Department of Health and Human Services


Definition - What does Department of Health and Human Services mean?

The Department of Health and Human Services is a U.S. federal agency that oversees all programs related to the health of the country's citizens.

It is often referred to as the Health Department.

Insuranceopedia explains Department of Health and Human Services

Established in 1953, this agency is also responsible for creating programs that advance technology in health and health-related areas. Its earliest iteration included education and social security, but these are now handled by their own respective agencies.

A cabinet secretary appointed by the president heads the Health Department. They are tasked with leading a number of assistant secretaries who are in charge of department-related offices like the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration.

As of 2016, the department is given the largest share of the federal budget, along with Social Security.

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