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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 151-12
March 02, 2012

DOD Submits Plan to Further Integrate Military Health System

Approach Will Strengthen Delivery System, Streamline Headquarters and Reduce Costs

            Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter today submitted a report to Congress describing the department’s plan to further integrate health operations.  This report was required by Section 716 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012.

            The report outlines three proposed reforms to the governance structure of the Military Health System (MHS), which will make DoD’s health system more effective and produce savings.  TRICARE® benefits and access to care will not be affected by these changes.

            The three principal reforms are:

  • Establishing a Defense Health Agency (DHA), which will absorb the functions of the TRICARE Management Activity and assume responsibility for common clinical and business processes across the MHS such as: medical education for physicians, nurses, medics, pharmacists, medical logistics and health information technology;
  • Appointing market managers for multi-service medical markets with enhanced authorities to create and sustain a cost-effective, coordinated, and high-quality health care system in multi-service medical markets, and;
  • Transferring the responsibility for running military treatment facilities within the National Capital Region (NCR) -- including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital -- to a subordinate organization within the Defense Health Agency that will succeed the Joint Task Force - National Capital Region Medical (JTF-CapMed).

            Carter has directed the under secretary of defense for personnel & readiness and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to stand up a planning team, with involvement of each of the military services, to ensure the department is prepared for timely implementation of these reforms following the required Congressional and Government Accountability Office review.

            A full copy of the report can be viewed at http://www.health.mil/2012_MHS_Governance_Report.aspx .