The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) provision required the Department of Defense (DOD) to close the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP). GAO was asked to address the status and potential impact of implementing this BRAC provision. This report discusses (1) key services AFIP provides to the military and civilian communities; (2) DOD's plans to terminate, relocate, or outsource services currently provided by AFIP; and (3) the potential impacts of disestablishing AFIP on military and civilian communities. New legislation requires DOD to consider this GAO report as it develops its plan for the reorganization of AFIP. GAO reviewed DOD's plans, analysis, and other relevant information, and interviewed officials from the public and private sectors.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||1. As part of DOD's initiative to develop a plan for disestablishing AFIP, the Secretary of Defense should include in the December 2007 plan to Congress implementation strategies for how DOD will use existing in-house pathology expertise available within military treatment facilities, identify and obtain needed consultation services from subspecialty pathologists with appropriate expertise through the Program Management Office in a timely manner, and solidify the source and organization of funds to be used for outsourced consultation services.|
|Department of Defense||2. As part of DOD's initiative to develop a plan for disestablishing AFIP, the Secretary of Defense should, within 6 months of completion of DOD's study regarding the usefulness of the pathology material in the repository that is to be finished in October 2008, require Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS) to provide Congress with information on the status of the repository's assets and their potential for research use.|
|Department of Defense||3. As part of DOD's initiative to develop a plan for disestablishing AFIP, prior to USUHS assuming responsibility for the repository, the Secretary of Defense should provide a report to Congress on its implementation strategies for how it will populate, manage, and use the repository in the future. The implementation strategies should include information on how USUHS intends to use pathology expertise to manage the material, obtain pathology material from a wide variety of individuals, maximize availability of the repository for research through cooperative ventures with other academic institutions, and assist interested groups--if any--in supporting the continuation of educational services, such as the Radiologic-Pathologic Correlation course.|