There is no classic post on Thursday because the DHA just released its National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2017 Section 703 report on the Military Treatment Facility (MTF) restructuring. There has been a lot of press and info sent out, so here is what I’ve got:
- Careful, deliberate changes ahead for select MTFs
- DoD to restructure 50 hospitals, clinics to improve readiness
Military Times article:
Health.mil page that has the entire report to Congress:
Here’s the entire report to Congress:
The February message from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs that discusses it:
Here is General Place’s message about it as well as the summary attachment he sent:
Today marks another milestone in Military Health System reform. This morning, the Department delivered a report to Congress outlining results from the MHS’s review of military medical treatment facilities (MTFs) and their contributions to military readiness. The extensive analysis was initiated in response to Section 703(d) of the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act. You can find the report here: www.health.mil/MTFrestructuring.
The report is the culmination of nearly three years of analysis that identified the MTFs critical to maintaining medical and force readiness. In other words, the department evaluated how facilities support service members so they are medically ready to train and deploy. Further, it assessed how well the facilities support our military medical personnel to develop and maintain the right clinical skills and experience required to support global military operations.
The report includes plans for changes in the scope of operations at 50 facilities across the United States. (See excerpt attached.) Some facilities will have expanded services while others will scale down. The largest change is the decision to transition more than 30 facilities to providing care for active duty personnel only. Seven of these facilities may continue to enroll active duty family members on a space-available basis.
We know these changes may cause concern because health care is very personal. Requiring our patients to leave a trusted provider at an MTF for another provider in the civilian network may cause anxiety for some. The DHA’s responsibility is to implement the changes the Department determined necessary, ensuring the least possible disruption for our beneficiaries.
It’s important for you to know restructuring changes will not occur immediately. We will only begin implementing these changes after thoroughly collaborating with local communities, MTF Directors, network providers, senior mission commanders, and others. The DHA will work closely with the TRICARE managed care support contractors to support the patients impacted.
In addition to creating implementation plans, the DHA’s next steps include a massive outreach and information effort. We will provide resources to MTF Directors so they can inform patients of what the changes mean for them. The process will take time and we will not transition any patients until we are confident the applicable local markets have providers available.
I’m committed to maximum transparency at every step so all stakeholders understand how these changes may affect them, and so those who rely on us retain uninterrupted access to health care. Above all, our focus must remain on producing great outcomes. That’s why the Military Health System exists. Together, we can adapt and strengthen the military medical enterprise so it is even more effective for the 9.5 million people depending on us.
Ronald J. Place, MD
LTG, US Army
Director, Defense Health Agency
MHS Minute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN4tgyAgWUY