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ATS Comments on Healthcare Workforce Shortage
In response to a request from the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, the ATS provided comments to Congress on how the federal government can respond to the urgent U.S. workforce shortage. The ATS comments noted shortages in a wide range of essential health care providers including pulmonary, critical care and sleep physicians, pediatric pulmonologists, nurses and respiratory therapists.

The ATS comments documented a number of problems exacerbating the health care workforce shortages, including overall reimbursement for pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, burnout, violence against health care providers, insufficient pipeline for new pulmonary, critical care and sleep providers, and COVID-19 impacts. The ATS comments covered a range of policy solutions including increasing funding, expanding pathways to careers in pulmonary, critical and sleep medicine, workforce training and addressing burnout.

Workforce shortages is an issue of rising concern for nearly all clinicians. In a recent ATS President’s Message, Dr. Downey recommended that the first step in addressing the current systemic nursing shortage is to understand the full scope of the problem at individual institutions by collecting and analyzing nurse staffing and retention data.

Last Reviewed: March 2023