With the alignment of Public Health and Human Services to a single agency in 2022, Iowa HHS had the opportunity to leverage lessons learned from the pandemic and begin to address challenges and improve the HHS system for everyone who calls Iowa home. HHS contracted with Health Management Associates (HMA) to conduct a third-party review of the delivery of 19 health and human service areas in the summer and fall of 2023.

System Alignment Assessment

HMA used information from HHS staff, feedback from town halls, stakeholder interviews and survey data to identify opportunities for improvement within the service areas.

HMA also provided recommendations for changes to current service delivery practices based on approaches implemented in other states. Additional information about the assessment process can be found in the HHS System Alignment Assessment Overview document in the Resources section below. 

HMA’s report outlines an overview of the service delivery areas and offers proposed recommendations to better align service delivery across five core functions:

  1.  Behavioral Health
  2. Public Health
  3. Aging and Disability
  4. Family Well-Being and Protection
  5. Community Access

HMA’s proposed recommendations are options for Iowa HHS to consider. HHS is reviewing the recommendations and working with state policy decision makers to determine ways to move forward. Throughout the assessment process, HMA and HHS learned there is a need to improve the Behavioral Health system. We anticipate discussion around the Behavioral Health system needs this legislative session.

System Alignment Implementation

Based on HMA’s recommendations, it’s clear that the scope of our alignment work will be significant. HHS will take a phased approach to this effort that first focuses on the needs related to behavioral health. HHS will also conduct ongoing stakeholder engagement opportunities related to the governance and structures outlined in the recommendations. 

This page will be updated frequently as we begin implementation efforts, please check back for up-to-date content related to HHS system alignment.