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Health Agencies Update
January 28, 2009

DHHS Overhaul

JAMA. 2009;301(4):370. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.986

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) needs to be overhauled to meet current health challenges, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Acting on a request from members of Congress for a proposal on a new organizational structure for the DHHS, an IOM committee instead produced a report calling for changes to improve effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability at the agency. The committee declined to propose a new organizational structure, noting there is no single optimal structure and that such a change might distract from the organization's activities. Instead, the group recommended that the new secretary of the DHHS establish a vision for the organization that includes measurable goals.