New Defense Health Agency Slated for October Launch

The Pentagon’s new Defense Health Agency is slated to stand up on Oct. 1, according to a Defense Department release. The new organization, which supersedes the Tricare management activity, will be responsible for shared health care support services, such as the Tricare program; pharmacy services; medical education and training; logistics; acquisitions; and research and development, states the early May release. DHA will operate under the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, but the Joint Chiefs Chairman will also have oversight since the agency is designated as a combat support agency, according to the release. President Obama last month nominated Maj. Gen. Douglas Robb, currently the Joint Staff’s surgeon, for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general to lead the agency. Pentagon officials think the new agency could save DOD $50 million a year, with additional cost savings as duplicate services are eliminated, states the release. (Washington, D.C., report by Patricia Kime)