Recommendation 4:

Strengthen the HHS and U.S. Public Health and Health Care Workforces

4b. Congress should authorize the department, in cooperation with the Office of Personnel Management, to assemble a package of current and innovative programs and benefits designed to encourage talented, experienced individuals to transition back and forth between government and private-sector service, thereby identifying ways to leverage the best of both.

4c. Congress should provide the secretary with additional authority to reward performance, innovation, and the achievement of results, through bonuses, merit-based pay, recognition awards, or other mechanisms of proven effectiveness.

4f. Congress should give the secretary authority to create new programs that invest in the future generation of biomedical and health services researchers, enabling the continued discovery of new, more effective methods of preventing, treating, and curing disease; promoting health; improving health care delivery and organization; and controlling health system costs.

Recommendation 5:

Improve Accountability and Decision Making

5. A “new compact” between Congress and the department is essential as HHS works toward achieving its vision for a healthy nation, departmental mission, and key health goals. Under this compact, the secretary would provide Congress and the nation regular, rigorous reports about departmental activities and assume greater accountability for improving performance and obtaining results; in return, Congress should allow the department greater flexibility in its internal operations and decision making.

5b. Congress should authorize the secretary to direct funding from the budgets of all departmental units to support the development of an HHS-wide information system. Funding for such a system would benefit all department units.

5g. Congress should establish a new, strategic initiative fund to enable the secretary to support cross-agency and cross-departmental activities that exhibit innovation in responding to twenty-first century challenges, and to respond quickly to new, unforeseen, or expanding public health threats.

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