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Evaluating HHS's Health Profession Opportunity Grants Program


  • Do Health Professions Opportunity Grants (HPOG) work?
  • Abt is assessing whether HPOG worked, and why or why not.
  • Results to date suggest the HPOG program is successful.
The Challenge

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) wanted to use one solution to solve two problems: low wages for adults and a shortage of skilled healthcare workers. The solution: Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) to train low-income adults for healthcare jobs with the potential for good wages and career advancement. HHS contracted with Abt to evaluate two rounds of grants to determine program effectiveness. Under HPOG 1.0, Abt evaluated 23 grantees operating 42 programs and under HPOG 2.0, Abt is evaluating 27 grantees operating 38 programs.

The Approach

Abt is exploring whether program participants complete training and secure higher-paying healthcare jobs, as well as the barriers to, and factors in, their success. Abt’s evaluation involves:

  • Grantee performance monitoring and information tracking systems;
  • Descriptive studies to examine program implementation, participant outcomes, and changes to local service delivery systems;
  • Impact studies to assess the impacts of HPOG on participant outcomes;
  • A cost-benefit study to evaluate the costs and benefits of a standard HPOG program; and
  • Evaluation and system design.
The Results

Three years after entering the HPOG 1.0 Program, just over 75 percent of the treatment group had completed training, about 13 percentage points higher than the control group. HPOG 1.0 also increased overall employment by one percentage point and employment in healthcare by 12 percentage points, with 56 percent of the treatment group employed in that sector. However, HPOG 1.0 did not raise overall earnings. Future reports will examine HPOG 1.0 impacts at the six-year mark and assess the results of the second round of HPOG grants.

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