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Department of Health and Human Services

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Open Recommendations (130 total)

Substance Misuse Treatment and Recovery: Federal Guidance Needs to Address Work Arrangements for Those Living in Residential Facilities

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Assistant Secretary of SAMHSA should incorporate single state agencies (SSA) into existing guidance development processes or develop a formal process to proactively consult SSAs about the information they need regarding how work should be incorporated into substance misuse treatment and recovery, and use the SSA feedback from such processes to inform the development of publicly available guidance. (Recommendation 1)
Open
HHS agreed with this recommendation. HHS noted that informational guidance it develops would focus on how work should be incorporated into substance use disorder treatment and separately how work should be addressed with respect to recovery housing. We will monitor the progress of their efforts.

Substance Misuse Treatment and Recovery: Federal Guidance Needs to Address Work Arrangements for Those Living in Residential Facilities

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Assistant Secretary of SAMHSA should explicitly state in SUPTRS Block Grant application materials (1) that incorporating work into a treatment facility resident's treatment plan should involve an individualized assessment to determine if and when work is appropriate, and that requiring work as a condition for accessing treatment services is not acceptable, and (2) if and when requiring work as a condition of accessing services is acceptable at recovery housing. (Recommendation 2)
Open
HHS agreed with this recommendation. The agency stated that it would incorporate a statement in the fiscal years 2025-2026 SUPTRS Block Grant application materials to address the recommendation. We will monitor the progress of their efforts.

Public Health Preparedness: Mpox Response Highlights Need for HHS to Address Recurring Challenges

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should develop and implement a coordinated, department-wide after-action program that includes relevant external stakeholders involved in each public health emergency response—such as other federal agencies, jurisdictions, and nongovernmental partners—when identifying challenges and associated solutions. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should develop and implement a coordinated, department-wide after-action program that encourages collaboration between HHS's component agencies, including integrating the existing public health emergency after-action programs of these component agencies. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Autism Research and Support Services: Federal Interagency Coordination and Monitoring Efforts Could Be Further Strengthened

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should ensure that NIH documents the procedures the Office of National Autism Coordination uses, in its support of the IACC and the National Autism Coordinator, to help ensure federal autism activities are not unnecessarily duplicative. Such documentation should describe the roles and responsibilities of different entities, sources of information used, the time frames for conducting analyses, and how outcomes will be reported. (Recommendation 2)
Open
HHS agreed with GAO's recommendation. We will update the status of this recommendation when HHS provides its 180 day letter (expected in summer 2024).

Autism Research and Support Services: Federal Interagency Coordination and Monitoring Efforts Could Be Further Strengthened

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should establish a process for clearly tracking and reporting progress made toward goals established by the IACC for federal autism activities, coordinating with federal partners as appropriate. Such progress tracking should describe where performance is lagging, and why desired results were not achieved, if any. (Recommendation 1)
Open
HHS agreed with GAO's recommendation. We will update the status of this recommendation when HHS provides its 180 day letter (expected in summer 2024).

Head Start: Opportunities Exist to Better Align Resources with Child Poverty

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct OHS to use its existing grant-making authority to consider the geographic distribution of Head Start resources across communities when awarding competitive grants. (Recommendation 1)
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HHS agreed with this recommendation. OHS said it would explore methods to include geographic distribution of existing Head Start services and available measures of need to be considered in the grant award process, within the constraints of its statutory authority. For example, due to statutory provisions governing the distribution of Head Start funds, the agency's authority to distribute funds and award grants is limited by the amount of funding available and the need to ensure that grants stay within the service area and maintain stable funding within states. We will monitor the progress of OHS's efforts to address this recommendation.

Head Start: Opportunities Exist to Better Align Resources with Child Poverty

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct OHS to use the data it already collects to assess relative rates of access to Head Start services and to help identify areas where additional services may be needed. (Recommendation 2)
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HHS agreed with this recommendation. OHS said it would explore methods to use data it already collects to help identify areas where additional services may be needed. OSH noted it is committed to using data it already collects to identify communities and geographical areas where additional services may be warranted. This includes data on the geographic location of existing Head Start service locations and the number of Head Start and Early Head Start funded slots at these locations. We will monitor the progress of these efforts.

Maternal Health: HHS Should Improve Assessment of Efforts to Address Worsening Outcomes

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Health and Human Services The Secretary of Health and Human Services should ensure that the Office on Women's Health and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation performance strategy includes key performance management practices—including near-term goals with quantitative targets and time frames to define intended results and associated performance measures for the near-term goals—to assess the performance of HHS's maternal health efforts against the Maternal Health Blueprint's goals. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Health and Human Services The Director of CDC should ensure that the Perinatal Quality Collaborative program establishes quantitative targets for its near-term goals to provide a basis for comparing planned and actual results. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.