5 April 2012 3-6 Field Artillery FRSA Flash www.facebook.com/3.6FA.1BCT.10MTNContents of this newsletter are compiled from multiple Military Family news sources. Material presented does notrepresent the views or endorsement of 3-6 Field Artillery or the United States Army. This material is for personal useof the readers. All readers are encouraged to do further research for all applicable restrictions and guidelines.
Page 2 Religious Lenten/Easter Schedule Main Post Chapel (MPC) 10785A Chapel Drive Riva Ridge Chapel (RRC) 10030 Riva Ridge LoopFridays of Lent Catholic Stations of the Cross 1730 MPC6 April Protestant Good Friday 1200 RRC6 April Catholic Good Friday 1500 MPC7 April Catholic Easter Vigil 2000 MPC (no 1700 Mass)8 April Community Easter Sunrise 0700 MPC8 April Catholic Easter Mass 1100 MPC ** All Regular Services Remain
Page 3 Changes Aim to Strengthen Military Health SystemBy Cheryl PellerinAmerican Forces Press ServiceWASHINGTON, March 2, 2012 - A proposed new governance structure will make the militaryhealth system more effective and produce savings, and the systems 9.8 million beneficiariesworldwide will never miss an appointment, the Pentagons top health affairs official said.In a Feb. 24 interview with the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press service, Dr. Jona-than Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and director of the TRICAREManagement Activity, discussed three governance reforms under way for the military health sys-tem.Woodson, a vascular surgeon, said its been a transformative decade for the nation and the De-fense Department."Our defense health program budget was about $19 billion in 2001, [and] this years budget isabout $53 billion," he said. "So we clearly need to not only focus on accessing quality care, but[also on] producing value for the amount of money were spending on health care."As the health care budget grows and the Defense Departments top-line budget shrinks,Woodson added, "a natural tension is created in terms of being able to train, man and equip theforce, yet provide for quality health care." He said everything possible must be done to reducecosts in the military health care system before adjusting fees for medical services.The effort began in June, Woodson said, when then-Deputy Defense Secretary William J. LynnIII established an internal task force to review the military health systems governance. The taskforce reported back in September, evaluating health system governance options as well as op-tions for the governance of multiservice medical markets and of the national capital regionshealth system.Based on the report and on consultations with the services top civilian and military leaders, thechairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other senior Defense Department officials, the currentdeputy defense secretary, Ashton B. Carter, now has directed that three reforms be instituted inthe military health system.One involves creating a defense health agency to take on the functions of the TRICARE Man-agement Activity and assume responsibility for implementing shared services across the system.TRICARE is the civilian care component of the military health system."One of the things we looked at is whether new MHS governance could produce greater efficien-cies and savings," Woodson said. The main structure being proposed, called the Defense HealthAgency, "looks to do a better job administering what we call shared services," he added."Right now we have essentially three administrative structures -- the Army, Navy and Air Force --that run health services," the Defense Departments top doctor explained. "The thought is that wewould combine functions that are common to the services, and thereby produce savings."
Page 4He cited health information technology as an example, noting that it is extraordinarily costly andis common to all of the services. "There [is] no reason why the services should develop their ownproducts," Woodson said. "This can be done in a shared fashion and produce savings." Othercommon areas, he added, are medical education for physicians, nurses, medics and pharma-cists, and medical logistics.Another proposed reform will establish market managers for multiservice medical markets, ex-cept for the national capital region. The managers enhanced authorities will allow them to createand sustain a cost-effective, coordinated and high-quality health care system, Woodson said.The third reform involves transferring responsibility for running military treatment facilities in andaround Washington, D.C. -- including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Marylandand Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia -- to a national capital region directorate withinthe new Defense Health Agency.Carter also is establishing a planning team, Woodson said, with leadership nominated by the un-dersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness and Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Mar-tin E. Dempsey, to ensure timely implementation of the governance plan after its reviewed -- firstby the Government Accountability Office and then by Congress.Each organization has more than 100 days to review the proposal, so changes in the medicalsystems governance, if approved, probably would not be instituted until early next year,Woodson said."The whole idea is to look forward," he said, "understanding that we need to bend the curve ofthe health care budget to look at a governance structure that makes us more effective, more ag-ile and adds value to the services and their ability to deliver high-quality care."
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