The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. HHS represents almost a quarter of all federal outlays, and it administers more grant dollars than all other federal agencies combined. HHS’ Medicare program is the nation’s largest health insurer, handling more than 1 billion claims per year. Medicare and Medicaid together provide health care insurance for one in four Americans.
HHS works closely with state and local governments, and many HHS-funded services are provided at the local level by state or county agencies, or through private sector grantees. The Department’s programs are administered by 11 operating divisions, including eight agencies in the U.S. Public Health Service and three human services agencies. The department includes more than 300 programs, covering a wide spectrum of activities. In addition to the services they deliver, the HHS programs provide for equitable treatment of beneficiaries nationwide, and they enable the collection of national health and other data.
Departmental leadership is provided by the Office of the Secretary. Also included in the Department is the Office of Public Health and Science, the Office of the HHS Inspector General and the HHS Office for Civil Rights. In addition, the Program Support Center, a self-supporting division of the Department, provides administrative services for HHS and other federal agencies.
From Department of Health & Human Services, About Us, available at http://www.hhs.gov/about/ (accessed April 21, 2012).