DES MOINES, IA – The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services has engaged Health Management Associates (HMA) to study the delivery of health and human service programs in our state.
“How Iowans access health and human services is different in almost every county,” explained director Kelly Garcia. “With 99 separate administrative systems, there are inconsistencies that make it difficult for Iowans to navigate services and burdensome for local governments to administer the programs.”
With the alignment of public health and human services to a single agency in 2022, HHS has the opportunity to leverage lessons learned from the pandemic to begin addressing these challenges and improve the HHS system for everyone who calls Iowa home.
“We’ve spent the last two plus years aligning the state agencies that oversee these programs and services,” said Garcia. “Now it’s time to align the system that underpins the delivery of these supports to Iowans.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a major challenge to navigate the multiple layers of decision makers for every program at the state, regional, county, and sometimes city level. “These challenges result in significant inefficiencies that can delay getting necessary funding, resources, and other supports to people on the front-line providing services to Iowans. This assessment aims to understand these systems and provide solutions to improve them.”
The assessment will study why the current systems are structured the way they are, and the historical context of such decisions. The study will also examine existing operational capabilities and gaps, and the funding and resource models that drive the current system.
Throughout the assessment, HMA will engage with stakeholders to gather input which will be used to form the final recommendations.
This assessment will give HHS a clearer understanding of the linkages that currently exist between systems and current Medicaid programs, who the primary beneficiaries of these programs are, who the decision makers involved in each system are, and how to better connect these services to the Iowans who need them.
Program areas include:
Local governmental public health
Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers
Mental Health Delivery Regions
Integrated Provider Network
Aging and Disability Regional Centers
Maternal and Child Health
Area Agencies on Aging
Tobacco Community Partnerships
Emergency Preparedness Regions
Community Partnership for Protecting Children
Local public health delivered Medicaid services
Community Action Agencies
Family Development and Self Sufficiency Program
HMA will begin work this week and issue a final report in the fall with their recommendations. The recommendations will include at least two proposed service delivery options, and at least two proposed funding models.
HHS has established a web page with information about the assessment. Visit https://hhs.iowa.gov/service-delivery-alignment-assessment-project for more details.