A bill that passed Wednesday on the state level is being touted as a potential blueprint to mitigating home-based care workforce shortages nationwide.
In Frankfort, Kentucky on Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear passed the Kentucky Healthcare Workforce Development Act, legislation that aims to combat workforce shortages by building a public-private partnership that is designed to increase workforce training and education initiatives.
Joanne Cunningham, the CEO of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH), told Home Health Care News this week that the bill felt different than others, in a positive way.
“It’s a public, private partnership that engages the private sector like health care organizations, insurers and others, as well as the government to try to incentivize all entities to work together on this,” Cunningham said. “I think that’s one of the reasons there’s such an appeal, certainly in the Kentucky state government, but also in Washington, D.C.”
The Kentucky legislation creates an investment fund with two primary programs. The first is a matching fund where, for every dollar a private-sector partner dedicates to the fund, a match is made by an educational program to fund scholarships for health care professionals.
The second program is designed to reward excellence among health care educational and training programs through certain benchmarks and measurements.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate sent out a request for information (RFI) for solutions to the national health care workforce crisis. PQHH was one of many organizations that submitted a letter suggesting solutions for these issues.
One of the solutions PPQH prosed was the bill from Kentucky.
“I’ve heard a number of members of the U.S. House and Senate recently talk about bipartisan solutions being the way we should be approaching these thorny policy issues,” Cunningham said. “The Kentucky proposal certainly lands squarely in that category and I think it’s getting a lot of interest for that reason, among many others.”