DoD IG Calls for Fixes to Military Hospitals, Programs

DoD IG Calls for Fixes to Military Hospitals, Programs

Photo by: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

There is a lot of room for improvement in military medical treatment facilities and programs, the DoD inspector general says in a report tied to the transition of hospitals and clinics away from the services and into the Defense Health Agency.

That transition is already underway, but the effort has stalled because of concerns in the services and Congress about timing.

The military has a sweeping health system with 52 hospitals, 401 medical clinics and 246 dental clinics supporting more than 104 million outpatient visits, 1 million inpatient admissions and 100,000 births a year. 

Traditionally, treatment facilities have belonged to the services and their medical department, but this started changing in 2018 as the Defense Health Agency started assuming control of the facilities.

Defense Health Agency control comes with responsibilities, which the inspector general report says has some big price tags. 

In visits to six installations, including Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Fort Riley, Kansas, investigators found 760 unfunded maintenance issues that had a $552 million price tag. “The unfunded requirements included requirements to correct facility safety, reliability, or compliance deficiencies that were likely to occur and if not repaired could affect a facility’s ability to accomplish its assigned mission,” the report says. 

Fort Campbell needed $111 million for sustainment and $118,850 for restoration and modernization, according to the report. Fort Riley required $9.7 million for sustainment and $3.4 million for restoration or modernization.

Part of the problem is that information about the condition of facilities was inaccurate or incomplete at all six installations. 

Responding to the report, the Defense Health Agency acknowledged the problems, which likely are not limited to just the six sample installations. The agency pledged to come develop a uniform standard for determining needs and a fair method of allocating funds.

The full report can be read here.