RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

Military Health System

Posted by Service Officer on February 15th, 2008

On 28 JAN 07, the 2008 Military Health System (MHS) “Caring for America’s Heroes” conference began. The goal of this year’s conference was to illustrate the MHS’ role in global healthcare delivery, while featuring plenary sessions aligned with the MHS strategic plan, goals and objectives.

The event brought together over 3,500 military and civilian health professionals, contractors, and veteran advocates. In his opening remarks, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. S. Ward Casscells called on everyone to share lessons learned to make the care of wounded, injured and ill even better Dr. James B. Peake, Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), also addressed the group, promising greater collaboration between the two departments in the months to come.

One of the major issues discussed was the need to make a single seamless pathway for our military from point of illness to, and through the VA system. The electronic personal health record is essential, said Dr. Casscells, to clearing a seamless pathway between DoD and VA as well as a critical element to maintain healthcare costs by tracking the progression and treatment of chronic disease.

For years DoD and VA have been developing individual systems that were not interchangeable. More recently, the two departments have undertaken a series of initiatives that will allow data to move rapidly between the two agencies.

Another item receiving heavy emphasis during the conference was accession and retention of health care professionals. The need for physicians, clinicians and nurses has been a continuing concern for the military services. Health care leaders pledged to take a serious look at this area and hope to increase incentives for these critical healthcare providers. Unlike previous years, the issue of retiree health care and the possibility of Tricare fee increases were not on the agenda. [Source: NAUS weekly Update 1 Feb 07 ++]

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