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Maintaining Military Medical Skills During Peacetime

Maintaining Military Medical Skills During Peacetime: Outlining and Assessing a New Approach

Christine Eibner
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 56
  • Book Info
    Maintaining Military Medical Skills During Peacetime
    Book Description:

    Military medical personnel are tasked with fulfilling both the benefits mission and the readiness mission of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). However, the medical skills required during deployment are likely to differ significantly from those required during peacetime. This study explored an arrangement in which some personnel are stationed in nonmilitary settings where the case mix might more closely resemble that expected under deployment.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4430-3
    Subjects: Health Sciences, Management & Organizational Behavior

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figure and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-xii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-2)

    The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is undergoing a significant transformation in response to changes in national security strategy. Among the goals of the transformation are to streamline the armed forces and to improve incentives for individuals to perform their jobs effectively. Possible transformation measures include changing the organization of the forces to allow for greater speed and flexibility in deployment, closing unused or unneeded bases, and ensuring that U.S. troops are stationed in locations that would most effectively maximize their responsiveness and deterrent capacity (National Defense Panel, 1997; Office of Force Transformation, 2004; Feith, 2004).

    In light of the...

  9. CHAPTER TWO Model for Maintaining Military Medical Skills in Civilian Health Care Facilities
    (pp. 3-6)

    Under the current force structure, the military health system serves two primary missions: (1) to provide and maintain readiness for the provision of medical support during military operations (readiness mission) and (2) to provide a comprehensive medical benefit to eligible beneficiaries (benefits mission). TRICARE, the military medical benefit, is a generous insurance policy available to all active-duty personnel, active-duty dependents, retired personnel, and retirees’ dependents. TRICARE permits non–active-duty personnel, including retirees, to receive care at MTFs on a space-available basis. The dual nature of the military mission can lead to cost savings because, when not deployed, military medical personnel...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Feasibility from the Civilian Standpoint
    (pp. 7-20)

    A key feature of the model considered in this monograph is its reliance on the civilian sector to provide permanent duty stations for military medical personnel. DoD would provide medical personnel to civilian organizations at what amounts to a subsidized rate, and, in exchange, DoD would reserve the right to call up these personnel for deployment with no binding restrictions. Because, to implement the model successfully, DoD would need to forge partnerships with the civilian sector, we spoke to representatives from an array of civilian health care organizations to assess the model’s feasibility. In total, we spoke to representatives of...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Advantages and Disadvantages from DoD’s Perspective
    (pp. 21-26)

    Currently, DoD jointly fulfills its readiness and benefits missions using a variety of personnel—active-duty medical personnel sustained at MTFs, medical reservists, civilian providers employed at MTFs, and private-sector civilian providers who treat military beneficiaries through TRICARE. As illustrated in Figure 4.1, the proposed model adds a new type of personnel to the mix: active-duty personnel sustained in the civilian sector. This new option, shaded in the figure, creates a category of personnel that—like active-duty providers stationed at MTFs and medical reservists—can contribute to the readiness mission. Adding this new option could be advantageous to DoD in at...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Implementing a Pilot Study
    (pp. 27-34)

    The proposed model could contribute to DoD’s mission by improving its ability to accommodate specialties used infrequently in beneficiary care by providing exposure to a specialized case mix and by reducing the demands placed on MTFs during deployment. Since our interviews determined that civilian organizations are willing to consider accommodating military personnel despite the risk of deployment, DoD may want to test this model through a pilot study. Although we have enumerated several potential benefits of the new paradigm, we do not yet have enough information to determine whether the advantages would outweigh the cost of separating the benefits and...

  13. CHAPTER SIX Summary and Conclusion
    (pp. 35-36)

    This monograph investigated a new model for maintaining the clinical skills of the military medical force, in which active-duty medical personnel would be sustained in civilian settings during peacetime. The model would give DoD medical staff the opportunity to treat a very targeted mix of clinical cases, a feature that would be particularly valuable for specialties that do not get adequate case-mix exposure at the MTFs. In addition, the model would give DoD substantial flexibility to tailor the size and occupational composition of its medical force. Yet, for the model to work, civilian organizations must be willing to accommodate military...

  14. References
    (pp. 37-40)