WHA urging officials to streamline licensure process to support workforce

The Wisconsin Hospital Association is urging state officials to “safely eliminate steps” in the licensure process to help health care professionals get to work faster.

In its latest report on the health care workforce, WHA details a variety of proposals to address the industry’s worsening labor force crisis.

Ann Zenk, the group’s senior vice president of workforce and clinical practice, says it’s unlikely that the health care workforce can grow quickly enough to meet the demands of Wisconsin’s aging population. With that limitation in mind, WHA is calling on the state Department of Safety and Professional Services and credentialing boards to streamline the process for professionals to get licensed.

“State laws, agency rules and licensure requirements must facilitate safe and efficient entry into health care professions and must be modernized to reflect the current practice and capabilities of health care professionals and health care teams,” report authors wrote.

WHA also argues that “allowing all team members to perform at the top of their skill level” is critical for improving capacity.

The association notes the pandemic led to new solutions such as allowing providers licensed outside of Wisconsin to practice in-state before a license was granted. While that was “a good step forward,” according to WHA, the group says more work needs to be done to free up existing workforce resources.

Meanwhile, hospitals and other care providers can leverage existing technology to automate processes that are usually completed by staff, such as remote monitoring, registration and scheduling, the report shows.

“With pervasive workforce shortages, leveraging technology to transform care means improving interventions and outcomes for patients and families and, at the same time, decreasing the amount of time and effort required by clinicians and the teams that support care,” report authors wrote.

The report also notes doctors are spending more and more time on billing, documentation and data reporting, limiting the time they spend providing care. WHA says policymakers, payers and even clinicians need to ensure the “benefit outweighs the additional work required” before adding new regulatory requirements, while also reducing the existing regulatory burden.

See the full report: https://www.wha.org/MediaRoom/DataandPublications/WHAReports/Workforce/2023

See the release: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2023/wisconsin-hospital-association-wisconsins-health-care-workforce-falling-further-behind-demand-for-care/

–By Alex Moe