This past week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing focused on the health care workforce. While the hearing was geared toward the medical and health care sector more broadly,Senator Kaine (D-VA) used his time to draw attention to the direct care workforce crisis, which impacts all aspects of the health care system.
As Senator Kaine stated:
“Our direct care workforce shortage is often left out of the conversation about health care workforce shortages. Direct care professionals make an average of $11.75 an hour. They are some of the lowest-paid workers in the economy, but they provide difficult hands-on care to seniors and people with disabilities. This workforce shortage compounds other shortages. When I go to hospital emergency rooms, they say ‘We have to keep people in hospitals longer because of the direct care workforce shortage’ means that there is [sic] no placements where we can discharge someone from a hospital to a long-term care setting or to appropriate home health care aides.”
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