Echoing the sentiment of various other stakeholders, lobbyist Gregg Knaupe tells us that workforce is the number one issue facing Texas health care. Knaupe is President of Knaupe Government Relations, where he has extensive experience working with hospitals and other health policy stakeholders on state and federal policy issues.
“Health care providers have struggled with hiring personnel for many, many years, and it’s just been amplified by the pandemic,” Knaupe said. “And if you take hospitals, for example, hospitals were having to essentially hire their nurses during the COVID surge from nurse staffing agencies for three, four times the [pay] per hour, and it’s just not sustainable. Same thing with home care.”
Knaupe says he has been working with legislators on solutions to the issue, and feels optimistic about addressing workforce challenges during next year’s session—particularly in light of the state’s considerable budget surplus.
State of Reform reporter Boram Kim recently wrote an overview of how Texas is responding to its shortage of registered nurses and other critical providers.