Estimating the Financial Resources Needed for Local Public Health Departments in Minnesota

Current public health spending does not always meet the required level of spending to provide adequate services to communities. Quantifying the gap, however, can be difficult.

This study sought to quantify the gap between current public health spending and adequate public health spending in Minnesota. The study undertook a multimethod analysis using interviews of selected local public health leaders, a Delphi panel and a Nominal Group Technique to estimate the gaps in local public health funding. The Delphi panel was comprised of state and local public health experts who reviewed detailed information based on the interviews. The Nominal Group Technique was conducted by the same participants as the Delphi panel. Using data from Minnesota’s 87 local governmental health departments, the authors examined six county health departments selected to be representative of all 53 community health boards.

Key Findings:

  • This study shows that $58.92 per person is spent on government public health efforts in Minnesota.
  • An estimated 10.7 percent or $6.32 per person is needed to properly provide and protect the community.
  • The current expenditures are distributed unevenly among the six areas of responsibility (AORs). The largest percentage is spent on quality and accessibility of health services, while the least is spent on emergency preparedness.

This study can serve as a conceptual model for other communities, and help articulate public health funding needs.