DoD Releases TRICARE for Kids Report
After reviewing the recently released Department of Defense (DoD) Study on Health Care and Related Support for Children of Members of the Armed Forces, our Association has asked Congress to step in to ensure DoD addresses problems military families face with pediatric care.
Congress mandated the DoD study, commonly referred to as the “TRICARE for Kids (TFK) Report,” to determine whether the health care needs of military connected children are being met. Given that we regularly hear from military families about challenges in getting pediatric care we feel this study is long overdue, and we are grateful to Congress for requesting it. Unfortunately, the TFK Report does not address our concerns. The data included in the report is limited and largely irrelevant, making it impossible to effectively evaluate access to pediatric care. For this reason, we question the report’s conclusion that the Military Health System (MHS) meets the needs of children in its care, including those with special needs.
In fact, although the TFK Report concludes that MHS is meeting the needs of military kids, it also acknowledges in every element of the study that there are significant gaps, areas for clarification, and considerable deficiencies in data collection and analysis. These issues, along with others identified by pediatric care experts, require immediate attention.
Our Association urges decisive action to address issues with pediatric access to care. Specifically, we have asked Congress to call on DoD to convene a working group to resolve problems with military kids’ access to quality health care. Given the recent emphasis on evaluating access, quality and safety within the MHS, we believe correcting known issues within the pediatric arena is a productive and sensible starting point.
Click here to read the TRICARE for Kids Coalition response to the 15 July DoD report.
Has your military family had problems accessing medical care for your kids? Please tell us about it so we can share your stories with Congress and the MHS!
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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