The War Horse: Should the Defense Health Agency Take Over Military Healthcare Management?

“… Last October, the Defense Health Agency, a combat support organization that provides medical support staff across all branches, began to take over management of all the military hospitals and clinics. The change would mean the Army, Navy, and Air Force no longer managed their own health care systems. At the same time, the Army shifted some of its medical systems so they fell outside Army Medical Command.”

“… The DHA takeover was meant to improve healthcare efficiency and reduce costs with the following changes: transfer expensive military care to civilian doctors near military bases; improve military medical readiness by making sure the different branches worked and trained together; and make sure that medical personnel were deployable.”

“But the process of passing overarching control from the services to the Defense Health Agency hasn’t gone smoothly—and no one expected it to, because the three different services want, as usual, to do things three different ways, said a Congressional House aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity…”

“Nobody knows who’s supposed to be assigned where,” the aide said, adding that the schedule needs to be worked out ahead of time. But he said the switch to the Defense Health Agency is supposed to ensure that everyone’s on the same page and doctors with caseloads don’t suddenly receive deployment orders.”

“Both aides agreed that the switch to Defense Health Agency oversight is important, but also said that the military is about ‘three years behind’ where they should be in the process…’” Read the full article here.

Source: Should the Defense Health Agency Take Over Military Healthcare Management? – By Kelly Kennedy, July 9, 2020. The War Horse.

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