Are you ready for geo-accounting?
The winds of change are blowing. A White House memo [PDF] recently sent to all executive department heads and agencies provides policy principles for submitting future agency budgets. This memo calls for place-based considerations in 2011 budgets. Picking up on the theme that “everything happens somewhere,” the Obama administration has connected the dots!
This is a good sign for health and human service agencies everywhere, especially those that have struggled mightily for many years to build integrated information systems that support the planning and delivery of health and human services to the public. This directive also strengthens the case for better geographic accountability. Turning to a new, place-based way of thinking about spending also has the potential to vastly improve service accessibility, reduce cost and qualitative disparities, and actually help health-seeking consumers achieve desirable outcomes.