The implications of TRICARE on medical readiness.Mil Med. 2004 Jan; 169(1):16-22.MM
The objective of this study was to compare two alternative sources of replacement personnel for a medical treatment facility experiencing personnel loss due to a deployment. The two replacement strategies included the reserve component option and the TRICARE internal resource-sharing option. A hypothetical scenario was used as a mechanism for the analysis, and three key variables were considered: effectiveness, feasibility, and operational expense. From the perspective of effectiveness, the TRICARE strategy demonstrated an ability to provide a slightly larger percentage of the requested replacement personnel. With regard to feasibility, both strategies were feasible in that both could provide replacements for the duration of the 270-day deployment and within an established 180-day report date. Operational expense was a decisive factor with the reserve component option significantly less costly than the TRICARE alternative. Weaknesses and strengths of each option were identified and discussed, and alternatives were recommended.