Military Health Systems

The Military Health System’s (MHS) TRICARE health plan services 9.4 million active duty and retired military personnel and their dependents, a cohort of universally insured individuals that reflects the socioeconomic and racial demographics seen in the U.S. As healthcare costs continue to rise exponentially across the country, the Military Health System Data Repository (MDR) offers an opportunity to understand variations and drivers in healthcare utilization within the MHS and beyond, identifying areas for value optimization and better health outcomes.

The Comparative Effectiveness and Provider Induced Demand Collaboration (EPIC) formed in 2011 as a partnership between the CSPH and the Uniformed Services University (USU). The collaboration focuses on studying some of the most pressing healthcare challenges faced by military and civilian populations using the MDR. While initially established to identify drivers of increasing healthcare costs in the context of healthcare quality, utilization, and disparities, the collaboration has inspired a broader and deeper examination of contextual healthcare issues that impact military personnel and their dependents’ health outcomes. These include comparative effectiveness and outcomes, epidemiology, quality and practice improvement, healthcare disparities, provider-induced demand, and socioeconomic and geographic variation.

Through the EPIC collaboration, the Military Outcomes Research program is working to better the lives of military personnel and their families. The EPIC collaboration has brought the system to national attention comparing purchased and direct care, revealing the impact of provider-induced demand on healthcare costs. We have investigated opioid prescribing patterns in the MHS and demonstrated that under a universal healthcare scheme, racial disparities in outcomes disappear. Publishing articles across multiple research areas since 2016, the collaboration continues to inform discussions on healthcare reform for the MHS and the nation.


Military Health System Response to COVID-19: A Health Services Research Approach to Sustainable Process Improvements

Description: The purpose of this project is to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on quality of care and health care effectiveness of the military health system, and the understand the long-term implications of the COVID 19 pandemic on military health/medical readiness, including the medical readiness of military service members and the professional readiness of the military health services.

PI(s): Andrew Schoenfeld, Joel Weissman, Tracey Koehlmoos (UHUHS)

Funding Source: Department of Defense