February 2, 2024

Congressional hearing focuses on bill to protect healthcare workers from violence

Editor's Note

Nearly 100 house and senate staff attended a January 30 briefing on the Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees (SAVE) Act, a bill under congressional consideration that aims to protect healthcare workers from assault or intimidation while on the job. In addition to criminalizing these acts, the bill would provide grants to fund violence-prevention measures.

The January 30 briefing was cohosted by the American Hospital Association and American College of Emergency Physicians. Other supporters include the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Children's Hospital Association, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare and social services had the highest nonfatal workplace injuries in 2022 – 443,800. In addition, there have been rising anecdotal reports of violence against healthcare workers, exacerbated by short staffing and overcrowding. 

A related bill to address healthcare worker wellness is also being promoted for reauthorization. It’s called the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, named after an NYC physician who died by suicide during the pandemic, and provides funding to support mental and behavioral health and suicide prevention resources for healthcare workers. 


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