Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO: (1) assessed the relevance, timeliness, and technical adequacy of the Health Care Financing Administration's (HCFA) congressionally mandated research and evaluation activities; and (2) identified key internal and external factors that influenced the HCFA Office of Research and Demonstrations' (ORD) management and dissemination practices.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Health and Human Services||1. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Administrator, HCFA, to develop internal management procedures that will address the issues raised in this report. This would include, for example, procedures to ensure that agency communication with appropriate congressional committees is adequate during all stages of mandated studies and that ORD considers areas of congressional concern in developing its research and evaluation plans.|
|Department of Health and Human Services||2. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should implement formal report review procedures designed to ensure that HHS reviews of reports to Congress will be timely.|
|Department of Health and Human Services||3. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Administrator, HCFA, to assess whether ORD has sufficient staff and resources to plan, monitor, and review studies mandated by Congress, as well as those supported by discretionary funds.|
|Department of Health and Human Services||4. The Secretary of Health and Human Services should work with other executive branch agencies to develop similar procedures for reviewing HCFA reports.|