Agency Works To Draw Down Costs, Maintain Top Medical Care

Terri Moon Cronk | U.S. Air Force | January 6, 2014

The Defense Department’s goal to save medical dollars and deliver the best health care possible has made strides in its first 100 days, the director of the new Defense Health Agency said.

Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Douglas J. Robb said the agency, which stood up Oct. 1 in Fairfax, Va., has been on a “journey” to make the military health care system more viable.

A concept that has been studied 17 times since 1942 resulted in the DHA after defense leaders three years ago organized a task force to look at how to make military medicine more efficient, effective and more affordable, Robb said.

As an agency of the umbrella Military Health System organization, DHA manages three major cost-saving areas for Army, Navy and Air Force medicine: standardized medical practices, six “multiservice markets,” and 10 of the military services’ health-related functions, called “shared services,” such as health information technology and the TRICARE health plan network.