Washington, D.C. – October 23, 2017 – A special report published by the Governing Institute and the Center for Digital Government, in partnership with the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), finds that after nearly a decade of relative certitude around the federal government’s approach to HHS programs, state and local leaders now are coping with the unknown.

Titled Taking the Long View: Smart HHS Strategies for Uncertain Times, the special report draws on original research and interviews with state, city and county-level HHS directors and high-ranking administrators to examine how they are bracing for policy changes and potentially tighter federal funding for the programs they run.

“Federal politics surrounding the ACA and social programs may evolve rapidly and swing wildly before an equilibrium is reached,” said Julia Burrows, director of the Governing Institute. “But we believe there are fundamental strategies to improve the efficiency and performance of HHS programs regardless of where the political debate leads.”

The report includes insights and strategies on how HHS leaders are preparing to meet critical challenges such as inadequate budget to meet pressing needs, state and federal regulations and policies and a decrease in federal funding. Taking the Long View: Smart HHS Strategies for Uncertain Times also examines how HHS agencies are turning toward smarter strategies to ensure the health and wellbeing of communities and citizens.
“Preventing harmful behaviors, intervening earlier and comprehensively, using data to understand outcomes and using more flexible and sophisticated technology tools — these are all ingredients in a more effective approach to health and human services,” said Tracy Wareing, executive director of APHSA. “They have the uniquely powerful ability to help HHS programs deliver better outcomes and control costs. We looked across the nation for bright spots to demonstrate the impact of this shift in thinking, and we found plenty of progress to highlight. We also found that implementing these concepts more broadly demands wider and deeper commitment.”

The Taking the Long View: Smart HHS Strategies for Uncertain Times, special report can be accessed here.

Taking the Long View: Smart HHS Strategies for Uncertain Times is the result of original, independent research undertaken by Governing Institute and the Center for Digital Government. Underwriters supporting the report include Salesforce, Microsoft, SAS, DentaQuest, Optum, Oracle and CGI.

About the Governing Institute and the Center for Digital Government
For 25 years, Governing has provided independent, nonpartisan coverage of state and local government.

Governing Institute advances better government by focusing on improved outcomes through research, decision support and executive education to help public-sector leaders govern more effectively. With an emphasis on state and local government performance, innovation, leadership and citizen engagement, the Institute oversees Governing’s research efforts and a wide range of events to further advance the goals of good governance.

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government.

Governing, the Governing Institute and the Center for Digital Government are divisions of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.

About The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA)
APHSA is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization representing appointed state and local health and human service agency commissioners. APHSA is the only association of the nation’s top government human service executives, including states, the District of Columbia, and the territories, their key state program managers, and hundreds of county-level human service directors nationwide. APHSA provides support and staff for nine affiliate human service associations.