Skip Navigation

Message From the Secretary

Topics on This Page

Secretary Mike Leavitt

During fiscal year (FY) 2007, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continued to fulfill its charge to protect the health of all Americans and provide essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.  In support of this mission, HHS made tremendous strides in achieving the President’s vision of a healthier, safer, and more hopeful America, while ensuring good stewardship of the taxpayers’ money.

To accomplish this vision, HHS achieved significant progress in a number of program areas during FY 2007, including the protection of our citizens from infectious disease threats; the improvement of transparency of health care information, thus providing better value and health care to consumers; streamlining and providing better choices for seniors and people with disabilities receiving prescription drug benefits; and the improvement of drug safety information.

Value Driven Health Care

Consumers deserve to know the quality and cost of their health care.  Providing transparent cost and reliable quality information empowers consumer choice, leads to incentives at all levels of the health care system and provides better care for less money.

In 2007, efforts to provide incentives to physicians voluntarily reporting quality measures began.  Information collected through these efforts will become the basis for bonus payments to be paid mid-2008.  Also, in 2007, incentives by Medicare led to two mortality measures, for heart attack and heart failure, to be added to the core set of quality measures on which most hospitals now report.  Efforts to add additional measures of patient satisfaction by spring 2008 are underway.  Following last year’s posting of price information for common and elective inpatient and outpatient hospital procedures, ambulatory surgery center procedures, and physician office procedures under Medicare, pricing information is now updated on an annual basis. 

Through the American Health Information Community, a Federal advisory committee, HHS seeks to further empower and protect consumers in the management of their health through the use of interoperable, portable personal health records.  Increased efficiencies realized through a Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN), which will offer consumers safe and secure access to their personal health information anywhere in the nation.  FY 2007 also marked HHS’ successful completion of NHIN prototype demonstrations.  These demonstrations incorporated the functions, standards, and specifications for the exchange of data through a model NHIN that would both shape and strengthen the health care system by emphasizing the importance of quality and expanded access.

top of page

Personalized Health Care

The combination of genomic medicine, health information technology, and better use of medical evidence will make possible more effective, personalized health care. HHS has several personalized health care efforts underway, including development of genome studies to identify elements in disease. Trial implementations of the Nationwide Health Information Network will bring us closer to a Health Information Technology system that will improve quality of care, increase efficiencies in health care, as well as improve disease prevention. 


HHS has chosen to participate in the FY 2007 Office of Management and Budget’s pilot approach to improving performance and accountability reporting.  Pursuant to Office of Management and Budget Circular A-136, Financial Reporting Requirements, this Agency Financial Report represents the accountability report for FY 2007.  The FY 2007 Performance Report and FY 2009 Performance Plan will be included as part of our Congressional Budget Justification due on February 4, 2008.  As part of this pilot approach, HHS will also produce a “Highlights” document, which will be found at on February 4, 2008.  HHS anticipates that this approach will make information more transparent and useful to the President, Congress, and American people.

I am proud to report that for the ninth consecutive year, HHS earned an unqualified or “clean” audit opinion on the Department’s consolidated financial statements.  This demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the highest measure of accountability to the American people.

With the implementation of a more modern financial management system, HHS has made significant progress toward ensuring reliable, timely information is available for decision-makers.  HHS managers use the financial information summarized in this report to improve the quality and effectiveness of services to the American people.   The financial and performance data presented in this report is reliable, complete, and provides the latest data available, except where otherwise noted.

As required by the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act and Office of Management and Budget Circular A-123, Management’s Responsibility for Internal Control, HHS has evaluated its internal controls and financial management systems.  Section I of this report includes the Department’s qualified assurance statement that describes two material weaknesses in the Department:  1) Financial Systems and Processes, and 2) Oversight and Management of Information System Controls.  These also constitute system non-conformances under Section 4 of the Federal Managers’ Financial Integrity Act.  To facilitate improvements, the Department is taking the following actions:  continued deployment of the Unified Financial Management System across the Department to improve the financial systems and processes, and continued improvement of information technology general and application controls.  More information is presented in Sections I and III of this document

HHS’ accomplishments would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of our employees and partners.  They should be very proud of the positive impact their contributions have on the lives of Americans.

November 15, 2007

/Michael O. Leavitt/

top of page

Related Links

Date of Report: November 15, 2007