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Governor Proposes Consolidating State Agencies, Citing Improved Delivery of Health and Welfare Services

January 30, 2017

Governor Tom Wolf announced a plan to consolidate four state agencies—Aging, Health, Human Services, and Drug and Alcohol Programs—under a proposed state Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that would oversee the state’s health and welfare programs.

Wolf said that the state agencies serve similar, and sometimes overlapping, populations and that the effort would promote more effective collaboration and service delivery, enhance program effectiveness, eliminate duplicative processes, and would not lead to any program cuts.

“This new department will streamline government and allow the commonwealth to deliver more effective services to seniors, individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities, and those suffering from a substance use disorder as well as promote the health and well-being of all Pennsylvanians,” said Gov. Wolf. “The creation of a new, unified Department of Health and Human Services will not result in any program cuts for Pennsylvanians, but will dramatically improve our ability to deliver services that will improve lives.”

It is expected that additional details about the plan will be shared on February 7 when Gov. Wolf introduces his 2017–2018 state budget proposal. 

HAP works closely with each of these agencies to support Pennsylvania hospitals’ mission to improve the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians. “Efforts to better integrate services and eliminate a silo approach to supporting and regulating health care makes sense,” said HAP’s President and CEO Andy Carter in response to the proposal. “Many health care regulations lag behind the tremendous changes that have taken place in care delivery. Providers are most effective when they can work more closely to coordinate patient care, test payment alternatives, incorporate new and innovative models of care, and share critical data.”

HAP will review the details of the Governor’s proposal and will continue to encourage state policymakers to support legislative and regulatory changes that underscore this new model of care.

For additional information, contact Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy

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