Federal agencies in government plays vital role in managing all the strategies of the agency. Each agency has his duties which are supposed to be carried out which helps in governing the roles of agency. In federal state one major agency is the department of health and human services (HHS). This department has quite a number of branches which are divided and different roles allocated to them so that duties of health department can be dealt with more precisely. Management of government resources to be used in various agencies is carried out most appropriately when they have a specific agency that they operate (GAO, 1999)
. In department of health, various tasks such as conducting survey for disease prevalence in specific areas, funding, carrying out of research and funding other activities that are health related that help the country in reducing the risk of diseases that can bring the productivity of the country down.
Department of Health and Human Services deals with quite a number of issues which are related to health and their main duty is to allocate government fund which has been allocated by the federal state to its branches so that the money can be used to raise health status of the country (Wagner, 2002)
. Apart from the funds that the agency gets from the government, it can obtain funds from donations from some internationals or private donors who would wish to fund different projects that are initiated by the department.
The agency is political oriented since they are ended by secretaries who are elected on basis of the political status of the government. The agency is usually supported by those who are in medical field. It is anticipated that the future of the agency will be much better through the efforts that are employed in operations of the agency. With time some of these braches of the agencies will grow to be dependent agencies.
HHS main duty is to ensure that the health of all Americans is protected so that they can live disease free life and also they facilitate human services to the citizens especially disabled, poor and old who in most cases are unable to take care of themselves (Elias 2005)
. There are so many programmes held by this department which are around 300 programmes and they usually cover so many activities of the department in helping the citizens some of the duties undertaken by this department according to HHS press office in 2008 are:
- Research based on health and social sciences.
- They aim at preventing disease occurrence by carrying out immunization programmes and educating individuals on healthy ways of living which will prevent occurrence of disease since its better to prevent disease from occurring than curing it after it has occurred which risks ones health and its also expensive.
- They carry out research and survey to assure the citizens that food taken or sold to them and drugs are safe for consumption through their monitoring processes.
- They offer Medicare to its elderly and disabled individuals by ensuring that they have medical insurance to take care of all their medical needs and also Medicaid which ensures that those individuals who have low income have medical insurance.
- They have programmes on health information technology which helps the agency in coming up with new technologies which can help in managing and preventing diseases in United State.
- The agency also holds a program that helps those individuals in the community who have low income with financial alterance that they can live a healthy life and be able to cater for all their health needs.
- They ensure that maternal and child’s health is catered for so they can have a healthy generation in future through proper delivery methods.
- They are the head starters whereby they facilitate preschool by offering basic education to small children by allocating fund to teach them. They also help those children who delay before they cab talk by holding special schools and training to activate them.
- They have community initiatives and they are also faith based whereby they work hand in hand with the community to reduce incidences of disease occurrence within the community members.
- Their programmes also ensure that they take care of incidences of child abuse and domestic violence so that there incidences can be reduced within the community.
- They also hold special programmes for treating and preventing substances abuse.
- They give special services to aged, American which encompasses meals being delivered to their homes and being helped in other cores to maintain clean environments for them.
- They also offer Native Americans with special comprehensive health care which help them in uplifting their health standards.
- They prepare services which can take care of emergency cases such as incase of terrorism or accident where immediate medical care is required.
These are just some of the programmes that are carried out by this department but there are some other duties which are health related and they are usually carried out for the welfare of the citizens of America. These services and programmes have helped greatly in uplifting the health standards of America as a whole.
This department also insures largest also of individuals medically in the world and it usually handles so many claims in yearly basis (Lang, 1998)
. They also work quite close with state and local government for them to be allocated adequate funds that are needed.
HHS is organized in such a way that each sub branch of agency is headed by an assistant secretary. The overall leader of HHS agency is the secretary who currently is Mike Leavih. The office of the secretary allocates duties to other smaller departments which are headed by assistant secretaries. The agency is quite big since it holds other smaller departments which help in carrying out the duties of the agency. It has over 300 sub branches agencies which are operated entirely different (Smith, Liz. 2006)
Brief history of HHS runs from 1978 – 2003 and the highlight of this belief history is as follows:
1978: Act was passed which relieved disabled seamen and sick, hospital care for merchant was established.
1862: Chemist was appointed by President Lincoln who served in department of Agriculture which marked the beginning of Bureau Chemistry which was fore rumen in public health.
1871: first supervising surgeon was appointed who operated in Marine hospital.
1878: National quarantine act was passed which transferred quarantine functions from the state to federal in Marine services.
1887: one forum of laboratory was opened by the federal government which carried out various researches on disease.
1891: Immigration legislation was passed whereby people were first to be examined of disease condition before they migrate to United States.
1902: Marine hospital was converted to public health services.
1912: The name changed to Public health services.
1906: food and drugs act was passed by the congress which required the government to monitor food and drug safety.
1912: Children bureau was created under authority of president which prevented child’s exploitation.
1921: Indian affair bureau was created which was a division of health affair.
1930: National Institute of Health was created.
1935: Social security act was passed.
1938: Act on cosmetics, drugs and federal food was passed.
1939: Agency on Federal security was created which brought together activities of health together and those of education and social insurance.
1946: There was establishment of centre for communicable diseases.
1955: Polio Salk vaccine was licensed.
1962: Migration act was passed.
1966: establishment of international eradication of small pox.
1971: Signing of national cancer act.
1980: Federal funding was established
1984: Signing of national organ transplant act.
1990: Establishment of human genome project.
1995: Social security was named as an independent agency.
2000: Human genome sequencing was established.
2002: Department of republic health disaster preparedness was established.
2003: Improved medical description and drugs was enacted.
The department of HHS has faced quite a number of problems which are mainly related with litigation of medical care. One of the problems is that insurance cost is increasing rapidly which has led to impairment of access to medical care by patients. This has hindered patients from accessing medical services.
Contact support const is another problem that the agency faces. They have minimum funds to support most of the programmes of the agency. The agency has so many branches to fund which have different needs and therefore the money that is allocated to the agency by the government is quite minimal to cater for all those departments.
In rural health program, the HHS department faces the problem of structural since in most there are no good and adequate structures which can be used by health workers to operate on. This has been brought about by unequal distribution of funds allocated to HHS in all the areas of federal state (Bolland & Wilson, 1994)
. Therefore, the issue of funding the agency is a major cause of many of the problems that are faced by some of the departments within the agency.
The major challenges that department of HHS face is:
- Inability to manage wide information technology system in a more effective and efficient manner.
- Difficulty in coming up with a single HHS department which is different from other organizational unit.
- They also experience major challenges in ensuring that products which are required in various health institutions are available. The main challenge comes about in the area of vaccine whereby in most cases they are scarce, have side effects or they are inadequate.
- Management challenge is another aspect in HHS which hinders rapid progress of the departmental organizations. This problem can also hinder the issue of scientific discoveries which are driving force of most of the medical departments today due to mutation of disease and other changes in technology.
The department of HHS has taken further action in ensuring that the challenges that it is facing one dealt with to facilitate well running of HHS department. In dealing with these challenges, the department is making efforts to improve its management strategies (GAO, 2002)
. This will help it to manage the big number of programmes that it has initiated and they have planned on administering extra effort to the programmes which are the most vital to the citizens of America. The reforms that they want to put in place to alternate these problems are: – They intend to change their programmes to Medicare programmes.
To increase the affectivity and efficiency of the agency, HHS should form an alliance with other federal state and local agencies which plays almost similar role with them so that they can learn their management skills and also acquire some knowledge from them which will facilitate improvement of the services that are being offered by agency (HHS Government. 2008)
. This will enable the agency to come up with good measures which will improve the accountability of the agency.
HHS has no data that it can use in evaluating health insurance program of the agency and other activities such as grant making and regulatory responsibilities. Therefore, federal state is making efforts to ensure that there is improved technology within all its departmental agencies which enables various agencies to access relevant data that is needed by all the agencies to enhance their activities (Edmund, Coye, 1998)
This will enable the HHS department to have a conclusive outcome of its programmes. By doing this, the integrity of the program is maintained. This will facilitate good services being tendered to the entire state and all the programmes will be well managed.
The department of HHS gets its funds inform of grants from the federal state (Tommy, 2004) This money is given by the government to various agencies which divides the money to its department according to the requirements of each department. Grants from government are managed by US department of HHS which has great impact to the community since grants are fully utilized to benefit its citizens.
They also acquire finds from national budget sources whereby the government allocates money to various agencies. The government ensures that a large amount of money is allocated to the HHS department since HOA department which is quite large and running so many programmes which need quite substantial amount of money (Bonnie, 2004). The money gained from government budget is allocated to various programmes which are established by the agency to help in carrying out all the activities of the agency.
Fund can also be acquired as donations from well wishers who wish to fund various projects in health department. Individuals donate fund to various branches of the agencies such as the one which takes care of the disabled and the elderly (GAO, 2001). This money is mostly donated to quite specific program of the department. Being one of the largest branches of federal agency with so many programmes which needs quite a lot of money, a big portion of money is allocated to the agency by the government but this is not the only source of money as they get money from other sources which are meant to fund specific programmes (Kelly & Koney, 2000). The department spends around $642 billion which is usually distributed to all the departments of the HHS. These departments ensure that money is well spent to relevant projects that are initiated with the department.
In 2005, President Bush allocated $840 billion to the department of HHS which had increased with $32 billion from the one which was allocated in 2004 (Thomson T, 2004). In the year 2006 the agency was allocated more money than that of 2005 which amounted to $640 billion. The following year more fund was added to the department due to its growing needs and demands and the agency was allocated a total of $698 billion which they had budgeted for and they allocated this money to different programmes of the agency (Office of Management and Budget, 2008)
The agency’s budget has changed over time since it has kept on increasing drastically from one year to another. This trend shows that much more money is needed for the agency’s growing needs due to creation of many programmes which cater for the health status of its citizens. Increased budget allocation has helped the agency to finance most of its projects and research in regard to health within various programmes which are established (Institute of Medicine Staff, 1985)
. It is anticipated that in future this department will require more funds to be allocated to it since new health issues are arising daily with the new technology which needs a lot of funding.
Budget allocation has changed since the management of this agency are operating with a big number of programmes which need to be funded and therefore money that is realized from friends and supporters as donation is combined with that allocated to the agency by the federal government so that they can budget and divide it to fund different programmes within the agency according to their demand and the duties that they are carrying out.
HHS department has a number of supporters who help in funding the department with donations (Leavitt’s, 2008)
. These supporters according to HHS department include:
- Regional health administrator’s office.
- Minority health office.
- Women health office.
- Family planning office.
- Network project on regional resource.
The general societies are greatly interested by all the health services that are delivered by this agency since they work to improve the health standards of the European citizens. All departments / program enhanced benefit all individuals who are native. Different ages are catered for which facilitates proper delivery of health services to all the groups (Leavitt’s, 2008)
This agency should have more donors and supporters since it’s a sector which is quite sensitive because it prolongs the life of an individual. Therefore, all the sectors of the society benefits equally since programmes are divided in such a way that they cater for everyone equally.
According to the information that I have gathered in regard to agency, I can predict the future of this agency. For one, being quite a large department which is carrying out a number of programmes, it is anticipated that in future more programmes will be created which will enable faster, effective and efficient services are delivered to the citizens (Leavitt, 2008)
When there these programmes are subdivided budget for each area can be drafted quite effectively which will enable efficient planning and services that will be rendered by their departments will be of good quality.
The budget of HHS department is likely to increase as it is seen in the trend. More medical services are needed by citizens due to the using number of citizens. The higher the population, the more the demand of medical services. Creation of new departments will result to increased budget allocation since the new programmes which will be created within the department will require to be funded.
The area of influence and responsibility will change greatly since more attention will be required in various programmes that are created (Myatt, Agency Tender Official, 2007)
. The area of responsibility will change since more people will be needed to head various departments and therefore this will mean that the secretary will have a bigger role to play and more responsibilities to handle.
Therefore department of HHS agency being a large department with a variety of roles to play, is expected to have other branches which will be independent agencies dealing with more specific issues than having one large agency with many sub branches and a lot of roles to carry out. The department has helped a number of citizens and therefore it is regarded as one of the most important agency of United State government.
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