VA, DOD join forces to streamline healthcare supply chain

The VA will gain access to the DOD's Defense Logistics Agency, a worldwide procurement system that will make it easier to acquire medical and surgical items, among others.
By Mike Miliard
11:15 AM
VA, DOD join forces to streamline healthcare supply chain

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Defense Logistics Agency of the Department of Defense announced a new strategic partnership this week aimed at boosting the VA’s supply chain modernization efforts.

Under the agreement, VA networks nationwide will have expanded access to DLA’s broader supply catalog, enabling greater productivity and efficiency, said government officials. With access to DLA’s worldwide procurement system VA will be able to acquire medical and surgical items, cleaning supplies and equipment and other items needed to support Veterans' health.

By combining resources for a centralized ordering system, VA and DOD will also reducing risk, waste, fraud and abuse in medical equipment and supply purchasing.

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In March, VA’s Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center became the pilot site for DLA’s Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support commodity ordering system.

This is hardly the first healthcare collaboration between the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, of course – especially as both organizations work to modernize their respective electronic health record systems. In June, they announced a new office, the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization office, to improve collaboration on the EHR projects.

This was less than a year after DOD and VA told the Senate they would create a single governance point to help manage the massive Cerner implementation.

"The adoption of a single health care logistics system by VA and DOD highlights the commitment of both organizations to improve military and Veteran health care by increasing the access and quality of care they receive," said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in a statement. "This is a huge step forward in our efforts to transform VA into a modern, high-performing organization by simplifying operations and leveraging DOD’s supply chain system to support our Veterans."

"On behalf of DOD, we are proud to be a value-add to VA on behalf of America’s Veterans," added Lt. Gen. Darrell K. Williams. "Leveraging economies of scale, like the ones outlined in this agreement, help us reduce costs for the military services and other government partners like VA."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
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