Physician distribution in a large health care system
This paper presents both a historical perspective of physician distribution in the U.S. Army Health Services Command and a glimpse at how the Army might "rightsize" its future physician distribution in what is generally perceived will be a smaller active-duty Army Medical Department (AMEDD). It argues that the Army is increasingly operating in a more cost-effective and business-like manner. Further, the paper argues that AMEDD leadership can assume control of active-duty and civilian providers in each of its communities to better provide ready access to high-quality, cost-effective health care. The paper is designed to inform. It briefly describes how physicians were distributed in the past. The legitimate and primary missions of the AMEDD are presented, along with some tools to help health care managers design the most effective AMEDD for the future. The conclusions and recommendations are designed to spur action on necessary initiatives to optimally manage physician distribution for the future.