Defense Health Care:

TRICARE Progressing, but Some Cost and Performance Issues Remain

T-HEHS-96-100: Published: Mar 7, 1996. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 1996.

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GAO discussed the Department of Defense's (DOD) implementation of TRICARE, its nationwide managed health care program. GAO noted that: (1) although early TRICARE implementation is basically proceeding as planned, there was some initial beneficiary confusion due to a shortage of adequately trained staff and uncoordinated education and marketing efforts; (2) DOD needs to gather demographic and other data to assess enrollment impact on program costs; (3) DOD plans to provide training on resource sharing and utilization management to improve TRICARE cost control efforts; (4) DOD is not obtaining and analyzing all of the information it needs to evaluate TRICARE's provision of accessible, high-quality care while controlling costs; and (5) DOD, Congress, and beneficiary groups have proposed solutions to address retirees' concerns about their access to military health care through TRICARE, but the solutions' costs and effectiveness remain uncertain.

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