Department of Health and Human Services: Healthcare Policy Development
Health policy development is one of the government and private sector tasks involving many stakeholders. The role of each stakeholder in this task depends on the interests they represent. For instance, the Department of Health and Human Services represents the federal and state governments in issues surrounding public health, and plays a crucial role in the development of healthcare policies (Koh et al., 2016). The department is responsible for the protection of all Americans’ health and the provision of essential human services to all populations. It fosters sustainable and sound advances in medical sciences by promoting social services, public health and underlying issues in medicine (Koh et al., 2016). The HHS accomplishes its core objectives by providing a wide range of services which are aimed at serving the public health interests of Americans from conception till death. It is in the context of this role that the department engages in activities involved in healthcare policy development both as a representative of the government and as an advocate for efficacy and efficiency in the delivery of healthcare and human services.
In healthcare policy development, the HHS plays a crucial role through initiating and fostering collaboration with various governmental and non-governmental institutions with the objective of promoting service delivery and collaborative decision making. The department also collaborates with members of the public and coordinates between the government and the public in addressing pressing healthcare issues (Koh et al., 2012). Additionally, it works with tribal governments to promote collaboration and consultation between states and the health departments of those governments. From this perspective, it is clear that in healthcare policy development, the HHS performs a collaborative and coordinative role in which the outcome is consultative decision making. The department therefore plays a crucial role by bringing together all interest groups and thus diversifying the perspectives in healthcare policy decision making.
Accordingly, the impacts of the HHS in healthcare policy development are undeniable. According to Gostin (1995), healthcare policy development should involve a rigorous and objective data assessment process, in which freedom of expression and unrestricted participation are key. This implies that government institutions should be involved to as much extent as the public sector is involved, and that all government segments should rely on information collected through thorough data collection, assessment and sound basis of evidence. This thus means that the role of the HHS in the healthcare development process is not only crucial but also impactful in that the HHS brings in these diverse perspectives, encourages active and unrestricted participation and promotes freedom of expression through multi-player involvement. Healthcare policies affect the public and consideration of public views should be mandatory in the process. The HHS ensures that this happens due to its mission of enhancing public health.
The HHS has significant impacts on the healthcare policy development process. Besides its participation in government and public health interests, the HHS also brings the academia into healthcare policy development. This means that the department not only promotes collaboration between teams but it also fosters information sharing and public discourse in policy. Without these, the policy development process would be incomplete and/ or ineffective. Several healthcare programs are also encompassed in the department including the Agency for Health Research and Quality, Food and Drug Administration and the Administration for Community Living (Koh et al., 2012). Each of these programs also plays an important role in specific aspects of health policy development, without which the process would be incomplete. Since the HHS drives all these programs, the impacts of these programs on the healthcare policy development process can be extrapolated as the impacts of the HHS on healthcare policy development.
Gostin, L. (1995). The formulation of health policy by the three branches of government. Society’s Choices: Social and Ethical Decision Making in Biomedicine. Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231979/
Koh, H.K., Berwick, D.M., Clancy, C.M., Baur, C., Brach, C., Harris, L.M., & Zerhusen, E.G. (2012). New federal policy initiatives to boost health literacy can help the nation move beyond the cycle of costly ‘crisis care’. Health Affairs (Project Hope), 31(2), 434-443. Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5102007/