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Highlights

GAO discussed the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) potential budget reductions and rescissions. GAO noted that: (1) many HHS agencies use their resources to administer and monitor similar programs; (2) opportunities exist to reduce the HHS budget through increasing administrative efficiencies and targeting ineffective programs; (3) better integration and less duplication could reduce federal spending and alleviate the administrative burden on service providers; (4) although Congress has tried targeting more HHS funding for primary care and underserved areas, these actions are not likely to have much impact; (5) Congress could preserve funding for essential administrative functions that would enable HHS agencies to avoid fraud, waste, and abuse by targeting reductions in administrative accounts; and (6) HHS needs to use its appropriated funds to develop the tools or information systems necessary to adequately evaluate program effectiveness and reallocate resources to areas where they can be used most effectively.

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