Health Care Workforce

Timely access to quality care requires a dedicated and well-trained workforce.  As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I am working hard to ensure that we meet that goal. 

I believe that the first step is to provide education and training, including expansion of the National Health Service Corps, Graduate Medical Education funding, grants and loan assistance.  Second, we need to make sure that every medical professional is allowed to practice – and be reimbursed – for the services they are licensed to provide.  Third, we need to provide adequate payments.  For example, I am working hard to replace Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate payment formula with a permanent solution that more adequately compensates doctors and on initiatives to increase payments to primary care providers.  Finally we need to make sure that we require safe staffing standards to protect patient safety and retain nurses and other health care professionals. 

The Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, includes improvements in all of these areas – including provisions to expand the geriatric workforce and support direct care workers -- provisions that I offered.

Legislation I've Introduced

Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient and Quality Care Act – The Nurse Staffing Standards for Patient Safety and Quality Care Act: According to the Institute of Medicine, up to 98,000 hospital patients die each year from preventable problems, many of which could be avoided with safe staffing levels. Further, the Joint Commission found that nurse-staffing shortages are a factor in one out of every four unexpected hospital deaths or injuries caused by errors. The Nurse Staffing bill would establish new minimum federal safety standards – including nurse-to-patient ratios – and require that hospitals work with direct care nurses to develop facility-specific staffing plans. It would also provide whistleblower protections for nurses who speak out to protect their patients' health and safety.

More on Health Care Workforce

July 2, 2021 Video

A busy week in Washington. We passed the INVEST In America Act, which included some auto safety provisions that came thru my subcommittee. I also talk about the January 6th Select Committee and talk about a bill I introduced to hold federal contractors accountable for how they treat their employees.

May 12, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in reintroducing the Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety and Quality Care Act. Schakowsky and Brown’s bill would set minimum nurse-to-patient staffing requirements, study best practices for nurse staffing, and provide whistleblower protections to protect the right of nurses to advocate for the safety of their patients. Currently, very few states have rules written into law that establish minimum staffing levels at hospitals.

July 31, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC -  Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, released a statement highlighting significant victories for Illinois’ 9th Congressional District and other communities across America in H.R. 7617, the second fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills, that just passed the House.

July 6, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Nearly two weeks have passed since disturbing reports emerged of thousands of vulnerable older Americans being wrongfully discharged from nursing homes across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to continued CMS and HHS inaction to stop these evictions, today, House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Aging and Families (TFAF) Co-Chairs Reps.

June 23, 2020 Video

Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a full committee hearing with the White House Coronavirus Task Force. I specifically had some questions for the CDC Director, Dr. Robert Redfield.