Are We Going to Extreme Measures to Combat the Healthcare Labor Shortage?

Medical Labor Shortage

A majority of companies in 2021 felt the pressures of hiring and retaining employees – and there are no signs of stopping as we forge ahead in 2022. We covered the healthcare labor shortage and its impact on medical billing in June 2021. Catch up by reading “Is the Labor Shortage Hurting Your Billing Today? Tomorrow?” 

Additionally, we did a year-end review and 2022 predictions surrounding this topic in our previous newsletter. Within this piece, we outlined what hospitals and private medical facilities need to do to adjust to this new labor environment. Some of these actions include increasing salaries, wages, bonuses, and/or perks; providing flexible work arrangements; and outsourcing administrative tasks due to bandwidth or costs. 

AdvantEdge continues to track healthcare labor shortage trends, and – as we predicted – bringing in talent is still proving difficult. Here are some stories showcasing the healthcare labor shortage and how facilities are trying to manage this challenging set of circumstances.

COVID Not Keeping Healthcare Workers Sidelined: Across the country, healthcare workers are being asked to return to work even after testing positive for COVID – as long as they are asymptomatic. According to the latest CDC guidelines, asymptomatic workers are permitted to return to work directly after testing positive due to critical staffing shortages. HHS reported earlier this month that a quarter of hospitals are experiencing staffing shortages.

An ASC Department in New York Closes Due to Labor Shortages: The University of Rochester Medical Center has shut down its surgical center in Brockport, NY due to staffing shortages and skyrocketing numbers of COVID-19 cases. Additionally, its urgent care facility has closed and 24 hospital office workers are assisting with its nurses’ clerical work so the nurses can concentrate on patient care.

A Texas Hospital Is Offering Nurses Up to a $20K Sign-on Bonus: At a recent recruiting event, Christus Spohn Health System in Corpus Christi, TX was offering up to $20,000 to nurses who accepted a position at their hospital. Seeking a dozen nurses, the sign-on bonus amount would depend on experience.

Hospitals Recruiting International Nurses to Fill Void: Hospitals across the U.S. are bringing in nurses who live outside of the U.S. to help fill the staffing void. One company that recruits nurses from other countries has indicated that they have seen a 5X increase in requests for talent in U.S. hospitals.