The Florida Public Health Practice–Based Research Network conducted the study of Florida county health departments (CHDs) to assess relationships between self-assessed performance on essential services (ESs) and sources of funding.Methods:
Primary data were collected using an online survey based on Public Health Accreditation Board standards for ES. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to assess the relationship of sources and amounts of revenue obtained from the Florida Department of Health financial system to responses to the survey of CHD capacity for ESs.Results:
Self-assessed CHD performance for each ES varied extensively among the CHDs and across the 10 ESs, ranging from a high of 98% CHDs completely or almost completely meeting the standards for ES 2 (Investigating Problems and Hazards) to a low of 32% completely or almost completely meeting standards for ES 10 (Research/Evidence). Medicaid revenue and fees were positively correlated with some ESs. Per capita revenue support varied extensively among the CHDs.Conclusions:
Revenue for ES is decreasing and is heavily reliant on noncategorical (discretionary) revenue. This study has important implications for continued reliance on ES as an organizing construct for public health.