Hagel orders comprehensive Military Health System review

29 May 2014 | American Forces Press Service

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a comprehensive review of the Military Health System.

Dr. Jonathan Woodson, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, will lead the review, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.

The review, Kirby said, will focus on access to care and an assessment of the safety and quality of health care, both in military treatment facilities and in health care that the Defense Department purchases from civilian providers.

Expected to last for 90 days, the review will examine whether current access to care meets the department's standards, Kirby said. It will also examine the safety and quality of the care provided to all DOD beneficiaries, he added.

"Following the review, the secretary will receive recommendations on areas for improvement," Kirby said. "With a specific focus on those areas where we are not meeting a nationally defined standard or a DOD policy-directed standard."

Hagel will meet this morning with Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work and the service secretaries to discuss the review's parameters and his expectations for it, Kirby said.

The Military Health System provides health care for more than 9.6 million beneficiaries, including active duty service members, retirees and eligible family members.
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