HHS Releases Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2013

HHS released its fiscal year 2013 financial report, which, in addition to principal financial statements and reports of its independent auditors, details the steps the agency has made toward reaching its strategic goals. In striving to produce innovative, results-oriented solutions, HHS made progress toward the following goals:

  • Strengthen health care. The number of health care-associated infections (HAIs), which leads to the loss of lives numbering in the tens of thousands every year, has been consistently reduced. Noted by HHS as the most common HAIs, central line-associated bloodstream infections have been reduced nationwide by 25 percent, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections were reduced by 20 percent.
  • Advance scientific knowledge and innovation. Focused on “the identification, implementation, and rigorous evaluation of new approaches in science, health care, public health, and human services[,]” HHS increased awareness through the availability of the Guide to Community Preventive Services, which experienced increased page views in fiscal year 2013.
  • Advance health, safety, and well-being of American people. HHS noted an increase of states that have demonstrated significant progress toward meeting the Quality Rating and Improvement Systems benchmarks, with seven new out of 19 total states meeting six out of seven benchmarks. This is a significant step toward meeting HHS’ goal of 25 states. Data also shows a reduction of adult cigarette consumption and a reduction in foodborne illness caused by salmonella.
  • Increase efficiency, transparency, and accountability of HHS programs. HHS, which is the nation’s largest health insurer and the largest grant-awarding agency, has put a high priority on ensuring the integrity of its expenditures. The agency’s goal to pay claims properly the first time has shown a jump in the rate of improvement. HHS has also experienced significant improvement in the number of individuals served per dollar through the Head Start program and Older Americans Act home and community-based services.
  • Strengthen nation’s HHS infrastructure and workforce. In light of the shortage of critical health care workers, HHS has made progress toward increasing loan repayment and scholarship support for health professionals who have devoted themselves to serving the primary care needs of underserved communities. The agency will continue to develop this program and build the primary care workforce as funding is available.

Also significant within HHS’s 2013 financial report is the Office of the Inspector General’s management and performance challenges for fiscal year 2013. The challenges include overseeing of the Health Insurance Exchange, fighting fraud and waste in Medicare Parts A and B, and ensuring appropriate use of prescription drugs in Medicare and Medicaid. HHS addressed these and other identified challenges in its report.