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performance-based funding, public health finance, public health systems



  1. Potter, Margaret A. MS, JD
  2. Fitzpatrick, Tiffany MSW


The purpose of this study is to describe state funding of local public health within the context of state public health system types. These types are based on administrative relationships, legal structures, and relative proportion of state funding in local public health budgets. We selected six states representing various types and geographic regions. A case study for each state summarized available information and was validated by state public health officials. An analysis of the case studies reveals that the variability of state public health systems-even within a given type-is matched by variability in approaches to funding local public health. Nevertheless, some meaningful associations appear. For example, higher proportions of state funding occur along with higher levels of state oversight and the existence of local service mandates in state law. These associations suggest topics for future research on public health financing in relation to local accountability, local input to state priority-setting, mandated local services, and the absence of state funds for public health services in some local jurisdictions.