Understanding the Resource Allocation Decisions of Public Health Officials in the U.S.

The researchers examined the nature and scope of resource allocation decisions made by public health officials. They: 1) described the nature and scope of resource allocation decisions officials confront; 2) identified the processes officials use when they make allocation decisions; 3) assessed the degree of discretion officials report in allocating resources and the factors that influence that discretion; and 4) explored whether discretion affects officials’ abilities to assure that their communities’ most important public health needs are met. The objective of this project was to better inform discussions of public health system function by shedding light on how resource allocation decisions are made and the extent to which variation exists in those processes as a result of varying levels of discretion among public health officials.