The GAO has reviewed HHS management of the 72 health care workforce programs administered by HHS and its agencies. The GAO concludes that HHS “lacks comprehensive planning and oversight to ensure that its many workforce efforts address identified national needs.” The GAO recommends that HHS establish a comprehensive and coordinated workplace development program planning approach that covers HHS education, training, and payment programs. More specifically, the GAO states that HHS should:

  • Include performance measures to more clearly determine the extent to which these programs are meeting the department’s strategic goal of strengthening health care;
  • Identify and communicate to stakeholders any gaps between existing programs and future health care workforce needs identified in the Health Resources and Services Administration’s workforce projection reports;
  • Identify actions needed to address workforce gaps; and
  • Identify and communicate to Congress the legislative authority, if any, the Department needs to implement these actions.

In its response to the report, HHS generally concurred with the GAO’s recommendations, and it discussed the areas in which comprehensive and coordinated planning is already underway and where additional funding would enhance such activities.