DPHHS Announces Agency Restructuring Plans To Improve Customer Service

Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Director Adam Meier announced the agency has completed an overall organizational health assessment that will guide the agency’s restructuring plan.

Over the past several months, Meier has worked in partnership with DPHHS leadership, researched other states, and has drawn on his own background to identify areas where improvements can be made and where the agency can better target limited resources. The result is a revised organizational structure.

The general focus of the identified changes is designed to improve external relations; customer service and stakeholder engagement; improve coordination among internal and external agencies and departments; better allocate resources; improve professional development opportunities; reduce organizational risk; and maximize the agency leadership team to move key initiatives forward.

“At DPHHS we are tasked with great responsibility,” he said. “We deliver services to some of the most vulnerable Montanans on a daily basis, and come into contact with people at some of the most critical moments of their lives. We must always continue to improve every day. My overarching goal of the comprehensive agency review was to understand what works well and what doesn’t, and then to create a cohesive and strategic plan that will allow us to better serve Montanans. There is much to be proud of, but also — as with any large organization — there are many things we can improve together.”

Key components of the restructure include:

• Launch a new Health and Human Services Innovation Office to review the numerous Medicaid waivers, pilots, and innovations, along with other human service programs, to design a more cohesive and strategic approach.

• Create an External Relations unit to further bolster communication efforts to improve overall customer service and stakeholder engagement. The unit will also include new positions: Chief Employment and Training Officer, Faith and Community-Based Services Coordinator, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Coordinator, and Provider Relations Coordinator.

• As part of its strategic allocation of limited resources, the agency will hire a chief financial officer whose primary focus will be to perform critical budget, finance, expenditure forecasting, accounting, and business services to ensure sound financial practices for DPHHS and to ensure hardworking Montanans’ tax dollars are used prudently.

• Reorganize all IT units under the chief information officer to better manage DPHHS computer systems that help determine Medicaid, SNAP and TANF eligibility, and reimburse Medicaid providers for services.

• Create a new Office of Health Data and Analytics to better support the agencies’ ability to leverage data driven decision-making and better measure outcomes through the use of data dashboards. In recent years, DPHHS has launched numerous dashboards to communicate Medicaid, SNAP, TANF and child welfare information with the public. This office will build on these successful efforts.

Meier stressed that no positions were eliminated. New positions related to the changes are being repurposed from existing vacancies and/or anticipated to be funded through federal funding streams. DPHHS is also communicating the new structure to all employees, providers, Tribal partners and legislators.

The process to implement the changes has begun and will continue for several months.

A link to the updated DPHHS org chart is here: https://dphhs.mt.gov/assets/dphhsorgchart.pdf.


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