Hospital CEOs fear over labor shortages, behavioral well being calls for

Hospitals CEOs have been most involved about workforce challenges in 2022, however they have been more and more frightened about assembly larger demand for behavioral well being providers.

Workforce shortages remained atop the record of 281 hospital CEOs’ greatest issues final yr, in accordance with American Faculty of Healthcare Executives’ annual survey. Registered nurse and technician shortages represented the largest challenges, respondents stated. Much like final yr’s survey, monetary constraints pushed by rising labor and provides prices ranked second.

Behavioral well being points have been third amongst hospital CEOs’ prime issues, rising from fourth within the 2021 survey. Respondents famous a scarcity of acceptable services, not sufficient devoted funding and inadequate reimbursement ranges as hospital operators have been pressured to deal with sufferers of their emergency departments for lengthy stretches as a result of their conventional outpatient and residential referral companions at capability.

“There aren’t as a lot of community-based behavioral well being services and packages,” ACHE CEO Deborah Bowen stated. “Those which might be working are scuffling with the elevated demand.”

The survey of short-term, acute, non-federal hospitals was performed in September. Listed below are some takeaways.

  • Registered nurse and technician staffing points have been additionally the largest issues for hospital CEOs in 2021, however these challenges weren’t as prevalent in 2022. Ninety and 83% of respondents, respectively, stated that they had points with registered nurse and technician staffing. That in contrast with 94% and 85% within the 2021 survey. Labor pressures barely eased in latest months, Kaufman Corridor knowledge exhibits.
  • 65% of hospital CEOs stated they had primary-care doctor staffing issues in 2022, a major improve from 45% in 2021. The variety of medical residents training main care has elevated lately, however there nonetheless aren’t sufficient clinicians to fulfill the present demand. Medical college graduates going into specialty care can earn twice as a lot as primary-care docs relying on the specialty.
  • 70% of hospital CEOs stated there was inadequate reimbursement for behavioral well being and habit providers. Though the Psychological Well being Parity and Dependancy Fairness Act was enacted in 2008, there’s nonetheless a large hole between pay for psychological versus bodily care, partially attributable to a scarcity of enforcement. President Joe Biden stated within the State of the Union handle final week that his administration will suggest new guidelines to bridge that reimbursement hole.
  • 66% of respondents appeared to scale back working prices in 2022, up from 53% in 2021. Extra hospitals, significantly these in rural areas, have needed to minimize providers over the previous yr.
  • 51% of respondents stated demand rose for opioid habit and associated therapy. Thirty p.c of hospital CEOs stated authorized and regulatory challenges restricted therapy choices and 29% stated the stigma surrounding behavioral well being impeded care.