Hospital CEOs worried about labor shortages, behavioral health demands

Hospital CEOs were most concerned about workforce challenges in 2022, but they were concerned about meeting the growing demand for behavioral health services.

workforce shortage Hospitals topped the list of 281 CEOs’ biggest concerns last year, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives’ annual survey. Respondents said that the shortage of registered nurses and technicians represented the biggest challenges. similar to last year’s surveyFinancial constraints driven by rising labor and supply costs came a close second.

Behavioral health issues were third among the top concerns of hospital CEOs, rising from fourth in the 2021 survey. Respondents cited lack of suitable facilities, lack of sufficient dedicated funds and inadequate reimbursement levels as reasons hospital operators were forced to Treat patients in their emergency departments for long periods of time Because their traditional outpatient and residential referral partners are at capacity.

“There just aren’t that many community-based behavioral health facilities and programs,” said Deborah Bowen, CEO of ACHE. “Those working are grappling with increased demand.”

The survey of short-term, acute, non-federal hospitals was conducted in September. Here are some takeaways.

  • Registered nurse and technician staffing issues were also top concerns for hospital CEOs in 2021, but those challenges were not as prevalent in 2022. Ninety and 83% of respondents, respectively, said they had registered nurse and technician staffing issues. That compared to 94% and 85% in the 2021 survey. labor pressure Slight easing in recent monthsShows Kaufman Hall data.
  • 65% of hospital CEOs said they had problems with primary care physician staffing in 2022, a significant increase compared to 45% in 2021. The number of primary care medical residents has increased in recent years, but still not enough doctors To meet the current demand. Medical school graduates who go into specialty care can earn twice as much as primary care doctors, depending on the specialty.
  • 70% of hospital CEOs said there was insufficient reimbursement for behavioral health and addiction services. Although the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Parity Act was enacted in 2008, there is still a Wide gap between pay for mental versus physical carePartly due to lack of enforcement. President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union address last week that his administration would New rules proposed to bridge reimbursement gap,
  • 66% of respondents plan to reduce operating costs in 2022, up from 53% in 2021. more hospitals, especially in rural areasIn the last one year the services have had to be cut.
  • 51% of respondents said there has been an increase in demand for opioid addiction and related treatment. Thirty percent of hospital CEOs said legal and regulatory challenges limited treatment options and 29 percent said the stigma of behavioral health hindered care.

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