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Evaluating Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)

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 in-demand healthcare jobs with the potential for good wages and career advancement. Abt is evaluating two rounds of grants.

Abt is exploring whether program participants complete training and secure higher-paying healthcare jobs and barriers to, and factors in, their success.

Abt’s completed work involved:

  • Design, implementation, and maintenance of a data management information system to facilitate grantee case management, performance tracking, and a national evaluation
  • Grantee performance monitoring and annual program reporting
  • Research and evaluation design

Abt’s current work involves:

  • Descriptive studies to examine program implementation, participant outcomes, influences of local service delivery systems on HPOG program design and implementation, and HPOG implementation influences on local systems
  • Impact studies to assess effects of HPOG on participant outcomes compared with a control group
  • Cost-benefit study to evaluate costs and benefits of a standard HPOG program in the second round of grants

Below we include published reports from Abt’s evaluations of the two rounds of HPOG.

Findings from HPOG 2.0

Under HPOG 2.0, Abt is evaluating 27 grantees operating 38 programs that operated between 2015 and 2021. The evaluation includes an Impact Evaluation, a Descriptive Evaluation (including implementation, outcomes, and systems studies), and a Cost-Benefit Analysis.

What are the annual program results?

Annual reports describe results for participants in the second round of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program.

What are the impacts of HPOG 2.0 for program participants?

A large experimental evaluation of HPOG 2.0 found, in the aggregate, significant short-term impacts (15 months after randomization) on educational progress for the low-income adults served by 38 local programs across the country. 

How did grantees implement HPOG 2.0?

HPOG 2.0 grantees worked with local partners in their communities to design and implement programs to provide education, training, and support services to eligible participants to help them train for and find jobs in a variety of healthcare professions. The local programs incorporated key features of the career pathways framework. Participant receipt of services varies considerably across program offerings.

What was the evaluation design?

Impact evaluation

Descriptive evaluation

Cost-benefit study

Findings from HPOG 1.0

Under HPOG 1.0, Abt evaluated 23 grantees operating 42 programs between 2010 and 2015. The evaluation includes an Impact Evaluation and an Implementation, Systems, and Outcomes Evaluation.

What are the impacts of HPOG 1.0 for program participants?

A rigorous experimental evaluation of 23 of the 32 grantees in the first round of HPOG found that HPOG increased occupational training participation 15 months after randomization; increased training completion, healthcare employment, and career progress three years after study members enrolled; and increased employment in a healthcare occupation six years after study members enrolled.

How did grantees implement HPOG 1.0?

HPOG was successful in training high numbers of individuals in healthcare occupations. In just over five years of operation, HPOG 1.0 grantees served more than 36,000 individuals (well above the target of 31,000 participants) and engaged most of them in healthcare occupational training.

What was the evaluation design?

Examining Special Topics

Abt conducted research and analyses on relevant topics beyond the scope of the main study analyses and reports for both rounds of HPOG.

Experiences of HPOG participants

Examining patterns in participant outcomes

Navigating COVID-19

Grantee strategies for program delivery

What was the evaluation design?

Impact evaluation

Descriptive evaluation

Cost-benefit study


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