HHS Strategic Goals and Objectives - FY 2001 . Appendix F - Resources Supporting the HHS Strategic Plan


The United States federal government, through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), remains committed to investing resources to improve the health and well-being of all Americans. The Department does not anticipate increased spending across the board, but expects stable funding for programs and for the management and administration of these programs. HHS and its partners will continue to enhance the nation's investment through wise program and resource utilization decisions that get the most for the funds available.

To support the strategies described in the HHS Strategic Plan, and to ensure that HHS and its partners have the capacity to implement them effectively, the Department will pursue resources that are compatible with the demands of the plan's program strategies. The discussion that follows describes the approaches HHS will employ to coordinate resources for two resource categories that are critical to program success at this time: human and information resources. In addition, we highlight many of the resources that the Department and its partners will employ to achieve the strategic goals in the HHS Strategic Plan.

The highly coordinated HHS budget formulation processes ensure that the resources for both programmatic and management strategies are identified to support the HHS Strategic Plan. The HHS Budget Review Board, which consists of Department leaders representing broad policy and functional interests, will continue to conduct hearings on the budget requests of all HHS components and make recommendations regarding cross-cutting Departmental budget initiatives that improve HHS programs. In recent years, for example, HHS budget coordination resulted in budgets that supported critical resource challenges associated with Y2K compliance.


Over the last several years, workforce planning has emerged as a significant resource challenge for HHS. The Department is responding with coordinated planning efforts that are linked to the HHS budget process. Multiple factors contribute to the workforce planning challenge faced by HHS and other federal agencies. The Department's agencies are confronted with an aging workforce that will be subject to high levels of retirement beginning within the next few years. Unprecedented advances in information technology and the legitimate expectations of the Congress that federal agencies better manage technology have significantly altered the skill requirements of positions throughout federal agencies and programs. Advances in medical science and the reform of human service programs have had a similar effect on federal, state, and community organizations and their employees who must adapt rapidly and continuously to changing demands.

To ensure coordinated planning in the budget context, HHS requires program components to submit a workforce plan with each fiscal year budget. This workforce plan must address the strategies and costs of addressing these critical issues. HHS workforce plans are developed following Departmental guidance presented in Building Successful Organizations-Workforce Planning in HHS, November 1999. This guidance presents a flexible Departmental model of planning that addresses the analysis of several common fundamental elements of workforce planning: workforce analysis, competency assessment, gap and solution analysis, workforce transition analysis, and evaluation.


Sound information and competent information management are essential to the core mission of HHS. Although the Department and its partners have significant data collection systems in place, long-term commitments are underway to close data gaps, build the next generation of information systems, and deliver useful and accessible information to customers. Following on its success in addressing the challenge of Y2K compliance, HHS will apply lessons learned to equally important information technology challenges that remain and are emerging. The improvements that the Department seeks in information technology and systems are far-reaching, focusing not only on program data and information systems, but also on financial, grants, and property management information and systems, and on the consistency and security of information systems and technologies across HHS.

Program Data and Information Systems. The Department plays an essential role in creating health and human services information for decision-making, as producer and user of data, and as a partner with other information entities. Through coordination under the HHS Data Council and the HHS budget process, the Department will create essential cross-cutting investments that build on and amplify data resource objectives for individual programs and agencies, and ensure that the wealth of information resources are coordinated and prioritized. Through planning coordinated by the Department, multiple HHS components will contribute to the pursuit of broad-based improvements in data on:

  • United States populations and subgroups

  • The health care delivery system

  • Health and human service outcomes, effectiveness and quality

  • Methods and tools for data collection

Similar coordination will continue to occur for program information systems planning in areas such as:

  • Data standards

  • Security of Internet transmission

  • Capacity of federal, state, community, and private partners to accommodate emerging systems and technologies

  • Electronic data interchange with the health care system

HHS and partner data and information infrastructures must accommodate and include dissemination and translation into information that is useful for decision-making needs, including:

  • Easy and consistent access

  • User enabling through training and technical assistance

  • Expertise to ensure the translation of data into knowledge

  • Improved analytical methods and tools

Information Technology Management. The Department is employing a systems-life cycle (SLC) approach to information technology (IT) management, using industry standards and HHS best practices. Under this approach, HHS will conduct planning, analysis, design and performance measurement, using Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) solutions and adhering to Government directives. The Department will continue to focus its efforts in four key IT infrastructure management initiatives, including:

  • Clinger-Cohen Act compliance (including five-year IT plans)

  • IT/cyber security

  • Internet/Intranet strategy

  • Telecommunications strategy

Financial, Grants and Logistics Management. Attention to information resources is critical to maintaining clean and unqualified financial opinions and in improving financial and property management. HHS will strengthen the financial statement reporting process with the development of automated processes for consolidating the Operating Divisions' (OPDIV) financial statement for Departmental reporting and will improve processes for the reconciliation of the financial records for all HHS financial offices. An electronic logistics training and support network will be developed to deliver competency-based electronic learning and online certification to the desktop via an electronic performance support network. In addition, the network will enable the Department to establish a professional certification program in logistics.


The following summary of resource specifications in support of the Department's strategic goals reflect the importance of human, information, and other resources in years to come. The resource specifications and these two resource categories in particular also reflect the demands that are being imposed on American society and the federal government by tremendous advances in knowledge in medical and information technology science and in human service program design and delivery.



The Department will continue to pursue approaches to reducing health threats that reflect a balanced resource portfolio. For HHS, the portfolio begins with support of the nation's investment in Healthy People 2010, which focuses on the development and use of leading health indicators as a measure of well-being for Americans. Eight of the ten leading health indicators are directly associated with health threats that compromise our health and productivity. The following are examples of resource objectives that will support this goal:

  • Resources for information supporting the measurement of health indicators.

  • Investments in existing capacity (e.g., in community health centers) to enhance community interventions against health threats, particularly in under-served areas.

  • Resource input for continued research into increasingly effective interventions.

  • Support to improve measurement of the quality of clinical preventive care.

  • Investments in education to promote healthy behaviors, especially through established educational and communication infrastructures.

  • Partnership support to coordinate and facilitate prevention activities, measure health indicators, and ensure maximum utilization of existing infrastructures.

This kind of balanced resource portfolio will enhance current programs that address the threats identified under Goal 1, such as smoking, substance abuse, sexually transmitted disease and domestic violence.



HHS is committed to identifying necessary resources to support programs that improve the well-being of Americans, particularly the most vulnerable: children, the elderly, the disabled, the poor, and the disadvantaged. A significant element of the Department's resource strategy for human service programs includes support of new and advanced information technology resources in states and communities across the nation. The resources necessary to continue the advancement of human service programs include:

  • Technical assistance to state, community, and other program grantees, will focus on best practices and high-performance characteristics.

  • Information sharing and dissemination methodologies (for subjects such as employment retention and advancement interventions) available to programs administered by states and communities.<</li>br>

  • Investments in national databases, directories, operations, and systems (e.g., child support), shared among state and other grantees, will be supported and enhanced through matching and incentive funding programs.

  • Research and evaluation resources will be conformed to support the advancement of knowledge about the design and implementation of human service programs.

  • Program partnership resources will foster information sharing, program coordination, and performance management throughout and across programs for children, the elderly, and the disadvantaged.

  • HHS will leverage the resources of government, non-profit, and private entities for the advancement of federal and state programs for vulnerable populations.

  • Identification of resource requirements to develop core competencies of human service employees and grantees and identify new crosscutting program paradigms to ensure the consistency of human resource objectives.

Investments concentrated on improvements to data and information systems, combined with other traditional resource mechanisms, will support an array of program advancements for children, the elderly and the disadvantaged. These include moving families to work and job retention, child care, child support, fathering and child well-being, early childhood development, children's health, adoption and foster care, the safety and security of youth, and programs for the elderly.



There is similar consistency in the resource areas that HHS agencies and programs believe will produce improved results activities that focus on access to health care. The resource mechanisms include the following:

  • Access strategies throughout HHS will focus on enhancing investments in existing, community-based infrastructures that our target populations use (e.g., school-based care for children).

  • Employ guidance, assistance, and knowledge advancement resources to leverage the resources and activities of partners to enhance the success of outreach strategies that are crucial to improving access to care.

  • Resources that enhance data and information technology will remain an important element for identifying populations that require access improvements.

  • Investments in physical infrastructure development, supporting health and sanitation facilities, will remain a significant resource objective for Native American and other rural populations.

  • Pursuing improved third-party reimbursement, particularly for safety net providers, will help health services dollars go further to serve those in need.

  • Resources will foster innovations such as joint purchasing of pharmaceutical supplies to provide for discounts and reduction of operating costs.

  • Sizeable reductions in Medicare payment errors have demonstrated the value of devoting resources to improving the financial integrity of entitlement programs. HHS is committed to devoting additional resources toward this end for Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlement programs. To improve program integrity and the access of Americans to health services, HHS will focus on coordinated activities within the Department and with program partners. For program integrity improvements, HHS and its partners will utilize a variety of resource mechanisms, including the following:

  • Systems investments, technical assistance, and other communication mechanisms will support continued improvement of law enforcement coordination nationwide.

  • Input for more sophisticated methods of analyzing and using administrative data to profile abuse and target audits and investigations will be pursued.

  • Resources supporting team approaches to the conduct of anti-fraud and abuse activities will be applied across wider geographical areas.

  • Resources will be employed to identify improvements in policies and procedures that reduce fraud and abuse.

  • Investments in existing review and inspection infrastructures will be enhanced to focus on the assessment of program integrity and quality factors.

  • Input into public education and training will be pursued to utilize the community to participate in the fight against fraud and abuse.

  • Resources for partnership with industry and provider groups will foster voluntary compliance with policies and enhance government knowledge of areas vulnerable to fraud and abuse.

Partnership and the coordination of resources within HHS and among its program partners are central to success of the Department's strategies to improve access to health care and to ensure the integrity of the service programs administered through the Department.



HHS participates in many activities that significantly influence the delivery of health and human services in the United States, including consumer advocacy, information dissemination, the purchase and provision of health care, and research that identifies what care can and cannot do. The Department has a responsibility to protect consumers by ensuring that care is accessible, safe, fair, effective, and accountable. To support HHS's quality of care objectives, planning, coordination, and crosscutting resources will continue to be employed, as indicated below:

  • Investments in communication will facilitate consumer access to information about the quality of health and human services.

  • Resource input to develop and utilize purchasing models will strengthen value-based purchasing.

  • Peer review and performance measurement resources will support quality improvement in direct service programs.

  • Resources for research and evaluation that begin and end with consumer assessment will promote quality improvement throughout the health care industry.

  • Support of intergovernmental coordination and partnership will allow the development of cross-government consumer protections.

The application of coordinated resources associated with knowledge development, converting knowledge to applicable design, information dissemination, and peer review will support the Department strategies to improve the quality of care that HHS program beneficiaries receive.



The nation's public health infrastructure is the underlying and often-invisible framework that protects the safety of our food and water, controls outbreaks of deadly contagion, lessens the burden of chronic disease, and prevents injury. Like all infrastructures, the public health infrastructure requires deliberate, regular maintenance and conscious, periodic renovation. In addition, preparing the nation for the health and medical consequences of a bioterrorist event has significant implications for supporting and adapting the public health infrastructure. The resources that will support public health systems are associated with the essential components of the public health infrastructure, as defined by Healthy People 2010. These include:

  • Throughout the federal, state, and community infrastructure, we will apply resources to pursue strong science, including epidemiology, behavioral and biomedical prevention research, and health systems research to direct public health action.

  • We will support the continued development of a skilled and highly effective workforce that is able to put that science to the best use.

  • We will contribute to the development of integrated information and surveillance systems to ensure that state-of-the-art science is not squandered and that interventions are evaluated for effectiveness.

  • Resources to address the threat of bioterrorist attack will include strengthening the nation's public health response capability, creating and maintaining a stockpile of pharmaceuticals and other materials, and enhancing the design, development, and approval of diagnostics, antibiotics/antivirals, and vaccines.



Even as the health research enterprise in the United States enjoys enormous success, it possesses the opportunities and the national support to exceed that success. At a time when health research enjoys significant bipartisan support, the demands of demographic and social changes, the transforming health care system, and the focus of the medical industry on prevention offer opportunities and research challenges for health research to vastly improve the health and well-being of Americans. HHS will continue to organize and coordinate its research capacity toward effectively responding to these challenges. The Department will continue to pursue the management and administration of the research enterprise with multiple resource mechanisms and objectives. For example:

  • Health research resources will focus on the continuum of the sciences and will encompass laboratory, clinical, epidemiological, behavioral, social, health services, and outcomes research.

  • Physical infrastructure support will be provided that is widely accessible to allow sharing of capacity and knowledge in the health and public health research arenas.

  • To support the changing frontiers of science with a continuing supply of personnel prepared to understand the implications of current discoveries, HHS will pursue varied and innovative forms of training and recruitment that attract and retain the best minds to medical science.

  • Research today is multi-disciplinary and requires extensive input to support the use of research teams armed with a breadth of knowledge and variety of skills.

  • Investments in state-of-the-art instrumentation and information technology will be key to HHS's comprehensive research strategy.

  • Resource input for health data will address multiple aspects of the health continuum, including population-based characteristics, consumer assessment, the health care delivery system, and outcomes, effectiveness, and health care quality.

  • Multi-faceted resource mechanisms for research information dissemination and technology transfer will be pursued and applied for biomedical, public health, and health-care systems research.

The rate of improvement in the practice of medicine and public health is strongly influenced by the rate and application of new discovery. To ensure preparation to take advantage of the opportunities for and from discovery, our health research portfolio must be diverse, encompassing many scientific disciplines and a wide range of diseases and conditions. Given the remarkable rate of discovery and the ever-diminishing time between a finding in basic research and changes in clinical and public health practice, America cannot afford to slow this vital work.