The Department of Defense has released a report on its decision to shut off access to 38 military clinics and outpatient facilities in the Military Health System for retirees and active-duty families, and transition those beneficiaries to local networks of providers. A PDF of the report is available here.
DoD said in the report that the move was necessary to “increase the readiness of our operational and medical forces” and that authorities had “ensur[ed] all beneficiaries have access to high-quality medical care.”
The report examined 343 Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs), of which 77 were chosen for further assessment. A total of 50 were selected for “right-sizing,” 21 for no change, and six deferred for further review.
As previously reported, the move ultimately will result in 38 military clinics no longer serving retirees or active-duty family members in order to focus more resources on supporting active-duty readiness. A total of 13 of the clinics are designated to the Navy.
“During the transition, some local markets may be challenged to absorb the additional MTF beneficiary demand,” the report states. “However, the expectation will be carefully managed during the transition and, if during implementation, local networks are challenged to absorb demand, the Department will revise its implementation plan.”
It could take several years to transition MTF-eligible individuals to the network in certain markets.
A full list of the facilities that will be affected is available on pages 7-11 of the report.
Military.com reported that the changes would impact 200,000 retirees and active-duty family members.
Four other facilities in addition to the 38 listed will have downgrades in care options for retirees and active-duty families, although they will still serve them on a more limited basis.