The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that passed both the House and Senate would authorize the Defense Health Agency to manage over 400 military hospitals and clinics that the Air Force, Army and Navy currently operate by October 2018, Federal News Radio reported Friday.
Jared Serbu writes the fiscal year 2017 defense policy bill would require the DHA director to establish a professional personnel structure within the agency led by a civilian assistant chief and appoint four deputy assistant directors who will oversee information technology, medical affairs, healthcare operations and financial activities.
DHA would also set up a new joint trauma system that will work to provide care for severely wounded soldiers under the bill, Serbu reports.
The proposed legislation would also require the Defense Department to assess and report on the future role of surgeons general at the three service branches.
The report added that the 2017 NDAA would replace the Tricare Standard and Extra programs with the new Tricare Select that seeks to provide beneficiaries an option to choose their own physicians as well as raise the percentage that working-age veterans pay for their healthcare.