Army Ousts Hospital Commander; Pentagon to Review Military Health Care

Posted May 28, 2014 at 5:15am

The New York Times reports that “the Army ousted the commander of one of its busiest hospitals and suspended three top deputies on Tuesday after two patients in their 20s unexpectedly died in the past 10 days, shortly after they sought treatment at the hospital’s emergency room.”  

“The shake-up at the hospital, Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C., came at a moment of heightened sensitivity about health care in the military community, stirred by the furor over treatment delays in the separate medical system serving the nation’s veterans.”  

Meanwhile, Stars and Stripes reports that “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the Pentagon to conduct a review of the U.S. military’s health system, focusing on access to care and on the quality of treatment provided to service members and their families.”  

“The review will begin immediately and be led by Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, Pentagon spokesman Read Admiral John Kirby said Tuesday night in an emailed statement. After the 90-day review, Hagel will be given recommendations for improving areas that fail to meet nationally defined or Pentagon-directed standards, Kirby said.”  

“Hagel’s decision puts focus on a military health system that serves more than 9.6 million beneficiaries, who include active-duty members of the armed forces, along with their family members and military retirees. The review will assess military facilities and civilian providers from which the Pentagon purchases health care, according to the statement.”