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Seal of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Flag of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Department Headquarters
|Formed||April 11, 1953 (as Department of Health, Education, and Welfare)|
May 4, 1980 (as United States Department of Health & Human Services)
|Jurisdiction||Federal government of the United States|
|Headquarters|| Hubert H. Humphrey Building |
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Annual budget||$1.286 trillion (2020)|
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), also known as the Health Department, is a cabinet-level executive branch department of the U.S. federal government with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. Its motto is "Improving the health, safety, and well-being of America".Before the separate federal Department of Education was created in 1979, it was called the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW).
HHS is administered by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. The United States Public Health Service (PHS) is the main division of the HHS and is led by the Assistant Secretary for Health. The position is currently held by Norris Cochran, who was appointed as acting secretary following the resignation of Alex Azar on January 20 at noon, in conjunction with the inauguration of Joe Biden.
The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the uniformed service of the PHS, is led by the Surgeon General who is responsible for addressing matters concerning public health as authorized by the secretary or by the Assistant Secretary of Health in addition to his or her primary mission of administering the Commissioned Corps.
The Federal Security Agency (FSA) was established on July 1, 1939, under the Reorganization Act of 1939, P.L. 76-19. The objective was to bring together in one agency all federal programs in the fields of health, education, and social security. The first Federal Security Administrator was Paul V. McNutt.The new agency originally consisted of the following major components: (1) Office of the Administrator, (2) Public Health Service (PHS), (3) Office of Education, (4) Civilian Conservation Corps, and (5) Social Security Board.
By 1953, the Federal Security Agency's programs in health, education, and social security had grown to such importance that its annual budget exceeded the combined budgets of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Labor, and Interior and affected the lives of millions of people. Consequently, in accordance with the Reorganization Act of 1949, President Eisenhower submitted to the Congress on March 12, 1953, Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1953, which called for the dissolution of the Federal Security Agency and elevation of the agency to Cabinet status as the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The plan was approved on April 1, 1953, and became effective on April 11, 1953.
Unlike statutes authorizing the creation of other executive departments, the contents of Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1953 were never properly codified within the United States Code, although Congress did codify a later statute ratifying the Plan. Today, the Plan is included as an appendix to Title 5 of the United States Code. The result is that HHS is the only executive department whose statutory foundation today rests on a confusing combination of several codified and uncodified statutes.[ citation needed ]
The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) was created on April 11, 1953, when Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1953 became effective. HEW thus became the first new Cabinet-level department since the Department of Labor was created in 1913. The Reorganization Plan abolished the FSA and transferred all of its functions to the secretary of HEW and all components of the agency to the department. The first secretary of HEW was Oveta Culp Hobby, a native of Texas, who had served as commander of the Women's Army Corps in World War II and was editor and publisher of the Houston Post . Sworn in on April 11, 1953, as secretary, she had been FSA administrator since January 21, 1953.
The six major program-operating components of the new department were the Public Health Service (PHS), the Office of Education, the Food and Drug Administration, the Social Security Administration, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and St. Elizabeth's Hospital. The department was also responsible for three federally aided corporations: Howard University, the American Printing House for the Blind, and the Columbia Institution for the Deaf (Gallaudet College since 1954).
The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was renamed the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) in 1979,when its education functions were transferred to the newly created United States Department of Education under the Department of Education Organization Act. HHS was left in charge of the Social Security Administration, agencies constituting the Public Health Service, and Family Support Administration.
In 1995, the Social Security Administration was removed from the Department of Health & Human Services, and established as an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States Government.
The 2010 United States federal budget established a reserve fund of more than $630 billion over 10 years to finance fundamental reform of the health care system.
The Department of Health & Human Services is led by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, a member of the United States Cabinet appointed by the President of the United States with the consent of the United States Senate. The secretary is assisted in managing the department by the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is also appointed by the president. The secretary and deputy secretary are further assisted by seven assistant secretaries, who serve as top departmental administrators.
As of January 20, 2018, this is the top level of the organizational chart. HHS provides further organizational detail on its website.
Several agencies within HHS are components of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), as noted below.
The Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) investigates criminal activity for HHS. The special agents who work for OIG have the same title series "1811" as other federal criminal investigators, such as the FBI, HSI, ATF, DEA and Secret Service. They receive their law enforcement training at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. OIG Special Agents have special skills in investigating white collar crime related to Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse. Organized crime has dominated the criminal activity relative to this type of fraud.
HHS-OIG investigates tens of millions of dollars in Medicare fraud each year. In addition, OIG will continue its coverage of all 50 states and the District of Columbia by its multi-agency task forces (PSOC Task Forces) that identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals who willfully avoid payment of their child support obligations under the Child Support Recovery Act.
HHS-OIG agents also provide protective services to the Secretary of HHS, and other department executives as necessary.
In 2002, the department released Healthy People 2010, a national strategic initiative for improving the health of Americans.
With the passage of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, and the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the Office of the Inspector General has taken an emboldened stance against healthcare related non-compliance, most notably for violations of Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute.
In 2015, the OIG issued a fraud alert as a warning to hospitals and healthcare systems to monitor and comply with their physician compensation arrangements.
Recent years have seen dramatic increases in both the number and the amounts of Stark Law violation settlements, prompting healthcare experts to identify a need for automated solutions that manage physician arrangements by centralizing necessary information with regard to physician–hospital integration. Contract management software companies such as Meditract provide options for health systems to organize and store physician contracts. Ludi Inc introduced DocTime Log, an SaaS solution that specifically addresses this growing concern, automating physician time logging in compliance with contract terms to eliminate Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute violations.
According to a report released by the OIG in July 2019, more than 80 percent of the 4,563 U.S. hospice centers that provide care to Medicare beneficiaries surveyed from 2012 to 2016 have at least one deficiency and 20 percent have at least one "serious deficiency".
From January 2020, Christi Grimm became the principal deputy inspector general. She assumed the duties of an acting inspector general, because the inspector general post was empty.In April 2020, Grimm released a report which surveyed the state of hospitals in late March during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The hospitals reported "severe shortages of testing supplies", "frequently waiting 7 days or longer for test results", which extended the length of patient stays and strained resources, and "widespread shortages of PPE". President Trump called the report "wrong" and questioned Grimm's motives. Later he called the report "Another Fake Dossier!" In May 2020, Trump nominated Jason Weida to be the permanent inspector general, pending confirmation by the U.S. Senate. According to a department spokeswoman, Grimm will remain as principal deputy inspector general.
There are three tiers of health departments, the federal health department, state health department and local health department. In relation with state and local government, the federal government provides states with funding to ensure that states are able to retain current programs and are able to implement new programs. The coordination between all three health departments is critical to ensure the programs being implemented are well structured and suited to the corresponding level of health department. The health department at state level needs to safeguard good relations with legislators as well as governors in order to acquire legal and financial aid to guarantee the development and enhancements of the programs. Assemblies are set up to guide the relationships between state and local health departments. The state sets up the regulations and health policies whereas the local health departments are the ones implementing the health policies and services.
As of 2018, there are ten regional offices that have separated the states in groups of four to eight. These offices directly work with the state departments, local governments, and tribal councils. The directors from each regional office are appointed directly by the active president. The following individuals run each regional office.
The Department of Health and Human Services was authorized a budget for fiscal year 2020 of $1.293 trillion. The budget authorization is broken down as follows:
|Program||Budget Authority (in millions)|
|Food and Drug Administration||$3,329|
|Health Resources and Services Administration||$11,004|
|Indian Health Service||$6,104|
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention||$6,767|
|National Institutes of Health||$33,669|
|Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration||$5,535|
|Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality||$0|
|Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services||$1,169,091|
|Administration for Children and Families||$52,121|
|Administration for Community Living||$1,997|
|Non-Recurring Expense Fund||$-400|
|Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals||$186|
|Office of the National Coordinator||$43|
|Office for Civil Rights||$30|
|Office of Inspector General||$82|
|Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund||$2,667|
|Program Support Center||$749|
The FY2020 budget included a $1.276 billion budget decrease for the Centers for Disease Control, and a $4.533 billion budget decrease for the National Institutes of Health. These budget cuts, along with other changes since 2019, comprised a total decrease of over $24 billion in revised discretionary budget authority across the entire Department of Health and Human Services for Fiscal Year 2020.
Additional details of the budgeted outlays, budget authority, and detailed budgets for other years, can be found at the HHS Budget website.
The Department of Health & Human Services' administers 115 programs across its 11 operating divisions.The United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) aims to "protect the health of all Americans and provide essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves." These federal programs consist of social service programs, civil rights and healthcare privacy programs, disaster preparedness programs, and health related research. HHS offers a variety of social service programs geared toward persons with low income, disabilities, military families, and senior citizens. Healthcare rights are defined under HHS in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which protect patient's privacy in regards to medical information, protects workers health insurance when unemployed, and sets guidelines surrounding some health insurance. HHS collaborates with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and Office of Emergency Management to prepare and respond to health emergencies. A broad array of health related research is supported or completed under the HHS; secondarily under HHS, the Health Resources & Service Administration houses data warehouses and makes health data available surrounding a multitude of topics. HHS also has vast offering of health related resources and tools to help educate the public on health policies and pertinent population health information. Some examples of available resources include disease prevention, wellness, health insurance information, as well as links to healthcare providers and facilities, meaningful health related materials, public health and safety information.
Some highlights include:
This program is to ensure the accountability of medical professionals to respect and carry-out basic human health rights, under the act of the same name. In the United States, the government feels that it is essential for the American people to understand their civil duty and rights to all of their medical information. That includes: health insurance policies or medical records from every doctor or emergency visit in one's life. Through Health & Human services one is able to file a complaint that their HIPAA rights have been violated or a consultant that will be able to decide if their rights were violated.
This branch has everything to do with the social justice, wellness, and care of all people throughout the United States. This includes but is not limited to people who need government assistance, foster care, unaccompanied alien children, daycares (headstart included), adoption, senior citizens, and disability programs. Social services is one of (if not) the largest branch of programs underneath it that has a wide variety throughout the United States at a state and local level.
The prevention and wellness program's main idea is to give the American people the ability to live the healthiest and best lifestyle physically that they can. They are the ones who deal with vaccines and immunizations, which fight from common diseases to deadly ones. The nutrition & fitness program that are the basics of healthy eating and regular exercise. Health screenings & family health history which are crucial in the knowledge of each individual's health and body. A severely important one especially in today's society is mental health & substance abuse in where they help people with mental illness and drug abuse. Lastly, they help with environmental health where people are researching and studying how our environments both physical and metaphorically have a short and long term effect on our health and wellness.
In June 2010, the Department of Health & Human Services created the Strengthening Communities Fundas part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The fund was appropriated $50 million to be given as grants to organizations in the United States who were engaged in Capacity Building programs. The grants were given to two different types of capacity builders:
HHS plays a role in protecting the United States against bioterrorism events. In 2018, HHS released a new National Biodefense Strategy required by passage of the 2016 Biodefense Strategy Act. The Biodefense Strategy required implementation of a biodefense strategy after a 2015 Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense report found that the 2009 National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats was inadequate in protecting the U.S. The strategy adopted these five central recommendations: creating a single centralized approach to biodefense; implementing an interdisciplinary approach to biodefense that brings together policy makers, scientists, health experts, and academics; drawing up a comprehensive strategy to address human, plant, and animal health; creating a defense against global and domestic biological threats; and creating a proactive policy to combat the misuse and abuse of advanced biotechnology.
HHS also runs the Biodefense Steering Committee, which works with other federal agencies including the Department of State, Department of Defense (DOD), U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Environmental Protection Agency.HHS specifically oversees Project BioShield, established in 2003 and operating since 2004, and its development and production of genetically based bio-weapons and vaccines. HHS together with DHS are authorized under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to deploy the weapons and vaccines produced by Project BioShield on the US general public under martial law during "emerging terrorist threats" or public health emergencies. Both HHS and DHS have similar authorities through state-based legislation adopted from Model State Emergency Health Powers Act provisions.
In 2016, a published US Senate report revealed that several dozen unaccompanied children from Central America, some as young as fourteen years old, were released from custody to traffickers where they were sexually assaulted, starved or forced to work for little or no pay.The HHS sub agency Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) released approximately 90,000 unaccompanied children during 2013–2015 but did not track their whereabouts or properly screen families accepting these children.
To prevent similar episodes, the Homeland Security and Health & Human Services Departments signed a memorandum of understanding in 2016, and agreed to establish joint procedures within one year for dealing with unaccompanied migrant children. As of 2018 they have failed to do so. Between October and December 2017, officials from ORR tried to contact 7,635 children and their sponsors. From these calls, officials learned that 6,075 children remained with their sponsors. Twenty-eight had run away, five had been removed from the United States and fifty-two had relocated to live with a non sponsor. However, officials have lost track of 1,475 children.ORR claims it is not legally liable for the safety and status of the children once released from custody.
HHS is evidenced to be actively coercing and forcing bio-substances such as antipsychoticson migrating children without consent, and under questionable medical supervision. Medical professionals state that wrongly prescribed antipsychotics are especially dangerous for children, and can cause permanent psychological damage. Medical professionals also state DHS and HHS incarceration and separation policies are likewise causing irreparable mental harm to the children.
Children are also dying in HHS custody.The forced drugging, deaths, and disappearances of migrating Mexican and Central American children might be related to DHS falsely labeling them and their families as 'terror threats' before HHS manages their incarcerations. Despite a federal court order, the DHS separation practices mandated by the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy have not been halted, and HHS has not stopped forcing drugs on the children it incarcerates.
In the latest Center for Effective Government analysis of 15 federal agencies which receive the most Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests published in 2015 (using 2012 and 2013 data, the most recent years available), the DHHS ranked second to last, earning an F by scoring 57 out of a possible 100 points, largely due to a low score on its particular disclosure rules. It had deteriorated from a D- in 2013.
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The United States secretary of health and human services is the head of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and serves as the principal advisor to the president of the United States on all health matters. The Secretary is a member of the United States Cabinet. The office was formerly Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. In 1980, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was renamed the Department of Health and Human Services, and its education functions and Rehabilitation Services Administration were transferred to the new United States Department of Education. Patricia Roberts Harris headed the department before and after it was renamed.
The United States Public Health Service (USPHS) is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services concerned with public health. It contains eight out of the department's eleven operating divisions. The Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) oversees the PHS. The Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) is the federal uniformed service of the USPHS, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States.
William H. Stewart was an American pediatrician and epidemiologist. He was appointed tenth Surgeon General of the United States from 1965 to 1969.
In the United States, Office of Inspector General (OIG) is a generic term for the oversight division of a federal or state agency aimed at preventing inefficient or unlawful operations within their parent agency. Such offices are attached to many federal executive departments, independent federal agencies, as well as state and local governments. Each office includes an inspector general and employees charged with identifying, auditing, and investigating fraud, waste, abuse, embezzlement and mismanagement of any kind within the executive department.
A health department or health ministry is a part of government which focuses on issues related to the general health of the citizenry. Subnational entities, such as states, counties and cities, often also operate a health department of their own. Health departments perform food inspections and other health related inspections, vaccination programs, free STD and HIV tests, tobacco enforcement and cessation programs, and other medical assistance programs. Health departments also compile statistics about health issues within their area. The role of a health department may vary from one country to the other, but their primary objective is always the same; safeguarding and promoting health. In 1986, several of the world's national health departments met to establish an international guideline by which health departments operate. The meeting was in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and hence the guidelines established are known as the Ottawa Charter. The Ottawa Charter was designed to 'achieve Health for All'.
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It is headed by the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner. It has a $49 billion budget for 60 programs that target children, youth and families. These programs include assistance with welfare, child support enforcement, adoption assistance, foster care, child care, and child abuse.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is one of twelve agencies within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The agency is headquartered in North Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C.. It was established as the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) in 1989 as a constituent unit of the Public Health Service (PHS) to enhance the quality, appropriateness, and effectiveness of health care services and access to care by conducting and supporting research, demonstration projects, and evaluations; developing guidelines; and disseminating information on health care services and delivery systems.
The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) is a U.S. government agency that focuses on research integrity, especially in health. It was created when the Office of Scientific Integrity (OSI) in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Office of Scientific Integrity Review (OSIR) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health merged in May 1992. The Office of Research Integrity oversees and directs Public Health Service (PHS) research integrity activities on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the exception of the regulatory research integrity activities of the Food and Drug Administration.
The assistant secretary for health (ASH) is a senior U.S. government official within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The position is a statutory office and the holder of the office serves as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services's primary advisor on matters involving the nation's public health. The assistant secretary oversees all matters pertaining to the United States Public Health Service (PHS), the main division of the Department of Health and Human Services, for the secretary, and provides strategic and policy direction. The Public Health Service comprises almost all of the agency divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services including the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, one of the eight federal uniformed services, comprising more than 6,500 uniformed health professionals who serve with the Department of Health and Human Services, or are assigned to work within other federal agencies, including the United States Armed Forces.
In the United States, Medicare fraud is the claiming of Medicare health care reimbursement to which the claimant is not entitled. There are many different types of Medicare fraud, all of which have the same goal: to collect money from the Medicare program illegitimately.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the United States Department of Health and Human Services was created under the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to lead the nation in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters. ASPR focuses on preparedness planning and response; building federal emergency medical operational capabilities; countermeasures research, advance development, and procurement; and grants to strengthen the capabilities of hospitals and health care systems in public health emergencies and medical disasters. The office provides federal support, including medical professionals through ASPR’s National Disaster Medical System, to augment state and local capabilities during an emergency or disaster.
A rural health clinic (RHC) is a clinic located in a rural, medically under-served area in the United States that has a separate reimbursement structure from the standard medical office under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. RHCs were established by the Rural Health Clinic Services Act of 1977, . The RHC program increases access to health care in rural areas by
In the United States, a public health emergency declaration releases resources meant to handle an actual or potential public health crisis. Recent examples include:
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is charged with identifying and combating waste, fraud, and abuse in the HHS’s more than 300 programs, including Medicare and programs conducted by agencies within HHS, such as the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health.
The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 is a law enacted by the 113th United States Congress. The Act amends the Public Health Service Act in order to extend, fund, and improve several programs designed to prepare the United States and health professionals in the event of a pandemic, epidemic, or biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear accident or attack. The Act clarifies the authority of different American officials, makes it easier to temporarily reassign personnel to respond to emergency situations, and alters the process for testing and producing medical countermeasures. The Act is focused on improving preparedness for any public health emergency.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) is the principal advisory group to the United States Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on policy development and provides coordination and support for HHS's strategic and policy planning, planning and development of legislation, program evaluation, data gathering, policy-related research, and regulatory program. ASPE refers both to the position, the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, and the office directed by that position. Since its authorization in 1965, ASPE has played an instrumental role as an internal strategy group, think tank, and incubator supporting the priorities and needs of the Secretary, and consequently, the Department as a whole.
Robert P. Kadlec is an American physician and career officer in the United States Air Force who currently serves as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services.
In the United states, the National Biodefense Strategy is a biosecurity strategy that the federal government was directed to adopt by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. The act—the periodic National Defense Authorization Act, the authorization bill for national security—required the secretaries of Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Agriculture to coordinate to produce a comprehensive strategy for countering biological warfare threats and other biological threats. The Donald Trump administration announced the National Biodefense Strategy of 2018 the following year. Later, the Donald Trump administration announced they would siphon funds from medical programs to supplement fundings for the strategy. When questioned about this, it was reported that the Obama administration provided the plans for the strategy.
The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act (PAHPAI) is legislation introduced and passed by the U.S. Congress in 2019 that aims to improve the nation's preparation and response to public health threats, including both natural threats and deliberate man-made threats.
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