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Program Assessment


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Indian Health Service Federally-Administered Activities

The purpose of the Indian Health Service is to raise the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Through its Federally-administered activities, the Indian Health Service provides clinical and preventive health services directly and through purchasing from the private sector.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • The program meets most of its annual goals and is making progress in achieving its long-term performance targets. Most notably, from 1973 to 1995, the Indian Health Service reduced the years of potential life lost--a measure used to gauge overall health--among American Indians and Alaska Natives by 50 percent.
  • The program has developed new performance measures to assess progress in reducing morbidity and mortality related to those health issues most prevalent today. For example, the program has established a baseline rate for obesity among children and hospitalizations for diabetic complications, both of which contribute to a variety of costly and debilitating health complications.
  • The program cannot show the extent to which funding is related to specific health outcomes. The Indian Health Service uses performance data to make programmatic and management decisions, but does not do so in a way that makes explicit what level of performance will be achieved with a given level of funding.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Ensuring that performance goals factor in past performance and encourage continued improvement each year.
  • Incorporating evidence-based strategies or 'best available' evidence in the development of performance goals and measures.
  • Investigating more cost effective mechanisms for dissemination of obestiy-related information to field sites.

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