Activities, Staffing, and Funding for the Center for Strategic Planning

GAO-13-377R: Published: Apr 1, 2013. Publicly Released: May 1, 2013.

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Linda T. Kohn
(202) 512-7114


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

What GAO Found

CSP's activities, staff, and funding support strategic planning by individual CMS offices and centers as well as the agency itself. CMS officials told us that CSP assists individual offices and centers in developing strategic plans for their units, leads the agency's senior-level strategic planning meetings, and is helping to develop a centralized approach to monitor the implementation of CMS's agency-wide strategic plan. As of January 2013, CSP had 11 staff and it had $1.9 million in funds obligated for fiscal year 2012. Staff size and funding for CSP's most recent fiscal year represent a decrease compared to prior years, in part because CSP's activities have been narrowed in scope since the office was established in 2010, according to CMS officials. GAO provided a draft of this report to HHS for comment. After its review, HHS indicated that it did not have any comments.

Why GAO Did This Study

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)--an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)--is responsible for overseeing Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Together, these programs provide health insurance coverage for over 100 million men, women, and children and account for a significant share of national health care spending. Medicare and Medicaid expenditures accounted for 36 percent of national health care spending in 2011 and are expected to increase as a share of national health care spending, driven in part by increases in Medicare enrollment and expanded Medicaid coverage.

With its programs playing a central role in the financing of the nation's health care for the foreseeable future, CMS has taken steps to make the agency's strategic planning a priority. In 2010, as part of an internal reorganization, CMS established the Center for Strategic Planning (CSP) to facilitate the agency's strategic planning efforts. You expressed an interest in learning more about the activities CSP conducts to facilitate CMS's strategic planning. This report describes CSP's current activities and staffing, as well as CSP's funding for the most recent full fiscal year.

For more information, contact Linda T. Kohn at (202) 512-7114 or

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