Thursday, May 07, 2009

Contractors and Overseas Clinics

Contractors Using Military Clinics
By Walter Pincus, Washington Post, May 7, 2009

Military clinics and field hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan have supplied more than $1 million a month in health-care services to civilian contractors during the past two years without seeking reimbursement from their employers, as provided by law, according to a new audit by the Defense Department inspector general.

The report, issued Monday, noted that all costs associated with both emergency and primary medical care are reimbursable to the government and are the responsibility of the contingency contractor personnel, their employer or their health insurance provider.
The United States desperately needs to overhaul its entire health care system and just provide care for everyone. 

The Report itself is an interesting read. I admit I kept wondering why does the government even rely on private insurance when using contractors overseas? It just adds a middle man with fees resulting in an unnecessary expense. Not to mention, half of the insurance companies fight or severely delay payments. So what's the benefit of using private insurance to begin with?

D-2009-078 PDF Health Care Provided by Military Treatment Facilities to Contractors in Southwest Asia 
Office of the Deputy Inspector General for Auditing, May 4, 2009 
(Project No. D2008-D000LF-0241.000)

Statistic from the Report:
U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) census data for the first quarter of FY 2008 stated that there were about 223,200 contractor personnel in USCENTCOM’s area of responsibility.
As a side note, according to this press release, as of August 1, 2008, there were 134 investigations involving contracts for Southwest Asia (Iraq and Afghanistan). Fascinating website. I should hang out there more often.

Department of Defense - Office of the Inspector General


Military Fails to Collect From AIG for Care to Injured Contractors
by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, May 7, 2009
The report, however, found that no agency in the Defense Department enforces the policy. Insurance carriers or defense contractors are rarely charged when civilian contractors are treated at military medical facilities, the report found.

As a result, the Pentagon often pays twice for contractors' medical care: once in paying premiums to AIG and other carriers for insurance and a second time in failing to bill the companies for providing care to injured civilians.

Senate Hearing on AIG Care for Contractors Injured in Iraq Postponed Until June
by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, May 12, 2009

No comments: