Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the secretary of health and human services shall conduct an analysis and issue a report on the health care workforce challenges facing the commonwealth’s health care system, including the effects of health care job vacancies on the accessibility, quality, equitable delivery and cost of health care services. In developing the report, the secretary shall seek input from the health policy commission, the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Association of Behavioral Health, the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Association of Physician Assistants, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, the board of registration in medicine, the board of registration in nursing, the secretary of labor and workforce development, the commissioner of higher education, the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges, institutions of higher education that offer certification, training or degree programs for aspiring health care professionals, and any other stakeholders deemed relevant by the secretary.
The report shall include, but not be limited to: (i) an assessment and detailed description of the essential workforce components of a robust health care system and the types and quantity of health care personnel needed to deliver high-quality care, from birth to death, to all residents in the commonwealth; (ii) an evaluation of current health care job vacancies in the commonwealth by job title, qualifications and geographic region, and recommendations for filling such vacancies; (iii) an analysis of the impact of burnout on health care workers, including its impact on workforce retention rates, and strategies for mitigating burnout; (iv) an examination of the closures of health care services classified as essential by the department of public health or other relevant agency due to workforce shortages and the impact that the loss of such essential services have had on access to and the quality of health care services to the communities affected by the closure of such essential services; (v) an assessment of the barriers to entering the health care workforce, including the cost, including student loans, of certification, training, or degree programs; (vi) strategies and best practices for developing and maintaining a vibrant, equitable and diverse statewide health care workforce pipeline; (vii) an analysis of the amount health care entities are paying for traveling or contracted workers; and (viii) an evaluation of whether maintaining certain public health emergency flexibilities that have been in place through the COVID-19 pandemic related to licensing, staffing and capacity innovations would help the commonwealth meet its health care workforce needs.
The secretary shall submit the report to the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the chairs of the senate and house committees on ways and means, and the chairs of the joint committee on health care financing not later than 1 year after the effective date of this act.
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