Online Registry of State Health Data Policy Initiatives-Update

In 1996, HHS contracted The Lewin Group to develop a registry of projects that integrates health information systems at the state level. The registry is located on the World Wide Web at The home page compiles, abstracts, and indexes summary information on data integration projects for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The purpose of the registry is twofold. First, the registry gives Federal policymakers a central source for researching the types of integration activities being pursued by individual states. Second, the registry, facilitates communication among states regarding data integration activities and related data policy activities. The project: (1) provides a resource for state and local policymakers as they seek to identify others who have pursued information integration activities; (2) facilitates information sharing and collaboration across states; and (3) assists Federal policymakers in monitoring, assessing, and supporting state-level integration activities. Relevant state integration projects were identified through: (1) contacts with state officials responsible for hospital discharge databases, vital statistics, Medicaid data, and any other major information system or data-related offices; (2) conferences on state data integration activities; (3) grantee information related to specific funds which target information activity; (4) state health department web sites; and (5) recommendations from people interviewed. The project was completed in 1997. A second contract resulted in two updates to the materials for the website. The most recent update should be posted on the site by March 1999. The database is administered by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. (Final report is a web site:

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Program Systems

FEDERAL CONTACT: Hitchcock, Dale

PIC ID: 6178

PERFORMER: The Lewin Group
Fairfax, VA

Practical Lessons: The 1998 National Symposium on Homelessness Research

This report compiles a review of more than a decade of research and expert consensus on solutions to homelessness in the United States. This manual, published by the Departments of Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development, is for those concerned with and working to solve the problem of how to provide services to homeless persons most effectively. It is a compilation of research performed which stresses the importance of street-based outreach services to homeless individuals, intensive case management to help homeless persons gain access to treatment and maintain residential placement and techniques for building the local conditions that are needed to end homelessness. The report documents successes for working with homeless persons and acknowledges that homelessnesss is not a simple issue and that dimensions of the economy, supplies of affordable housing, disability, family support and individual characteristics all interact to affect who becomes homeless. The complexity of cause must be accommodated when researching and implementing solutions. This HUD/HHS collaborative project provides a broad and critical review of the nature of homelessness and characteristics of the homeless population; the special needs of homeless persons with disabilities; critical support services and other assistance homeless people need to become more self-sufficient; and new approaches to the problem.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Program Systems

FEDERAL CONTACT: O'Connell, Mary Ellen

PIC ID: 6817

PERFORMER: Abt Associates, Inc.
Cambridge, MA

Strategies for Obtaining Public Health Infrastructure Data at Federal, State, and Local Levels: Final Report

This project enabled the development of a strategy for obtaining comprehensive baseline and trend data on the public health infrastructure at the national, state, and local levels. The strategy, developed through an intergovernmental partnership, builds on data already being collected. Its purpose is to characterize the capacity and functioning of the full range of federal, State, and local government agencies responsible for carrying out essential public health functions, such as those related to substance abuse, mental health, and environmental health. Furthermore, data needs are also considered. These include those relating to: (1) the provision of public health services; (2) providers of public health services; (3) expenditures on such services; (4) revenue sources and uses; and (5) the extent to which population-based public health services cross-subsidize personal health care services, and vice versa. This kind of information in essential in assessing the impact of rapid changes in the health care system on the public health infrastructure, and will serve as a comprehensive basis for health services research in public health. Project activities were guided by a steering group consisting of 15 members, including representatives of federal, State, and local agencies. In addition, the project: (1) assessed the need for and uses of public health infrastructure data by various parties; (2) identified and evaluated current and prior data sources; (3) considered typologies, definitions, and measurement concepts; (4) and developed alternate approaches for obtaining public health infrastructure data that are scientifically sound, feasible, and cost-effective. The project built on work that has already been accomplished in developing consensus definitions for essential public health services, evaluating public health performance, and obtaining information on public health expenditures. The project resulted in a final report and three appendices.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Program Systems


PIC ID: 6179

PERFORMER: The Lewin Group
Fairfax, VA