The Department of Health and Human Services (“DHSS”) was established in 1970 by legislative enactment with a broad and crucial mandate: to supervise the health, wellbeing, and life of Delaware citizens. In the decades since, the population of Delaware has increased, and the needs of Delaware citizens have required increasingly complex and costly medical interventions, particularly for those most vulnerable among us, such as the elderly and those suffering from addiction. To serve this broad array of individual needs, DHSS has adapted to provide personalized and individualized services to citizens at a level of direct care. Additionally, the broad language of DHSS’ authorizing statute has required it to maintain focus on other policy initiatives, such as promoting public health and administering healthcare through Medicaid while maintaining compliance with state and Federal laws and regulations, which themselves have grown in complexity. Given the advancements in both individualized care and the policy landscape, the inevitable conclusion is that DHSS’ dual roles must be separated into two separate Departments with Cabinet-level representation. Doing so will ensure that Delawareans receive high-quality care on an individualized basis, and will recommit a separate agency to its important policy objectives, such as maximizing efficiency and reducing the cost associated with waste that arises when an agency’s functions become too manifold for the agency to be efficient and effective. This Bill establishes a committee of members from various state agencies, as well as the legislative and executive branches and individuals representing the healthcare industry and Delaware citizens. The strategic mission of this Committee is to implement a separation of DHSS’ current organizational structure into two separate cabinet-level Agencies. The Bill also establishes a timeline for action by the Committee that will encourage it to act quickly and with clear direction to maximize efficiency and reduce the costs associated with waste.
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