.

(05/21/21) The Health Care Worker Squeeze
This article from Axios looks at the issue of health care workforce shortages, an issue that preceded the COVID-19 pandemic and has been exacerbated by it, according to the Michael Dill, the director of workforce studies at the Association of American Medical Colleges.

(05/11/21) Riding Herd on Mental Health in Colorado Ranching Country
Access to mental health services continues to be a major challenge in rural communities, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic’s shuttering of many gathering places in these communities. While local public health departments identify the issues with mental health for these communities, there is a shortage of health care providers, requiring primary care providers and other health professionals to take on extra roles.

(05/04/21)¬†MNA Nurses and Healthcare Professionals to Unveil Results of ‚ÄėState of Nursing in Massachusetts‚Äô
The Massachusetts Nurses Association will hold a press conference on May 6th, marking the beginning of National Nurses Week. The conference will focus on the results of a randomized survey of more than 500 Registered Nurses in Massachusetts that practice various health care settings. The survey entitled ‚ÄúThe State of Nursing in Massachusetts,‚ÄĚ was conducted March 25 ‚Äď March 30 by Boston-based Beacon Research and has revealed the concerning impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Registered Nurses and the health care system in Massachusetts.

(04/30/21) Access to Mental Health Services Dwindled As Pandemic Need Strained Providers: GAO Report
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the access to mental health care services has been severely impacted as the COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for services. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 27% more people reported symptoms of anxiety and depression between April 2020 and February 2021, compared to 2019. Additionally, emergency room departments have seen a significant increase in visits for overdoses and suicide attempts. The National Council for Behavioral Health has found that approximately two-thirds of their member organizations reported a need to cancel, reschedule, or turn patients away due to an insufficient supply of providers as the demand for services surge.

(04/28/21) Health Care Providers Discuss COVID-19 Impact on ICU as 4th Surge Hits Oregon
Oregon State is challenged with a fourth surge of COVID-19 cases and is passing the proposed statewide hospitalization threshold of 300 people. Health care providers are urging the population to get vaccinated in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus and preserve hospital capacity.

(04/28/21) CMS Proposes $2.5B IPPS Rate Hike, With Eye on Rural, Health Equity
In response to pandemic-exacerbated issues with the rural health workforce, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is seeking to increase Medicare inpatient rates for hospitals based on the Inpatient Prospective Payment System, as well as adding residency slots to qualifying hospitals. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant financial hardship for nearly half of all rural hospitals, with hundreds at risk of closure.

(04/21/21) Oregon Hospital Rolls Out Emergency Plan With More Than 500 Workers on Leave in April
This article from Becker’s Hospital Review highlights the staffing concerns of Oregon State Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 500 health care workers have used sick, vacation, or other leave related to COVID-19 this month as of April 18, 2021. This accounts for 23% of the hospital’s total workforce. Employees have continuously expressed their concerns as working conditions have become dangerous. Employees are facing exhaustion and are continuously mandated to work long hours due to staffing shortages. Hospital officials are partnering with staff to employ emergency staffing solutions which includes requests for the deployment of health care workers from the National Guard.

(04/21/21) To Relieve Healthcare Workers Shortage, Congress Considers Recapturing Unused Visas
This article from The National Law Review highlights a bill recently reintroduced to the US Senate, the Health Workforce Resilience Act. This act seeks to recapture unused visas and remove caps based on country, for these visas among other efforts, in order to incentivize foreign-trained health care workers to practice in the US in areas experiencing shortages.

(04/09/21) In Rural Areas With Health Care Shortages, These Doctors Are Answering the Call
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing health disparities and health professional shortages in rural communities. The National Health Service Corps has assisted with increasing the workforce by deploying providers to health facilities in health professional shortage areas in exchange for education or loan repayment.

(04/09/21) Foreign-trained Doctors Like Me Fought COVID-19. Now We’re Being Tossed Aside
This opinion piece published in STAT offers perspective on foreign-trained physicians who were granted temporary licensure under executive orders during COVID-19, only to lose these licenses when executive orders expire. The high costs associated with attaining an equivalent level of licensure in the United States compared to their country of education make it difficult to practice at the highest level of training.

(04/08/21) A Coming Surge in Oral Health Treatment Needs
A recent survey conducted by CareQuest Institute for Oral Health has found an expectation for a spike in need for oral health care following the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the ability for many patients to seek and receive oral health care, with lack of dental benefits from job loss, delays relating to the cost of seeking care, and fears of COVID-19 exposure at oral health clinics contributing.

(04/05/21) Minnesota COVID-19 Hospitalizations Have Nearly Doubled Since Late February
Minnesota state health officials have released hospital capacity data which indicate that Minnesota hospitals are caring for nearly twice as many COVID-19 patients than they did in late February. These hospitals are seeing a rise in the number of younger adults being admitted to ICUs, as 82.5% of the state’s elderly population have received the COVID-19 vaccination.

(02/23/21) Calling All Vaccinators: Closing the Next Gap in COVID Supply and Demand
This article from Kaiser Health News reports that the demand for COVID-19 vaccines is outweighing the supply of vaccines and vaccinators. States have expanded liability protections and the scope of practice for some health professionals, permitting them to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. Some states are allowing dentists, paramedics, pharmacy interns and recently retired doctors and nurses to vaccinate the public.

(02/23/21) Mental Health Experts Say Funding Needed to Address Needs Exacerbated by Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the prevalence of mental health distress in the U.S. The increasing behavioral health demand and existing workforce inadequacies are amplifying calls for Congress to provide additional resources to address a national mental health crisis.

(02/20/21) Health Care Staffing Concerns Ease as Workforce gets Vaccinated for COVID-19
This article from GazzetteXtra discusses the impact of prioritizing vaccination among healthcare workers. Mercyhealth’s Medical Director, Mark Goelzer, anticipates an ease in staffing concerns as more front-line workers get vaccinated. Although, new CDC guidelines will assist with keeping healthcare workers on the job, staffing levels at health care facilities could still be affected by vaccine hesitancy among some employees.

(02/17/21)¬†Rural Hospital Remains Entrenched in COVID ‚ÄėWar‚Äô Even Amid Vaccine Rollout
This article details the surge capacity concerns and challenges of a rural hospital in Louisiana. Intensive care unit capacity has been filled for months and staffing has been low due to inability to afford traveling nurses.

(02/12/21) COVID-19 Pandemic Highlights Critical Need for Medical Laboratory Professionals
This article discusses the critical need for medical laboratory professionals who develop, perform and interpret diagnostic tests, among other duties. Graduates of laboratory programs are in high demand due to shortages in the workforce both at national and statewide levels.

(02/12/21) Nurses Say Understaffing Endangers Lives. Would a State Mandate Help?
This news article discusses nurse staffing issues across a variety of health care settings.

(02/08/21) Federal Data Reveal Which Hospitals Are Dangerously Full This Week
National Public Radio has developed a tool which shows detailed hospital-level data. The tool shows the amount of inpatient and ICU beds that are in use on a weekly basis as well as the portion of beds that are occupied by COVID-19 patients.

(02/01/21) Houston Hospitals Need More Nurses to Help Care for COVID-19 Patients
Houston is hoping to recruit nurses to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a current nursing shortage and hospitals are asking for help from retired nurses.

(1/27/21) Strengthen School Nursing to Support COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience
This opinion article argues for putting a priority on solving the school-nurse shortage in order to prevent the widespread of COVID-19 in elementary schools and to create communities resilient to any future health crisis.

(01/27/21) Efficient Staffing Can Combat Healthcare Workforce Shortages Brought About by COVID-19
This article discusses how efficient staff planning during COVID-19 is essential to help prevent healthcare workforce shortages by deploying the right people to the right situations and maximizing team members’ skill sets.

(01/25/21) Amid COVID Health Worker Shortage, Foreign-trained Professionals Sit on Sidelines
This article from KHN discusses how foreign-educated doctors, nurses, and other health workers are not being utilized during the pandemic due to licensing and credentialing barriers.

(01/20/21) California Is Overriding Its Limits on Nurse Workloads As Covid Surges
This article examines the problem California is facing with nurses tending to more patients simultaneously than they usually would. This larger workload puts a burden on nurses and violates a California state law that puts restrictions on the nurse-to-patient ratio.

(01/19/2021) My COVID-19 Dream: Training Enough Health Workers
This article by a health workforce expert discusses how the COVID-19 tragedy will be an impetus for investing in the training of health workers who will be inspired by their peers who passed away during the pandemic.

(01/15/21) In LA, Ambulances Circle for Hours and ICUs Are Full. Is This What COVID-19 Has in Store for the Rest of the Country?
This article featured in STAT discusses the current capacity issues experienced in Los Angeles, California. Southern California continues to be a region experiencing crisis with emergency rooms over capacity, nurses over mandated patient limits, and the National Guard called in to help assist with removing patient bodies who have died of COVID-19.

(01/11/21) One Ambulance Ride Leads to Another When Packed Hospitals Cannot Handle Non-COVID Patients
Patients in need of emergency care not related to COVID-19 are increasingly unable to find care in emergency departments in many parts of the United States, as COVID-19 has put many departments at maximum capacity. Some facilities are reporting as much as an 800% increase in hospitalizations, putting many in their community at risk in case of any emergency.

(01/06/21) Children’s Hospitals Grapple With Wave of Mental Illness
This article from Kaiser Health News highlights how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased utilization of emergency departments by children and adolescents with mental health-related issues. As maintaining surge capacity in hospitals has led to reductions in other areas, psychiatric beds have been unavailable and many of the previous issues in mental health care are being exacerbated.

(01/05/21)¬†‚ÄėThings Are Worse Than People Think‚Äô: LA County Official on New Directives for EMS
A new directive from Los Angeles county instructs emergency medical technicians to conserve oxygen in the field and to avoid bringing patients with little chance to survive to hospitals.Los Angeles County’s Emergency Medical Services Agency is struggling to meet the demands of the pandemic, as hospitals are too full to take in patients from ambulances.

(01/04/21) Using State Licensure Data to Assess North Carolina’s Health Workforce COVID-19 Response Capacity
A new research brief published in the North Carolina Medical Journal from the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research highlights the response capacity of health care providers North Carolina utilizing state licensure data. This data is invaluable to health care decision makers in the rapid response environment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(01/04/21)¬†‚ÄėLast Responders‚Äô Brace for Surge in COVID Deaths Across US
This article from Kaiser Health News discusses how health care workers and others responsible for taking care of the bodies of those who have died from COVID-19 are bracing for more deaths in the weeks to come. Refrigerated morgues have become increasingly commonplace as excess deaths overwhelm health care systems across the United States.

(12/31/20) US Sets Daily Coronavirus Death Record for Second Straight Day
As 2020 comes to a close, December remains as the single deadliest month thus far during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the month with the most new infections and hospitalizations.

(12/30/20) 75 Air Force, Army Healthcare Workers Headed to California Hospitals
Health care workers from the Air Force and Army are being deployed to hospitals in California as the state deals with overwhelming surges in COVID-19 cases. Beyond California, health care providers in the military are also being deployed to treat COVID-19 patients in North Dakota, Wisconsin, and the Navajo Nation.

(12/23/20)¬†‚ÄėEvery Day Is an Emergency‚Äô: The Pandemic Is Worsening Psychiatric Bed Shortages Nationwide
While much of the focus throughout the pandemic has been on intensive care unit beds and improving emergency capacity for patients sick with COVID-19, this piece from STAT highlights the pandemic-related shortages in psychiatric beds across the United States.

(12/22/20) Tennessee Hospitals Are Disturbingly Close to Their Breaking Point
In response to surges in cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 in recent weeks, hospitals in Tennessee are implementing emergency overflow protocols in an effort to avoid patients receiving treatment in hallways. Emergency capacity reaching maximums has led to waiting rooms converting into patient treatment areas and some patients being told to return home unless symptoms worsen.

(12/21/20) Epidemiologists Urge a Cautious Christmas, After Thanksgiving Surge in Some States
Throughout the United States, surges being attributed to Thanksgiving holiday gatherings are acting as a warning for expected future surges from gatherings over the Christmas holiday. Hospitals are currently at risk of running out of room while public health officials urge families to avoid gatherings to keep capacity available.

(12/21/20) Federal Data Reveal Which Hospitals Are Dangerously Full This Week. Is Yours?
This article from NPR highlights a new tool, utilizing analysis from the University of Minnesota COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking Project of recent federal government data to show current inpatient and intensive care unit beds available in hospitals throughout the United States.

(12/18/20) California Sees Record 379 Coronavirus Deaths As ICU Capacity Plummets
Intensive care unit capacity in southern California has reached 0%, with nearly all patients in hospitals being hospitalized for COVID-19. Capacity is reaching crisis levels as deaths rise to record highs.

(12/18/20)¬†Newly Released COVID-19 Data Show Most US Cities Are ‚ÄėSustained Hotspots‚Äô
As the first health care workers in the US receive vaccinations for COVID-19, infections are still rampant throughout the country, and the pandemic will likely continue for months.

(12/18/20) No More ICU Beds at the Main Public Hospital in the Nation’s Largest County
An article from Kaiser Health News covering the current intensive care unit capacity issues in Los Angeles county, California. The Los Angeles county is the largest county by population in the United States, and the largest public hospital within the county is running out of available space to treat patients.

(12/17/20)¬†Officials Stress That the Pandemic ‚ÄėIs Not Over Yet‚Äô as US Vaccinations Begin
Although vaccinations for COVID-19 have begun with priority populations in the United States, there is still widespread uncontrolled infection. As vaccine supply is limited, health officials are urging resiliency and patience in adhering to COVID-19 guidelines.

(12/16/20)¬†US Cases Up 51% in 1 Month; Surges Slow in Some Midwest States ‚ÄĒ 6 COVID-19 Updates
This COVID-19 update post from Becker’s Hospital Review highlights the increase in cases by 51% in just one month, as well as shifts in infection from the midwest and efforts by California to prepare for more deaths.

(12/14/20) COVID, ICU Capacity: 1 in 8 US Hospitals Out of Intensive Care Space
The pandemic is leading to crisis in many parts of the United States. This article from USA Today covers the difficult reality that one-in-eight intensive care unit beds throughout the United States are currently filled with COVID-19 patients, with some parts of the US experiencing nearly 100% capacity.

(12/12/20) Rural Health Systems Challenged by COVID-19 Surge
This article from NPR highlights the current crisis experienced in rural facilities across the United States as they address the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the surge following Thanksgiving holiday gatherings. Small towns are experiencing illness and hospitalization rates never before seen.

(12/09/20)¬†‚ÄėThere‚Äôs No Place for Them to Go‚Äô: ICU Beds Near Capacity Across US
This New York Times article discusses the intensive care unit capacity across the United States. Unlike surges in COVID-19 experienced over the summer months, the current surges are everywhere at once, edging hospitals closer to maximum capacity.

(12/08/20) UPMC Hires Nurses, Adds Beds As COVID-19 Spreads
A sharp increase in cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 in western Pennsylvania has led the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to hire more staff and increase COVID-19 beds in an effort to meet the needs of patients in the system’s 40 hospitals.

(12/05/20) US Sets New Daily Coronavirus Record With Nearly 228,000 Cases
Record-breaking case numbers for COVID-19 are becoming increasingly common, following Friday’s daily tally of nearly 228,000, more than 10,000 higher than the previous record tally set the day before. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging citizens not to travel for the upcoming holidays to avoid overwhelming hospital systems.

(12/05/20)¬†‚ÄėExtraordinary Acceleration‚Äô: Takeaways From the Pandemic Last Week
For the first time since April, daily death tolls from COVID-19 across the nation are reaching record levels. Hospitals are experiencing record breaking patient loads nearly everywhere in the United States, with increasing fear of a ‚ÄúThanksgiving surge‚ÄĚ on the horizon.

(12/04/20) Montana Nurse Describes How Coronavirus Pushes Rural Health Care to Its Limits
In this story from Here & Now, a nurse in Montana describes the impact of COVID-19 on rural health care providers, who are stretched thin treating unprecedented patient levels. With limited patient beds and staff available, sick workers are coming back to work as soon as they are able to continue patient treatment, even when not fully recovered.

(12/04/20) What Happened When the Only ER Doctor in a Rural Town Got COVID
This article highlights the impact of COVID-19 infection on rural hospitals, which often do not have resiliency to meet the demands of surges of cases and hospitalization. The example of the small town of Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, where the only emergency room physician at a small rural hospital became ill with COVID-19, requiring a physician to travel 10 hours from Texas to cover some of the shifts.

(12/03/20)¬†‚ÄėWe‚Äôre All Tired Of This‚Äô: Health Care Workers In Seattle Prepare For Another Surge
This story from NPR discusses the new routines of health care workers treating patients with COVID-19, which are increasingly straining in preparation for continued cases and hospitalizations. Intensive care unit beds are filling up and providers are fearful of the difficulties to come.

(12/03/20) NYC Hospital Workers, Knowing How Bad It Can Get, Brace for COVID 2nd Wave
Members of the New York State Nurses Association are fearful of the strain and staffing shortages in hospitals across New York City, even as health leaders and city officials express they feel much better prepared to meet any surge that comes in the coming weeks and months.

(12/03/20) Quarantined Health Workers Compound Staffing Shortages at California Hospitals
As intensive care units in California are approaching maximum capacity, difficulty maintaining adequate staffing levels is becoming more apparent. While hospitals are confident they have the bedspace needed, they are less confident in their ability to meet workforce needs to treat patients in those beds.

(12/02/20)¬†CDC Director: Winter Could Be ‚ÄėMost Difficult Time in the Public Health History of This Nation‚Äô
The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, has called for uniformity and harmony in messaging to prevent 200,000 deaths from COVID over the winter months. With over 90% of hospitals at risk of reaching maximum capacity, mitigation strategies are being encouraged as the best tool against further cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

(12/02/20) US Hospital Use Surges; California Case Record: Virus Update
This update from Bloomberg provides some information on the hospitalization and new case trends for COVID-19. California is currently experiencing record-breaking increases in both cases and hospitalizations.

(12/02/20) As Hospitals Fill With COVID-19 Patients, Medical Reinforcements Are Hard to Find
This article from Kaiser Health News outlines the challenges being faced in hospitals across the United States as hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue into record territory. Due to the number of hospitalizations increasing across the country, there is limited availability to move staff across state lines, as may be utilized in previous emergencies to maintain hospital capacity.

(12/01/20) Rhode Island Doctor Discusses Running Field Hospital Amid Fall COVID-19 Surge
With field hospitals opening in many places across the country to meet the needs of increasing cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19, Here & Now interviewed Dr. Paari Gopalakrishnan, who is running a field hospital in Cranston, Rhode Island, about what field hospitals are enabling in the pandemic.

(11/29/20) Health Officials Warn of Post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 Case Surge
Following the travel of millions of Americans for the Thanksgiving holiday, federal health officials such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx are warning to expect surges of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the United States. This would put further strain on an already burdened health care landscape.

(11/27/20) COVID Overload: US Hospitals Are Running Out of Beds for Patients
This article from The New York Times highlights the severity of COVID-19 related hospitalizations across the United States. As patient beds fill, those coming in with other severe conditions are experiencing dangerous delays in treatment and difficulty finding space and workers to treat them.

(11/27/20) US Sets Record of More Than 90,000 COVID-19 Patients in Hospitals and Health-care Workers Warn Situation Is Dire
Record-breaking hospitalizations for COVID-19 are causing provider groups in many states to speak out demanding more restrictions and protections. Some states have issued new mask mandates and restrictions, while others have refused.

(11/25/20)¬†A ‚ÄėBad Case of D√©j√† Vu‚Äô: New Jersey Hospitals Brace for COVID-19 Surge, but Hope This Time Will Be Different
This article focuses on the preparations and expectations hospitals in New Jersey are facing while they await another surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. New Jersey was hit hard early in the pandemic and is bracing for new cases, while hoping they will have more personal protective equipment and better staffing response.

(11/24/20) Rural Areas Send Their Sickest Patients to Cities, Straining Hospitals
This joint report from Kaiser Health News and NPR covers how rural areas, often without mask mandates, are seeing massive spikes in cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19. As these areas fill smaller, regional hospitals, patients are increasingly transferred to hospitals in cities, causing fewer beds to be available for city residents.

(11/23/20) Emergency Hospital Reopening on Staten Island to Handle 2nd Wave
Cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 are spiking in New York City, with fears of a situation similar to that seen in April coming back. This article covers the move to reopen an emergency field hospital on Staten Island as New York City battles another surge in cases.

(11/22/20) Now the US Has Lots of Ventilators, but Too Few Specialists to Operate Them
This article covers how production of ventilators has increased substantially since April, although there may not be enough specialists trained on their use to effectively utilize the life-saving devices. The shortage of intensivists in the United States may lead to otherwise preventable deaths.

(11/19/20)¬†‚ÄėPeople Are Going to Die‚Äô: Hospitals in Half the States Are Facing a Massive Staffing Shortage
An article from STAT covering the current issues experienced in hospitals in at least 25 states reporting shortages in staff to treat patients with COVID-19. The issues meeting staffing challenges are requiring some patients to be transferred hundreds of miles, sometimes across state lines.

(11/19/20) Patient Health Declining, New Primary Care Survey Shows
New survey data from the Larry A. Green Center and the Primary Care Collaborative shows that clinicians are reporting health declines related to closed primary care settings and patients delaying seeking care. Primary care practices also reported inability to fill open staff positions, difficulties with COVID-19 testing, and lack of personal protective equipment as significant issues.

(11/17/20) Hospitals Can’t Go On Like This
This article highlights troubling reports that as hospitals fill up across the United States, nearly one in 4 reports inability to meet staffing requirements to treat COVID-19-positive patients. Data from the Department of Health and Human Services is being used to identify which hospitals are reporting staffing issues, as staff who need to quarantine or too many patients for staffing levels compound issues.

(11/15/20) Rural Hospitals Crowded With COVID Patients As Cases and Deaths Surge
An article from USA Today covering the impact of the surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations on rural hospitals across the United States. Rural hospitals struggle to maintain staff and bed availability, requiring them to send patients to larger urban hospitals, sometimes hundreds of miles away.

(11/14/20)¬†COVID-19 Hospitalizations Surge In Dakotas: ‚ÄėIt‚Äôs Like We Opened Up A Spigot‚Äô
A story from NPR explaining the current surge in hospitalizations in North and South Dakota, which are currently experiencing the highest hospitalization rate in the United States. The surge is leading to policies such as allowing COVID-19-positive health care workers to treat patients in North Dakota, a move South Dakota is also considering implementing.

(11/13/20) The Pandemic Is Entering A Dangerous New Chapter. Here Are the Week’s Big Takeaways
Daily cases have increased 70% nationwide, since the beginning of the month. In other words, one in 378 people in the US have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last 7 days. Key takeaways include that hospitals are nearing capacity as deaths rise nearly everywhere for the first time in months.

(11/13/20) As COVID-19 Surges, Hospitals Scramble to Find Staff Amid Exhausted Workforce
Health care staffing demand is on the rise across the United States, with a 57% increase in demand reported for traveling nurses and more than 24,000 positions open at one leading traveling nurse organization alone. Physician burnout and infection of health care workers with COVID-19 is also exacerbating demand for nurses.

(11/13/20) As Cases Soar, Massachusetts Is Better Prepared to Handle Coronavirus Surge, Baker Says
As Massachusetts experiences a rise in hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19, Governor Charlie Baker has announced the planned reopening of several field hospitals previously opened in the spring. Hospitals are also planning to convert 400 acute care beds to intensive care unit beds to help meet demand.

(11/13/20) Coronavirus Live Updates: US Shatters Another Record for Daily Cases As States Threaten New Lockdowns
An article covering the current record-breaking outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the United States. Eighteen states have recorded record levels of hospitalizations for COVID-19, with nationwide numbers nearly doubling in the past 2 weeks.

(11/12/20) A Nationwide Case Surge Hits US Hospitals: This Week in COVID-19 Data, Nov 12
The United States is posting new records for COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations almost every day, and hospitals are reaching capacity in many areas where cases have surged. This report includes data visualization to show trends in COVID-19 hospitalization.

(11/12/20)¬†Wisconsin COVID-19 Outbreak ‚ÄėWorse‚Äô Than New York City Surge
The current COVID-19 outbreak in Wisconsin is surpassing the most dire surge experienced in New York City in late March and early April, the worst experienced in the United States thus far. The state is experiencing a higher daily case rate than New York City’s highest with less than a third of the population.

(11/11/20) Some Hospitals Are Running Out of Health Care Workers. Here’s What Could Happen Next
As Covid-19 hospitalizations reach record highs, elective procedures are being postponed in some states and retired health care workers are being recruited to help fight the pandemic, according to this CNN article.

(11/10/20) COVID-19 Hospitalizations Hit Record Highs. Where Are Hospitals Reaching Capacity?
This story from NPR helps visualize the trends and locations of COVID-19 cases across the United States. With cases of COVID-19 surging, experts are concerned that the next round of hospitalizations will be devastating and hospitals could reach capacity shortly.

(11/06/20) Ballad Health Seeks 350 Nurses As COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rise
Ballad Health in Tennessee is seeking to hire 350 nurses to meet COVID-19-related demand in hospitals. As hospitalized patients rise, staff is struggling to keep up and some nurses are being given more patients in an effort to meet the need.

(11/05/20) COVID Spike Leads to Concerns About Hospitals in KY, IN
This article focuses on the spikes in hospitalizations in Kentucky and Indiana which are causing concern over the continued capacity of hospitals to respond. Hospitals in both states have seen significant increases in hospitalization, including more than doubling the capacities of the intensive care units, leading to changes in how staff is scheduled to meet demand.

(11/02/20) COVID-Era Health Care Workforce Capacity in Washington, DC
A publication from the D.C. Policy Center detailing the health workforce capacity in Washington, DC in the current COVID-19 pandemic. This publication both offers information and analysis on workforce capacity that may help identify surge capacity and ability to respond to spikes in infection and hospitalization.

(11/02/20) Wisconsin Hospitals Scramble to Fill Staffing Void Amid COVID-19 Surge: 5 Things to Know
An update from Becker’s Hospital Review on the surges in cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 and staffing shortages experienced in Wisconsin, as well as the attempts to attract new workers with sign-on bonuses and redeploy workers from less impacted services.

(10/31/20) Wisconsin Coronavirus: Hospitals Seek More Staff Amid COVID-19 Surge
This article covers recent struggles to meet the demands of staffing shortages in Wisconsin as the state faces surges in hospitalizations for COVID-19. Hospitals are resorting to redeploying employees from non-essential services or less impacted areas, as well as high pay for temporary and traveling health care workers.

(10/29/20) ‘Disaster in Warp Speed’: COVID-19 Outbreaks Ramp Up As Wisconsin Hits Record Cases, Deaths + Hospitalizations in Same Day ‚ÄĒ 5 COVID-19 Updates
This update from Becker’s Hospital Review discusses some of the current issues in COVID-19 relating to the health workforce and current surges in COVID-19. Several states are seeing record levels of infection and intensive care unit capacity issues and hospitalizations are on the rise across the United States.

(10/26/20) COVID Spikes Exacerbate Health Worker Shortages in Rocky Mountains, Great Plains
Surges in cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 are exposing significant issues with health worker shortages in the Rocky Mountain and Midwestern areas of the United States. These clinics typically run on limited staff to save on costs in a non-pandemic environment, causing issues when staff contract COVID-19 or have to quarantine for 14 days.

(10/22/20) COVID-19 Surges in Rural Communities, Overwhelming Some Local Hospitals
While the midwestern United States experiences some of the largest surges in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, many of the rural health systems that serve them are beginning to be overwhelmed. Difficulties finding bed space and intensive care unit capacity is necessitating transferring patients to urban settings, sometimes even out of state.

(10/22/20) 16 States See Record COVID-19 Hospitalizations; CDC Expands Definition of ‘Close Contact’ ‚ÄĒ 6 Updates
This update from Becker’s Hospital Review covers the current rises in hospitalizations for COVID-19 experienced across the United States, with many states reaching record levels of hospitalization, as well as revision of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

(10/22/20) Stories of COVID-19: The Fine Line Between Essential and Non-essential Care
This personal essay discusses the differentiation between what is essential and non-essential care, and how sometimes the differences in designation can lead to missed diagnoses and worse outcomes for patients, especially as non-essential care is put on hold during rises in COVID-19 infection and hospitalization.

(10/20/20) ‚ÄėAt a Breaking Point‚Äô: New Surge of COVID-19 Cases Has States, Hospitals Scrambling, Yet Again
An article form STAT covering the rise in cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 experienced across the United States. As the surge continues, some fear the health care system is nearing a breaking point, with states establishing field hospitals and experiencing reemergence of cases in places that had outbreaks months ago.

(10/19/20) 1 Big Thing: Coronavirus Hospitalizations Are on the Rise
This newsletter from Axios highlights major rises in hospitalizations with a state-by-state diagram. Hospitalizations are currently rising in 39 states, with 16 states having reached or currently approaching record highs.

(10/19/20) Coronavirus Hospitalizations Are Growing in 37 States As Fauci Warns the World Not ‚Äėon the Road‚Äô to Ending Pandemic Yet
This story from CNBC covers the 37 states seeing an increase in hospitalizations for COVID-19 of 5% or more over the past week. Daily cases are also on the rise with hospitalizations, leading health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci to call for caution and awareness.

(10/14/20) COVID-19 Contact Tracing Workforce Barely ‘Inching Up’ as Cases Surge
Cases of COVID-19 are rising fast in many states, however a new survey from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and NPR has found that the contact tracing workforce across the United States has increased to more than 50,000, a 10,000 person increase from the previous survey in April, but short of the 100,000 recommended by public health experts. States are struggling with limited funding and data to establish contact tracing, with no federal funding expected to support efforts.

(10/07/20) Getting Health Care Was Already Tough in Rural Areas. The Pandemic Has Made it Worse
A new poll finds that one in four rural households has been unable to receive treatment for medical conditions since the beginning of the pandemic. The most common reasons reported by households include inability to make appointments due to clinics closing to in-person care, lack of providers accepting new patients, inability to afford treatment, and lack of transportation to receive treatment.

(10/05/20) Beyond Survival to Transformation: Investing in Safety-Net Innovation to Address the Impacts of COVID-19
Safety-net health systems, hospitals, and clinics act as a point of contact for those who are most vulnerable: the uninsured, underinsured, and those on public insurance plans such as Medicaid and Medicare. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing further strain on these systems, innovation and investment are key to improve and sustain the essential services safety-net facilities provide.

(10/05/20) New Primary Care Survey Results Show Patients’ Physical and Mental Health Declining
A new survey released by the Primary Care Collaborative has found that primary care clinicians are reporting physical and mental health declines in their patients. These clinicians are noticing these significant declines in health relating to the 7 months since the pandemic began.

(10/01/20) Can the U.S. Use its Growing Supply of Rapid Tests to Stop the Virus?
With increasing availability of faster, less expensive COVID-19 tests, there are hopes that the United States can get better control of infections and prevent outbreaks. This story from NPR covers how rapid tests could make a difference in fighting surges of COVID-19 infection.

(09/30/20) The Essential Role of Population Health During and Beyond COVID-19
This research article covers the ways in which health care delivery has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Issues with the fee-for-service payment model, demographic disparities in health care, and rapid expansion of telehealth technologies are all key points outlined.

(09/28/20) Health on Wheels: Tricked-Out RVs Deliver Addiction Treatment to Rural Communities
With clinics closing and limiting services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, addiction treatment providers are finding innovative ways to continue to deliver services to rural communities. Utilizing custom mobile addiction treatment clinics and telehealth technology, these services can continue for those most in need.

(09/25/20) Pharmacies Are Bracing for a Surge in Demand for Flu Shots Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
As seasonal influenza cases are expected to begin rising soon, pharmacies across the United States are preparing for large surges in demand for vaccines, leading to larger quantities being stockpiled compared to usual.

(09/25/20)¬†A New ‚ÄúPPE‚ÄĚ for a Thriving Community: Public Health, Primary Care, Health Equity
The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked the United States, emerging attention is being paid to public health, primary care, and access to health care. This blog post on the Health Affairs blog discusses some strategies for ensuring synergy and effectiveness in protecting the population at large with these focuses.

(09/24/20) Who Gets Coronavirus Vaccine First? Maybe Not All Front-line Healthcare Workers, HHS Committee Told
This article from Beckers Hospital Review covers the National Vaccine Advisory Committee’s recent panel, where it was announced that distribution of vaccines to front-line health care workers may not be the most ethical option. As vaccine quantity will be limited, other high-risk populations may need to be given priority.

(09/23/20)¬†Community Health Workers and Covid-19 ‚ÄĒ Addressing Social Determinants of Health in Times of Crisis and Beyond
This perspective piece published in the New England Journal of Medicine promotes investing in the community health workforce as a means to help confront systemic racism and social determinants of health in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Integrating community health workers into existing health systems can promote better patient advocacy among providers and help improve and maintain better health outcomes in the communities they serve.

(09/22/20) Tyson Plant That Had Major COVID-19 Outbreak Works With Clinic to Get Health Care Nearby
Meat packing plants have consistently been cited as a major concern for outbreaks of COVID-19. In response to this concern, Tyson has partnered with medical clinics that will open exclusively for employees of these meatpacking facilities.

(09/22/20) With Limited COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Who Would Get Them First?
As vaccine production continues, conversations about establishing priority for distribution are leading to questions about who can be considered a front-line health worker. With an expected limited initial supply of the vaccine, answering these questions is essential to protecting the health care system.

(09/22/20) Primary Care Has Not Fully Bounced Back, According to New Survey
A new survey released by the Primary Care Collaborative has found that more than eight in ten primary care clinicians disagree with the notion that primary care has recovered from COVID-19 related reductions in services. A majority of clinicians have reported working longer hours with reduced capacity compared to pre-pandemic.

(09/20/20) Advances In ICU Care Are Saving More Patients Who Have COVID-19
This story from NPR highlights how innovative changes to the intensive care unit in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are working to save lives. As doctors across the world learn more about best practices in ICUs, these practices are being replicated and mortality is decreasing.

(09/17/20)¬†The First Look at the US Government‚Äôs COVID-19 Vaccine ‚ÄėPlaybook‚Äô
This article introduces the government’s plan for COVID-19 vaccine rollout. The plan includes multiple phases for who will be eligible to receive the vaccine, with healthcare workers, the elderly and high risk, and essential workers taking top priority.

(09/17/20)¬†Black Women Turn to Midwives to Avoid COVID and ‚ÄėFeel Cared For‚Äô
Maternal mortality among Black women in the United States is a major cause for concern. As the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these inequalities, the demand for midwives in performing out-of-hospital births has gained traction as an effective and potentially safer alternative.

(09/16/20)¬†The Human Touch ‚ÄĒ Addressing Health Care‚Äôs Workforce Problem Amid the Pandemic
As the health workforce continues to struggle to meet the needs of the pandemic, projections suggest that the pandemic will continue into 2021. This perspective piece furthers the conversation about the need for organized aid from volunteers, med students, retired physicians, and more to fill the gaps in the workforce.

(09/15/20) COVID Exodus Fills Vacation Towns With New Medical Pressures
An article from Kaiser Health News discussing a unique issue posed on medical centers in what would otherwise be major tourist destinations: major influxes of affluent individuals seeking to escape large cities, leading to high demand for services atypical to the area.

(09/14/20) The Key to Efficient Vaccine Distribution: Start Preparing Early
An opinion piece published in STAT suggesting some strategic moves to prepare for the vaccine distribution needed to meet the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors suggest guidance and coordination from federal, state, and local public health officials and ensuring priority is given to highest risk individuals, including the elderly, frontline health care providers, and first responders.

(09/02/20)¬†During the Vietnam War, These Physician-Scientists Were Called ‚ÄėYellow Berets.‚Äô They Are What We Need to Fight COVID-19
An opinion piece published in STAT discussing the use of physician-scientists during the Vietnam War and the benefit of having a physician who can treat patients and quickly transition to studying disease in the laboratory. The National Institutes of Health Associates Training Program enabled recent graduate physicians to receive multi-year extensive clinical research training, and the author advocates for boosting this program again to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic

(08/30/20) Hawaii’s Hospitals are in Urgent Need of Nurses to Tackle a Surge in COVID-19 Cases
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are on the rise in Hawaii and nurses are in short supply, leading to concerns about a problem that continues to worsen. Many of the employee representative organizations within Hawaii are collaborating to bring more nurses and other health care workers to Hawaii to help deal with the surge.

(08/28/20)¬†New York City Nervously Braces for Another ‚ÄėExplosive Spread‚Äô
New York City was the epicenter of COVID-19 cases as the pandemic first reached the United States. Although the spread of COVID-19 has been kept under control for months, fears of another large surge in cases are leading hospitals in the city to stockpile personal protective equipment and make other preparations.

(08/26/20) Preparations for Second Surge of Coronavirus Underway
This article covers some of the preparations being made in hospitals across Massachusetts ahead of an anticipated second surge of COVID-19 cases. Stockpiling personal protective equipment, standardizing protocols, and improving staffing are all aims of this preparation effort.

(08/18/20) ICU Capacity is More About the Clinicians Than the Number of Beds
This opinion piece featured in STAT discusses the reality behind intensive care unit capacity in the United States health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic. As many health professionals in ICU settings are in critical roles treating COVID-19 patients, many are being asked to work overtime for months on end and experiencing burnout at high rates, leading to fears of worse care quality.

(08/17/20) Nurse Practitioner COVID-19 Survey
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners has released the results of a survey of nurse practitioners conducted between July 28 and August 9. Important data captured includes delays in getting patient results of COVID-19 tests, increases in nurse practitioners testing positive for COVID-19, and opinions on the regulatory and licensure flexibility many states are employing.

(08/14/20) FDA Creates First-ever Medical Supply Shortage List Including Masks, Swabs, and Ventilators
As questions of maintaining hospital capacity continue, the Food and Drug Administration has created a list of all medical supplies used to treat COVID-19 that are experiencing shortages. This first-ever list will help determine the capacity and safety of treating patients for many health professionals.

(08/11/20) 26 States Will Soon Face Shortages of ICU Doctors
Researchers at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health found that twenty six states will soon face shortages in health care workers needed to treat patients with COVID-19. There are projected shortages this month in doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and pharmacists.

(08/10/2020) COVID-19 is Elevating New Type of Executive: Chief Medical Officer
Health systems are now more at risk of losing their CMOs as companies seek expert health advice during the pandemic, reports The Wall Street Journal.

(08/07/20) Expanding Our Health Force Can Save Lives and Create Jobs Simultaneously
This opinion piece discusses how Connecticut and Massachusetts effectively controlled the spread of COVID-19 within their states and implemented community-based strategies that enabled this control to continue while creating jobs and preserving capacity within the health care system.

(08/07/20) Coronavirus Cases Are Surging. The Contact Tracing Workforce Is Not
This article/podcast examines the fact that the US contact tracing workforce continues to fall short of projected need. NPR’s recent survey of all 50 states, completed in collaboration with John Hopkins Center for Health Security, found the national workforce has not grown significantly since mid June.

(08/06/20) As Clinicians Are Redeployed for Covid-19, Onboarding Takes on Extra Importance                          An article that looks at the challenges of onboarding clinicians during the pandemic. Some Problems include: addressing fear and anxiety, clarifying procedures for delivering care, and relationship building.

(08/03/20) Nearly Half of Low-income Communities Have No ICU Beds in Their Area
An article covering a recent study published in Health Affairs which shows that nearly half of low-income communities in the United States have no intensive care unit beds. With COVID-19 threatening the critical care capacity of most of the nation, this could lead to significant issues dealing with surge capacity throughout the United States.

(08/03/20) The Pandemic is Boosting the Public’s View of Doctors
An article discussing how recent surveys show that the public support for physicians has improved significantly compared to pre-pandemic levels. Higher appreciation for health care workers is associated with better morale and may help recruit more health care workers in the future.

(08/03/20) Address the Nurse Shortage in 2020 and Beyond: 5 Key Takeaways for Hospital Leaders
An article from Beckers Hospital Review discussing how COVID-19 has exacerbated an already short supply of nurses throughout the United States. Some strategies discussed to improve the situation include focusing on career advancement opportunities and flexible scheduling, as well as competitive compensation packages.

(07/31/20) The Nursing Science Behind Nurses as Coronavirus Hospital Heroes
An article discussing the need for more nurse scientists and nursing educators as a solution to the perceived nurse shortage seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses provide a significant amount of care to patients, especially in intensive care unit settings.

(07/30/20) The Critical Care Workforce and COVID-19: A State-by-State Analysis
An issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation researching the capacity of the critical care workforce to treat COVID-19 patients, presented in a state-by-state format. Intensivists and critical care nurses, as well as second-line physicians such as hospitalists, pulmonologists, and anesthesiologists are considered instrumental in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

(07/28/20) Coronavirus in Florida: Interactive Map Shows Hospital ICU Bed Capacity
The State of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration has released an interactive map to show the hospital ICU bed capacity for every county in Florida. This interactive map will be updated daily.

(07/28/20) 11 States at Risk of Straining Interventionist Supply Amid COVID-19, Estimator Finds
An article discussing the current status of health workforce supply in many states hit hardest by COVID-19. The Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity at George Washington University’s State Hospital Workforce Deficit Estimator tool is forecasting shortfalls in states such as Texas and Arizona, and risk of shortfalls in states such as Florida, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, among others.

(07/27/20) Village Versus Virus: Rural Ethos Protects Where Public Health Fails
A blog post from two faculty members at Dartmouth College published in Health Affairs discussing the impact of COVID-19 on rural health systems in Vermont and New Hampshire. Rural hospitals, facing increased financial pressure, have closed in many cases, requiring innovative and inclusive ways to ensure rural communities are safe and able to treat COVID-19 infections.

(07/25/20) Houston, Miami, Other Cities Face Mounting Health Care Worker Shortages as Infections Climb
As infections are on the rise in many of the largest cities in the United States, experts fear that shortages in health care workers will contribute not just to increased patient deaths from COVID-19, but also increased risk to everyone else in the hospital, patients and health workers alike.

(07/24/20) Primary Care Remains Weakened in Fight Against COVID-19
New data from the Larry A Green Center shows that nearly 90% of respondents are facing significant difficulties in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents also reported difficulties obtaining medical supplies, meeting the needs of their patients, and meeting financial needs to continue operations.

(07/21/20) Are We Prepared for the Next Health Crisis? Maybe
An opinion piece from the dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health covering the warning of vulnerability of the United States to a pandemic that came in years prior, and strategies to build a strong, robust public health system to respond to the current and any future pandemic.

(07/20/20) South Carolina Hospitals Face Down COVID Surge
An article discussing the efforts multiple health systems in South Carolina are using to meet the surge of COVID-19 cases in their state. While personal protective equipment is mostly available, issues with the health workforce becoming infected outside of work and financial struggles are bringing hospitals to the brink.

(07/18/20)¬†With 4 in 5 Texans Living in a ‚ÄúRed Zone,‚ÄĚ Coronavirus Hot Spots Are Moving Targets
An article discussing how the current surges in cases of COVID-19 throughout Texas are creating difficulties for health care systems to meet needed capacity. Some ill patients are being directed to travel as far as 700 miles to find an available clinic for treatment.

(07/16/20)¬†Using Interfacility Transfers to ‚ÄėLevel-load‚Äô Demand From Surging COVID-19 Patients: Lessons From NYC Health + Hospitals
Another review of the New York City Health + Hospitals published in the Health Affairs blog, this time looking at the impact of interfacility transfers to help maintain capacity across the entire health system. New York City Health + Hospitals is the largest public health system in the United States.

(07/16/20) COVID-19 Pandemic Highlights Need to Diversify Healthcare Workforce
An article providing perspectives from multiple health workforce diversification experts about the importance of creating a diverse health workforce, especially in light of the demographic disparities arising in the COVID-19 pandemic.

(07/15/20) Southwest Florida Hospitals Boost Staffing Amid COVID-19 Surge
An article from Beckers Hospital Review covering the method health care systems in Southern Florida are using to help meet the surge in COVID-19 cases, with many seasonal workers being called back early in an effort to meet the needed capacity demanded by the pandemic.

(07/09/20) Amid Surge, Hospitals Hesitate to Cancel Nonemergency Surgeries
An article discussing how the surge capacity strategies of hospitals across the United States has changed in relation to non-emergency, elective surgical procedures. While some states have maintained orders to prevent elective procedures from going forward, many have ended those restrictions and hospitals have been strategically using elective procedures to help reduce their financial losses as a result of the pandemic.

(07/08/20) Saving Primary Care: Is it Time for a New National Service Corps for Primary Care Practices?
A piece by policy analysts at Mathematica describing the potential for a new, Works Progress Administration-style national Primary Care Service Corps in order to help save primary care practices that have faced significant financial trouble addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

(07/08/20) Coronavirus: California Ramps Up Hospital Capacity as Cases Surge
Governor of California Gavin Newsom has announced that California has increased its hospital capacity to treat 50,000 COVID-19 patients. The state has also grown its stockpile to meet the projected need for the ongoing surge in cases.

(07/06/20) COVID-19 Effects on Care Volumes: What They Might Mean and How We Might Respond
A blog post covering the way COVID-19 has impacted patient volume among health care providers. As health care providers closed practices and moved all but urgent and emergency care to telemedicine, revenue losses have led to a reevaluation of payment methods and efficiency in the healthcare system to ensure health care providers can maintain operations.

(07/01/20) More Than One-Third of Primary Care Clinicians Not Ready for Next COVID-19 Surge
New data from the Larry A Green Center shows that 35% of respondents feel they are not ready for another surge in COVID-19. Respondents also cited shortages of personal protective equipment and increases of patients who have issues with chronic disease management stemming from inability to access care during the pandemic.

(06/26/20) I’m a Health Care Worker. You Need to Know How Close We Are to Breaking.
An opinion piece featured in the New York Times detailing an emergency medicine physician’s perspective on the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of health care providers, as well as the hospitals and clinics in which they work.

(06/26/20) Visa Limits Raise Concerns for Doctors at Risk of Deportation
An article describing how the new executive order from President Trump impacts immigrant visas for doctors treating patients with COVID-19. Although exemptions are in place to allow health care workers to remain if they are treating patients with COVID-19, some experts believe legal hurdles for these professionals may make deportation more likely.

(06/24/20) Behavioral Health: A Payer-Based Strategy for Improving Access and Quality During COVID-19 and Beyond
A blog post featured in Health Affairs covering some potential strategies to help improve access and quality of care for behavioral health services both during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. Integrated care, payment reform, and changes to how behavioral health is regulated are all suggested options.

(06/22/20) Preparing for the Next COVID-19 Crisis: A Strategy to Save Safety-Net Hospitals
A blog post discussing the financial vulnerability safety-net hospitals are experiencing in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As routine checkups and most non-emergency visits stopped occurring, safety-net hospitals that rely on Medicaid reimbursements have in many cases been forced to close. Calls for federal funding, loan forgiveness, and expanding health coverage are proposed as solutions to keep safety-net hospitals afloat.

(06/18/20) COVID-19’s Crushing Effects on Medical Practices, Some of Which Might Not Survive
A commentary published in JAMA discussing financial hardships many medical clinics are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the United States, surveys of physicians are finding reductions in hours, pay, and patient visits as well as transitions to telehealth services in an attempt to keep their doors open.

(06/18/20) 80 Percent of Primary Care Clinicians Say Their Level of Burnout is at an All-Time High
New data from the Larry A Green Center shows that more than 80% of primary care clinicians who responded to their survey are experiencing professional burnout. These clinicians also reported lack of personal protective equipment and financial issues making their practices more difficult to maintain operation.

(06/17/20) The Health 202: Some Low-Income Health Providers Say They’re Still Shut Out of Coronavirus Relief Funds
An article covering how some clinics, such as behavioral health centers, pediatric clinics, and children’s hospitals, are often excluded from applying for COVID-19 related relief funds provided by the federal government. Allocation of relief funding continues to be a struggle for federal government response.

(06/16/20) Public Health Cannot Go It Alone On COVID-19
An article advocating for a stronger public health and private insurance partnership to be implemented in response to the public health emergency that is the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the United States relies on a patchwork of many different layers and systems that often do not cooperate for the benefit of patients.

(06/15/20) A New Addiction Crisis: Treatment Centers Face Financial Collapse
An article discussing how the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced capacity at drug and alcohol treatment centers across the United States, which has the impact of greatly reducing their revenue. While telehealth use has increased, survival for many treatment centers will depend on financial aid from the government.

(06/11/20) An Inside Look At Incident Command During COVID-19 At NYC Health + Hospitals
A podcast from Health Affairs covering the ways in which the New York City Health + Hospitals system coordinated between their special pathogens and emergency management teams to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also a discussion about best practices and continuing to improve services for patients going forward.

(06/12/20) We Need Primary Care More Than Ever to Fight COVID-19
A podcast featuring health policy expert Farzad Mostashari, M.D., discussing how to ensure that primary care providers are able to meet the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic for the duration of the pandemic.

(06/11/20) Critical Care and Emergency Department Response at the Epicenter of the COVID-19 Pandemic
A commentary piece published in Health Affairs covering the steps taken by New York City Health + Hospitals to expand their critical care and emergency department capacity to address the COVID-19 pandemic. New York City Health + Hospitals is the largest public hospital network in the United States.

(06/11/20) Staffing Up For The Surge: Expanding the New York City Public Hospital Workforce During the COVID-19 Pandemic
A commentary piece published in Health Affairs by senior leadership of NYC Health + Hospitals, discussing what the largest public hospital system in the United States did to ensure their health workforce could meet the surge in capacity needed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

(06/10/20) Eighty-Six Percent of Primary Care Patients Believe Racism is Impacting Their Health
New data from the Larry A Green Center shows that racism is a primary concern among both primary care patients and providers. One in five primary care providers reported discussing the death of George Floyd with their patients in recent visits. The survey also showed that clinicians and patients are still struggling with personal protective equipment and staff layoffs as a result of COVID-19.

(06/10/20) Doctors Race To Understand What COVID-19 Means for People With HIV
An article covering how COVID-19 has impacted how doctors treat patients with HIV infection, and the toll it has taken on both patients and providers. As HIV compromises the immune system, fear of vulnerability among those patients to COVID-19 infection has led to attempts by doctors to find a solution to protect those patients.

(06/10/20) How Doctors Use Stories To Help Them Cope With the Coronavirus Crisis
An article describing how physicians can use storytelling as a method of improving patient outcomes. Medical schools in California are on the forefront of teaching storytelling, which clinicians have found to be useful to communicating with nonprofessionals and increasing adherence to public health recommendations.

(06/09/20) Decades of Yo-Yo Funding Hampering COVID-19 Response
An article covering how the inconsistent funding of public health services and the public health workforce in the United States has harmed the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(06/07/20) Doctors Race For Answers as Kids Fight Rare Inflammatory Syndrome Tied To Coronavirus
An article covering the urgency of pediatric physicians in addressing a new inflammatory syndrome related to COVID-19. As children appear to be least risk of contracting COVID-19, the attention for most COVID-19 related research and treatment has been on adults.

(06/07/20) George Floyd Protests Add New Front Line for Coronavirus Doctors
An article highlighting the potential impact of the George Floyd protests on the spread of COVID-19 in the United States. Many physicians feel they have an important role in protesting and acting as community leaders, however there is concern that the current protests will lead to a resurgence and second wave of infection.

(06/05/20) COVID-19 Overwhelms Border ICUs
A story from Kaiser Health News covering the situation many clinics near the United States-Mexico border are experiencing, with many emergency department visits caused by COVID-19 being from patients who are traveling from Mexico to seek treatment in the United States. These border clinics are being overwhelmed and transferring to less busy hospitals further north.

(06/05/20) To Protect Public Health During and After the Pandemic, We Need a New Approach To Financing Community Health Workers
A blog post covering the important role community health workers can play in reducing the spread of infectious diseases, especially those communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The post calls for more funding for community health workers in order to recruit and sustain an effective community health workforce.

(06/04/20) Rapid Investment in Nursing to Strengthen the Global COVID-19 Response
A guest editorial in the International Journal of Nursing Studies covering the unprecedented challenges nurses are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(06/04/20) Ensuring and Sustaining a Pandemic Workforce
Leaders of federally funded and privately funded health workforce research centers came together to raise issues that must be addressed to ensure that we have the workforce we need to care for patients with COVID-19.

(06/04/20) Interview With Dr Erin Fraher on Opportunities for Expanding Health Workforce Capacity During the COVID-19 Pandemic
An interview with Dr Erin Fraher of the Cecil G Sheps Center for Health Services Research at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill covering the opportunities and challenges of expanding the capacity of the health workforce to meet the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(06/04/20) New Survey Shows Higher-Than-Normal Use of Primary Care and Telehealth by Patients
New data from the Larry A Green Center shows that telehealth use and availability is increasingly common in primary care settings. The data also shows that primary care use has increased compared to 2019, even as overall in-person visitation volume has declined.

(06/04/20) Why America’s Nurses Were Not Prepared for the Coronavirus Pandemic
An article covering the issues nurses have faced in the COVID-19 pandemic, including lack of emergency preparedness education, staffing shortages, and lack of access to mental health services.

(06/03/20) Local Public Health Workers Report Hostile Threats and Fears About Contact Tracing
An article covering some of the issues state and local health officials have been experiencing in implementing contact tracing. Lack of willingness to share important data and threats to health departments risk hampering the response to COVID-19.

(06/03/20) For Some Private Practices, COVID-19 is the Last Straw
An article discussing the way in which COVID-19 has led some physicians, practice managers, and others to retire earlier than they would have otherwise. Physicians cited their own personal risk factors and additional burdens to operating in the COVID-19 pandemic as reasons they decided to end their practices.

(06/03/20) We Can’t Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic Without Public Health Investment
An opinion piece from Linda P Fried, the dean and DeLamar professor of Public Health at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, discussing the importance of public health investment and how a public health investment has put the United States at risk in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(06/02/20) Hiring a Diverse Army To Track COVID-19 Amid Reopening
An article covering the efforts state and local health departments are making to ensure their new COVID-19 contact tracer hires are diverse enough to meet the needs of the racial and ethnic communities most at risk from the pandemic.

(06/01/20) Primary Care Doctors Could be COVID-19’s Next Victims
An opinion piece covering the troubling state of distress in which many primary care clinics currently find themselves, with as many as 60,000 primary care physicians potentially out of work by the end of this month. The authors argue that years of lack of investment in primary care have created a system that is unlikely to withstand the COVID-19 pandemic without further federal financial aid.

(05/29/20) Contact Tracing May Help Avoid Another Lockdown. Can it Work in the US?
An article describing potential difficulties with implementing contact tracing across the United States. Some of the issues include hiring enough contact tracers and ensuring compliance of those exposed.

(05/27/20) New Data Shows Panic Among Primary Care Patients as Practices Face Mounting Financial Burdens, Layoffs and Closures
New data from the Larry A Green Center shows that many primary care providers are concerned about many differing factors, including financial issues and the fear of reopening too soon. Nearly 40% of clinics have laid off staff in the previous 8 weeks, and now clinics are dealing with increases in patients with less staff and lower income.

(05/26/20) Patients Are Giving High Marks To US Health Care Providers During the Crisis
An article featured in the Harvard Business Review discussing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient satisfaction. Areas most impacted by COVID-19 are rating their experiences much higher than usual, a sign of public support for the health workforce.

(05/21/20) Can PCPs Survive COVID-19? Only If Fee-for-Service Goes
An article highlighting the issues primary care providers face in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Low pay and lack of reserve funding mean many clinics are facing layoffs and risk of closure that other specialties may be better able to mitigate.

(05/21/20) New Primary Care Survey Shows Practices in Trouble Now and in the Future
According to the 10th weekly survey from the Primary Care Collaborative, more than half of primary care clinicians are concerned that they will not be prepared for another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, both mentally and physically as well as financially.

(05/21/20) After COVID-19: How To Rejuvenate Primary Care for the Future
A blog post discussing some of the innovative changes primary care can make based on what has been practiced during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include increasing utilization of telehealth as well as addressing barriers to access such as payment and organization, including solutions to move beyond those barriers.

(05/21/20) COVID-19 Effect on Mental Health: Patients and Workforce
A statement from a group of psychiatrists published in The Lancet discussing the measures that have been taken in various parts of the world to allow for access of telepsychiatry and training and availability of personal protective equipment for psychiatrists

(05/20/20) New Workforce Estimates Show Public Health Never Recovered From the Great Recession. Then Came COVID-19
A piece discussing the state of the public health workforce during the past decade. Estimates show that the public health workforce is smaller now than it was a decade ago in the midst of the great recession, a troubling sign considering the potential need for hundreds of thousands of contact tracers.

(05/19/20) The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Outpatient Visits: A Rebound Emerges
A publication from the Commonwealth Fund covering the changes in outpatient visit volume throughout the pandemic. While March saw a steep initial drop in patient volume, there has been a steady increase in patient volume since, however still below what is expected. This trend was observed across the United States.

(05/18/20) The COVID-19 Pandemic Will Have a Long-term Impact on Healthcare. Here are 4 Changes To Expect
An article highlighting some of the changes that may become important for delivering health care post-COVID-19 pandemic, including changes to how elective surgeries are performed, increased use of telehealth and more frequent cleaning of facilities

(05/18/20) COVID-19 and Telehealth Revolution Policy Barriers Are Standing in the Way of Transforming Care
An article describing changes to improve access to health care remotely via telehealth in response to COVID-19. These improvements are time-limited, and risk becoming barriers to telehealth unless they are allowed to become permanent following the COVID-19 pandemic.

George Washington University Mullan Institute COVID-19 Webinar Series:
(05/18/20) Ensuring Access To Oral Care
(05/11/20) Data Tool to Calculate Contact Tracer Workforce Need
See all webinars here
The George Washington University Mullan Institute is hosting a webinar series regarding emergency health workforce policies to address COVID-19.

(05/18/20) Medicaid Clinics and Doctors Have Been Last in Line for COVID-19 Relief Funding
An article describing the issues clinics and providers who primarily treat Medicaid patients have been experiencing in receiving COVID-19 relief funding.

(05/18/20) How Will COVID-19 Change Patient Experience, Healthcare Delivery?
An article outlining the perspectives of some primary care providers about the ways in which COVID-19 has changed the patient experience in primary care, as well as what changes may be expected to be maintained in a post-pandemic environment.

(05/13/20)¬†Psychiatrists ‚ÄėPleasantly Surprised‚Äô With Transition To Telemedicine
An article describing the forced shift for psychiatrists to telemedicine based treatment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some benefits and disadvantages are listed, with most psychiatrists reporting a desire to return to in-person practice beyond the pandemic.

(05/12/20) Culturally Competent Healthcare: Lessons From a Safety-Net Hospital in the COVID Era
An article covering strategies used to address cultural competence in health care delivery in the context of COVID-19. Cultural competency is a tool that can be used to address health inequalities, especially when dealing with minority populations who are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

(05/11/20) As MH Workforce Evolves During COVID-19, Telehealth Seen as New Normal
A newsletter describing the impact of COVID-19 on how the mental health workforce provides health care. Recent shifts to telehealth may become integrated in treatment after the pandemic has passed.

(05/11/20) Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle: Home Health Workforce is Essential To Addressing COVID-19
An article discussing comments from former United States Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and other experts regarding the importance of home health care in reducing the burden of COVID-19 on hospital systems and improving treatment options for patients.

(05/11/20) Federal Funding for State and Local Contact Tracing Efforts is an Urgent Priority, and a Bargain
A blog post advocating for improved funding for public health as an investment to contain COVID-19 and allow for safe reopening of the economy through extensive contact tracing.

(05/09/20) Three Workforce Strategies To Help COVID Affected Communities
A blog post offering some strategies to best assist the communities most impacted by COVID-19. The premise behind these strategies is utilizing a large community-based public health workforce to protect vulnerable communities, act as immediate contact tracers, and working to address other negative factors impacting community health.

(05/08/20) Ensuring the Growth of Telehealth During COVID-19 Does Not Exacerbate Disparities in Care
A blog post describing how the move to provide health care services remotely via telehealth has the potential to leave many people behind, including minority and elderly populations. The post also includes potential solutions to reduce barriers and increase access to telehealth.

(05/06/20) To Strengthen the Public Health Response To COVID-19, We Need Community Health Workers
An article describing potential benefits to utilizing community health workers to both increase access of vulnerable communities to health care and aid in increasing current clinical capacity and contact tracing efforts.

(05/06/20) Mullan Institute Contact Tracing Workforce Estimator
The Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity has developed a Contact Tracing Workforce Estimator. This tool will help state and local health departments in determining the number of contact tracers needed to trace the contacts of those diagnosed with COVID-19, helping to slow the spread of the virus.

(05/04/20) Milken Institute School of Public Health Launches Survey of Health Care Workers 
The Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University has launched a survey to gather information about the exposure and infection of health care workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The data from this survey will be made available publicly, aiding researchers in identifying and developing policies and practices to best address the pandemic and keep workers safe.

(04/29/20) Primary Care is Being Devastated by COVID-19. It Must Be Saved
An article describing the crisis primary care practices are in amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, given significant revenue shortages from the steep reduction of routine visits and procedures. Some suggestions from the authors include developing a temporary fixed payment for services per patient per month and increasing the investment in primary care per dollar spent on health care.

(04/29/20) How To Care for Health Professionals During Crisis And Beyond
This article from the American Medical Association outlines some important considerations for organizations during times of crisis and offers suggestions and resources for planning for organizational changes to support the health workforce both during and after the COVID-19 crisis passes.

(04/28/20) AGS COVID-19 Policy Brief Offers Roadmap To Government Action in Oft-Overlooked Sphere: Assisted Living Facilities
This policy brief from the American Geriatrics Society discusses strategies for responding to COVID-19 in assisted living facilities. It is a follow up to their policy brief on nursing homes released April 8, 2020. Strategies discussed range from federal to local levels of response.

(04/28/20) We Asked All 50 States About Their Contact Tracing Capacity. Here’s What We Learned
An article from NPR discussing the current capacity of public health workers for contact tracing, including a breakdown of plans from 41 states on how to address the needed surge.

(04/27/20) Navigating the Workforce Implications Of COVID-19
Consultants from the Deloitte Consulting group outline strategies to address workforce issues that have arisen from the COVID-19 outbreak. These strategies include empowering the clinical workforce, improving telehealth usage and supporting remote work policies.

(04/23/20) Washington’s Health Workforce Sentinel Network Early COVID-19 Response Report: Dentist Offices/Dental Clinics
This report from the Washington Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board and the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies details responses from dentist offices and dental clinics in Washington State on the impact of COVID-19 on their workforce and operations.

(04/22/20) Primary Care and the COVID-19 Pandemic
An article describing the state of primary care in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as offering suggestions for improving the primary care system in the future.

(04/22/20) COVID-19 News and Reports
A web page covering the multiple activities and projects regarding the health workforce and COVID-19 currently being undertaken by the University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies. This page is being updated regularly to highlight important changes for the health workforce in response to COVID-19.

(04/22/20) COVID-19 Workforce Virtual Toolkit: Resources For Healthcare Decision-Makers Responding to COVID-19 Workforce Concerns
This toolkit provides information on topics such as federal regulatory and funding flexibilities, healthcare workforce training, licensure, liability protections and matching volunteer workforce needs.

(04/22/20) A Prescription To Boost America’s Health and Allied Health Workforce
An opinion piece by Nick Wyman, CEO of the Institute for Workplace Skills and Innovation America, describing strategies across the United States and internationally that can effectively be used during the COVID-19 crisis to address health workforce shortages and disparities.

(04/21/20) To Reopen The Economy For Good, Invest In A Preventive Health Workforce
An opinion piece by Jody Heymann, former dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and Aleta Sprague describing the importance and potential strategies for developing and maintaining a strong public health workforce. Some of these strategies include redeploying furloughed and unemployed individuals, offering educational loan forgiveness incentivisation, and tuition reimbursement for new trainees.

(04/21/20)¬†Health Care Workforce Is Recession Proof. Is It ‚ÄėPandemic Proof?‚Äô
An article about the job threat that health care workers are facing‚Äďpay cuts, furloughs, and layoffs‚Äďamid the worst disease outbreak in a century.

(04/21/20) Tracking the Virus May Require 300,000 Workers. We’re Nowhere Close
An article that argues that contact tracing is vital to opening the economy and containing outbreaks like COVID-19. Unfortunately, the workforce does not exist right now to do this.

(04/20/20) How To Read National Health Expenditure Projections In Light Of COVID-19: Uncertain Long-Run Effects, But Challenges For All
A blog post describing some of the possible changes in health expenditure following the release of CMS projections, which came before the COVID-19 outbreak. The post describes potential impacts on health expenditure for hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers, insurers, and the overall federal deficit.

(04/20/20) Emerging Health Workforce Strategies To Address COVID-19
State city, and local health care organizations are also quickly implementing a number of health workforce strategies to address or prepare for increasing COVID-19 demand. This blog post discusses strategies that fall into two general categories that help to maximize and expand the current health workforce during the pandemic.

(04/17/20) Missing Staff, Makeshift PPE Rampant As COVID-19 Hits 34% Of Nursing Homes, New McKnight’s Survey Shows
An article about the continued devastation on the long-term care sector as the pandemic continues. While the profession is facing far more workforce challenges than usual, results of the Round 2 McKnight‚Äôs survey show resilience is also present, with moods reported as ‚Äúa little shaky but confident overall,‚ÄĚ and participants saying they were equipped to handle COVID-19 patients ‚ÄĒ up nearly 15% from two weeks prior.

(04/17/20) The COVID-19 Tsunami: The Tide Goes Out Before It Comes In
This blog post highlights the dire situation for primary care providers across the United States as the loss of revenue with the reduction of services in response to COVID-19 becomes increasingly difficult to surpass. Furloughs and bankruptcy are likely outcomes for a significant number of clinics.

(04/17/20) State Health Workforce Deficit Estimator
The Fitzhugh Mullan Institute For Health Workforce Equity has developed a State Health Workforce Estimator, an interactive tool that estimates the need for hospital based health care workers using surge staffing ratios, under different scenarios of COVID-19 patients’ demand and health worker attrition, by state and by profession. The purpose of these estimates is to help state and federal decision makers plan for spikes in demand by anticipating potential shortfalls of key personnel, such as respiratory therapists and intensivists, among others. The estimates may be used to consider re-deployment within health care organizations, as well as with in and across states. They may also help inform emergency health workforce policies, such as expansion of scope of practice regulations and expedited professional licensing.

(04/16/20) No Longer Invisible: The Critical Role Of Local Health Departments In Responding To COVID-19
A blog post that examines the vital role that local health departments play in preparing for and responding to crises such as COVID-19.

(04/15/20) What the Pandemic Teaches Us About Nursing Home Care
An article from Ashley Z. Ritter, an Associate Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, which outlines some of the issues regarding safe operation of nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(04/14/20) Webinar Series: Emergency Health Workforce Policies To Address COVID-19
The Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity has developed a pre-recorded mini webinar series to examine Emergency Workforce Policies to Address COVID-19. One of the greatest risks of COVID-19 is that inadequate PPE and understaffing of frontline health workers will lead to severe fatigue and low morale, which, in turn, will further exacerbate attrition. This webinar series will focus on actions that we can take now to avoid entering a vicious cycle of staffing shortages.

(04/14/20)¬†‚ÄėThe Reality Is, It‚Äôs Incredibly Hard‚Äô
An article that states that preexisting staffing shortages and dismal pay are colliding with a crisis that’s testing the limits of the nurses and health aides caring for the sick and elderly.

(04/13/20) Health Workforce Sentinel Network Collecting Feedback On COVID-19 Workforce Impacts
An article about Washington’s Health Workforce Council recently opening the Health Workforce Sentinel Network for input on employers’ workforce needs and experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(04/13/20) How Will We Care For Coronavirus Patients After They Leave The Hospital? By Building Postacute Care Surge Capacity
A blog that examines the best way to expand capacity of postacute curing the COVID-19 pandemic.

(04/10/20) National Plan To Enable Comprehensive COVID-19 Case Finding and Contact Tracing In the US
A report from the Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University discussing the importance of recruiting and training a new public health workforce in order to implement large-scale rapid diagnostic testing and widespread contact tracing to reduce the burden of COVID-19 on the US healthcare system.

(04/10/20) Keeping Community Health Centers Strong During the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Essential To Public Health
An article about the importance of Community Health Centers and how they are essential to public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(04/08/20) American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Policy Brief: COVID-19 and Nursing Homes
A policy brief offering recommendations from the American Geriatrics Society regarding actions that federal, state, and local governments can take to address concerns of COVID-19 in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

(04/08/20) Ensuring and Sustaining a Pandemic Workforce
Leaders of federally funded and privately funded health workforce research centers came together to raise issues that must be addressed to ensure that we have the workforce we need to care for patients with COVID-19.

(04/08/20) COVID-19 Response and Blogs
Sheps Health Workforce NC is providing data on their blog about the availability of needed health professionals in the current pandemic. Stay up to date on their blog as they add more about various specialties and health professions.

(04/03/20) HWRC Research Activities to Address Workforce Needs During COVID-19 Pandemic
The Health Workforce Research Centers (HWRCs) supported by the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA) have provided assistance to states and other stakeholders to better inform workforce strategies. This resource brief offers summaries of contributions by the HWRCs to efforts in developing effective workforce strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(03/31/20) Create a Cadre of Community Health Workers to Fight COVID-19 in the U.S.
An article that examines the best way to use community health workers to create jobs and decrease the overall economic burden of disease during outbreaks.

(03/31/20) There Are Not Nearly Enough Nurses To Handle The Surge Of Coronavirus Patients: Here’s How To Close the Gap Quickly 
A blog that discusses strategies to lessen nurse shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some strategies discussed to close the gap are: incentivize nurses to serve in the most affected areas, reactivate licenses and allow nurses to practice across state lines, leverage the skill of nursing students, and relax scope of practice and oversight laws.

(03/11/20) Virtually Perfect? Telemedicine for COVID-19
This article explains the workflow and benefits of telehealth given the current circumstances around COVID-19.

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