Status of the Implementation of the National Health Planning and Resources Development Act of 1974

HRD-77-157: Published: Nov 2, 1978. Publicly Released: Nov 2, 1978.

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The National Health Planning and Resources Development Act of 1974 provided for: (1) the development of guidelines for national health planning; (2) the establishment of areawide and state health planning agencies to deal with needed planning for health services, manpower, and facilities; and (3) financial assistance for the development of resources.

Since passage of the act: (1) the country has been divided into 205 health service areas; (2) health systems agencies have been designated in all of these areas; (3) all state planning agencies have been designated; and (4) centers for health planning have been established in each of the 10 Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) regions. It is too early to determine the effect of areawide and state agencies in achieving the objectives of the act. HEW has been slow in publishing regulations and guidelines needed to carry out the act primarily because of new regulation development procedures, organizational problems, and litigation against the act. Planning agencies were handicapped in developing and completing health systems plans because of the unavailability of health data and national standards and criteria for the health care system, inability to recruit staff, conflicts between local and state planning agencies over respective responsibilities, and delays in receiving technical assistance.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: Congress should expand the provisions of the act to allow more states to have only a state health planning and development agency and require that all other states have a minimum of two health systems agencies. If Congress does not amend the act, it should clarify the responsibilities of health systems agencies and state health planning agencies in those states that have only one health systems agency.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary, HEW, should: (1) publish needed regulations and guidelines in a timely manner; (2) resolve organizational problems within the Bureau of Health Planning and Resources Development; (3) develop health system standards and criteria; (4) address the problems of inadequate and insufficient health data; (5) develop a policy statement to clarify the relative emphasis to be placed on cost containment and health care accessibility; and (6) direct regional planning centers to emphasize health plan development and board member orientation and educational activities.

    Agency Affected:


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