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HHS Releases Health Workforce Strategic Plan

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the HHS Health Workforce Strategic Plan through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Required by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the plan focuses on four goals:

  • expanding supply;
  • ensuring equitable distribution;
  • improving quality; and
  • enhancing the use of data and evidence to improve program outcomes.

The strategic plan seeks to increase the health workforce in rural and underserved areas and to better prepare for the health care needs of the future. Themes of improving multidisciplinary and integrated care and increasing diversity in the health workforce appear throughout the plan’s objectives and activities. Highlights include addressing working conditions and work-life balance to mitigate burnout and increasing the supply and capacity of the behavioral health workforce.

Several HHS agencies were involved in the development of the plan and have included a work plan with performance measures. HHS has defined the health workforce broadly, using the Department of Labor definition, though many activities will use established programs in HRSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which focus on physicians, nurses, and behavioral health providers.

HHS will issue a report to Congress on implementation of the strategic plan.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Julie Kozminski is a senior policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

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