Defense Health Care:

Operational Difficulties and System Uncertainties Pose Continuing Challenges for TRICARE

T-HEHS-98-100: Published: Feb 26, 1998. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1998.

Contact:

Stephen P. Backhus
(202) 512-7111
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO discussed the status of the Department of Defense's (DOD) implementation of its managed health care program, TRICARE, focusing on: (1) DOD's progress in implementing TRICARE; (2) whether DOD is adequately assessing TRICARE'S effects on military health care access, quality, and cost; and (3) the implications of ongoing and proposed changes in the military health care system itself for TRICARE's future.

GAO noted that: (1) TRICARE was established in an era of military downsizing and rapidly escalating DOD health costs; (2) it was envisioned as a way to maintain beneficiary access to high-quality care while containing costs; (3) designing and implementing TRICARE to achieve these objectives, however, has proven to be a complex and difficult undertaking involving many stakeholders, including Congress, the individual services and their many facilities and contractors, and the more than 8 million beneficiaries of the military health care system; (4) DOD has taken steps to improve the program as it has evolved, but much remains to be done before TRICARE becomes the smooth-running and beneficiary-friendly endeavor envisioned by its developers; (5) moreover, many questions concerning its cost-effectiveness and ability to meet beneficiary access and quality of care concerns are still to be answered; (6) in addition to operational difficulties, TRICARE is likely to continue to be implemented amid many changes that could profoundly affect not only the program but the entire military health care system; and (7) the result of the continuing evolution of TRICARE and the collective effects of these individual changes on it remain to be seen.

Jul 31, 2014

Jul 30, 2014

Jul 28, 2014

Jul 17, 2014

Jul 14, 2014

Looking for more? Browse all our products here