Key Issues > Duplication & Cost Savings > GAO's Action Tracker > Contracting for Defense Health Care Professionals (2014-02)
defense icon, source: [West Covina, California] Progressive Management, 2008

Defense: Contracting for Defense Health Care Professionals (2014-02)

The Department of Defense should develop a consolidated agency-wide strategy to contract for health care professionals to reduce fragmentation and achieve greater efficiencies.

Action:

The Secretary of Defense should develop and implement a Department of Defense (DOD)-wide strategy to contract for health care professionals. The strategy should identify specific responsible organizations and time frames, and should consist of both near-term and long-term components. In the near term, and to enable DOD to assess the efficacy and impact of such a strategy, DOD should identify a category of health care professionals or a multiservice market to pilot an approach to consolidating health care staffing requirements. Over the longer term, such a strategy should include an analysis of spending based on reliable and detailed agency-wide data, and should enable DOD to identify opportunities to consolidate requirements and reduce costs.

Progress:

DOD has developed and implemented an agency-wide strategy to contract for health care professionals, as GAO recommended in May 2013. On October 1, 2013, the Secretary of Defense established the Defense Health Agency, which is responsible for driving greater integration of clinical and business processes across the Military Health System. As a part of this effort, DOD completed an analysis of medical services spending in February 2015. Next, the Defense Health Agency completed an independent government cost estimate based on agency-wide data. This estimate serves as a baseline from which the Defense Health Agency can calculate future savings based on differences in costs or requirements. Third, an acquisition strategy was approved in August 2016. Fourth, the agency, in coordination with each military department, identified opportunities to consolidate requirements through new contracts. Finally, a common sourcing platform solicitation for health care professional services was issued in January 2017, with a planned date for contract award in November 2017. By developing and implementing an agency-wide strategy to contract for health care professionals, DOD is better positioned to reduce fragmentation among its contracts for health care professionals and achieve greater efficiencies.

Implementing Entity:

Department of Defense
  • portrait of
    • Timothy J. DiNapoli
    • Director, Contracting and National Security Acquisitions
    • DinapoliT@gao.gov
    • (202) 512-4841