The Health Resources and Services Administration HRSA


The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Health Resources and Services Administration maintains a strong emphasis on increasing the diversity of the health-care workforce through its grant programs. Increasing the diversity of the workforce is important for reducing health disparities in the population caused by socioeconomic, geographic, and race/ ethnicity factors because evidence suggests that minority health professionals are more likely to serve in areas with a high proportion of underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

What is health resources and services administration or (HRSA)?

health resources and services administration based on wikipedia

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services located in Rockville, Maryland. It is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable.

Comprising six bureaus and 13 offices, HRSA provides leadership and financial support to health care providers in every state and U.S. territory. HRSA grantees provide health care to uninsured people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and pregnant women, mothers and children. They train health professionals and improve systems of care in rural communities.

HRSA oversees organ, bone marrow and cord blood donation. It supports programs that prepare against bioterrorism, compensate individuals harmed by vaccination, and maintains databases that protect against health care malpractice and health care waste, fraud and abuse.

Since 1943 the agencies that were HRSA precursors have worked to improve the health of needy people. HRSA was created in 1982, when the Health Resources Administration and the Health Services Administration were merged.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has mechanisms in place to share information important for supporting the agency’s mission across its various organizational components and levels of staff—a practice that is consistent with internal control standards for the federal government. These communication methods include an annual operational planning process for allocating agency resources, workgroups that involve staff from across the agency to work on issues of a cross-cutting nature, and regular meetings between the Office of the Administrator and leaders of the agency’s various organizational components. HRSA’s staff grew by more than 30 percent from fiscal years 2008 to 2012.

The number of HRSA employees grew from 1,418 in fiscal year 2008 to 1,857 in fiscal year 2012. According to agency officials, the most common job function within HRSA is a project officer—an employee responsible for the oversight of grantees funded by the agency’s programs; and HRSA has over 400 project officers. From fiscal years 2008 through 2012, HRSA lost an average of 9 % of its staff annually to attrition.

Of those who left HRSA in fiscal year 2012, approximately 59 percent resigned and 35 percent retired. Agency-wide,
over 30 percent of HRSA’s permanent employees will be eligible to retire by the end of fiscal year 2017. An even larger portion of HRSA’s leadership, nearly 50 percent, will be eligible to retire by 2017. If a large portion of the agency’s leadership were to actually retire during this time period, HRSA runs the risk of having gaps in leadership and potential loss of important institutional knowledge. HRSA periodically tracks attrition and retirement eligibility. To respond to retirements and other attrition, HRSA has instituted succession planning efforts which generally focus on leadership development for agency staff. For example, HRSA has instituted two leadership development programs, has two other programs under development, and has established mentoring and coaching programs.

In fiscal year 2012, HRSA obligated over $240 million, or about 3 percent of its appropriations, to contracts to acquire goods and services necessary to support its operations, an amount that has generally remained steady over the past few years. Over half of the fiscal year 2012 contract obligations were for two categories of services—information technology and telecommunications services, and professional support services, which includes providing technical assistance to grantees. According to HRSA officials, the agency uses contracts to support its operations for a variety of reasons; these include supplementing HRSA staff or fulfilling short-term needs and performing functions that require specialized skills for which HRSA staff do not have the appropriate expertise, such as clinical or financial expertise. We provided a draft of this report to HHS for its review. In its written comments, HHS noted that the report recognized the mechanisms HRSA has in place to ensure the coordinated flow of communication and plan for succession.


  • HRSA programs reach into every corner of America. The agency's $10 billion budget (FY 2015) provides direct health care to 23 million people.

  • HRSA’s health center program supports medical, oral and behavioral health services to uninsured and underinsured individuals through a nationwide network of community-based clinics and mobile medical vans.

  • By bringing comprehensive primary and preventive health care services to inner-city and rural communities that otherwise would be without them, health centers improve the health of their communities and relieve pressure on overburdened hospital emergency rooms. The agency also recruits doctors, nurses, dentists and others to work in areas with too few health care professionals.

  • HRSA funds life-sustaining medication and primary care to about half of the estimated number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. The agency also furnishes funds and expertise that save and improve the lives of millions of mothers and children.

  • HRSA oversees all organ, tissue and blood cell donations and is the federal agency primarily responsible for pediatric poison control. HRSA also maintains databases that track cases of health care malpractice and compensates individuals thought to be harmed by vaccinations.The agency monitors trends in the health care workforce and forecasts future demand. Scholarships and academic loan programs encourage greater minority participation in the health professions and seek to maintain an adequate supply of primary care professionals.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) improves access to health care by strengthening the health care workforce, building healthy communities, and working towards health equity. HRSA programs focus on providing health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically disadvantaged, or medically vulnerable.  You can visit


HRSA was established in 1982, and its mission is to improve health and achieve health equity through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce, and innovative programs. HRSA’s strategic plan contains four main goals: (1) improve access to quality health care and services, (2) strengthen the health workforce, (3) build healthy communities, and (4) improve health equity.

HRSA also has a human capital strategic plan meant to ensure that the agency has the workforce it needs to carry out its mission. That plan contains five main goals: (1) plan for and align the workforce to ensure employees have the right experience and skills to fit the job, (2) support continuous learning, (3) build leadership bench strength,15 (4) strengthen the performance culture, and (5) improve employee satisfaction. As of September 2013, HRSA was in the process of updating its human capital strategic plan for the 2013 through 2015 timeframe.

Overview of HRSA Operations

According to information from HRSA, the agency had appropriations of about $8.1 billion in fiscal year 2013. Since its inception in 1982, HRSA’s appropriations have generally increased in real terms. Increases to HRSA’s appropriations since fiscal year 2009 can partially be attributed to ARRA and PPACA. According to HRSA, ARRA provided an additional $2.5 billion to the agency from fiscal years 2009 through 2011. HRSA received approximately $7.8 billion through PPACA from fiscal years 2010 through 2013, and is expecting another $400 million in fiscal year 2014, for a total of about $8.2 billion over the 5 years.


According to HRSA, in fiscal year 2012 the agency used over 90 percent of its budget on funding for its programs through grants, cooperative agreements, scholarships and loan repayments, and other forms of programmatic funding.

Appropriation amounts are adjusted using the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Gross Domestic Product Price Index.

Grants constitute one form of federal assistance consisting of payments in cash or in kind to a state or local government or a nongovernmental recipient for a specified purpose. Cooperative agreements are another form of financial assistance similar to grants, but where the federal agency is more involved with the recipient during the performance of the project. HRSA also has programs that offer scholarships to students and educational loan repayment to health care providers in exchange for a commitment to provide care in underserved areas or for underserved populations. In addition to these funding mechanisms, HRSA uses contracts—award mechanisms used to acquire services or property from a non-federal party for the benefit or use of HRSA—to support its operations and programs.

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