Two months after the omicron variant of the coronavirus slammed hospitals with unvaccinated patients, Pennsylvania’s Legislature is sending fast-tracked legislation to Gov. Tom Wolf to help keep burned-out health care workers on board during a staffing crisis.
The bill passed Wednesday authorizes $225 million, mostly for hospitals to give workers retention and recruitment payments.
Of that, about $36 million will go to inpatient behavioral health services providers.
Another $15 million will go to an oversubscribed program promising nurses up to $7,500 in student loan-debt relief, although it won’t satisfy all of the applicants.
The money is from federal pandemic relief signed by President Joe Biden last March.