US DoD to consolidate contracting for healthcare professionals in view of GAO recommendation

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a Report on Defense Health Care (GAO-13-322), where it concludes that the Department of Defense (DoD) needs a strategic approach to contracting for health care professionals. According to GAO, 
DoD does not have a consolidated agency-wide acquisition strategy for medical services. In the absence of such a strategy, contracting for health care professionals is largely fragmented. For example, the military departments had not consolidated their staffing requirements by developing joint contracts beyond a limited number of instances amounting to about 8 percent of the fiscal year 2011 spending on health care professionals. The departments have made efforts to use multiple-award contracts to consolidate intraservice staffing requirements, but GAO identified several instances where multiple task orders were placed for the same type of provider in the same area or facility. A more consolidated strategic sourcing strategy could allow DOD to acquire medical services in a more cost-effective way.
Therefore, GAO is recommending that the Secretary of Defense develops a DoD-wide strategic approach to contracting for health care professionals, with which DoD concurs. This means that there are winds of consolidation in US DoD healthcare procurement. Hopefully it will take into consideration previous GAO recommendations concerned with consolidation and centralisation, as discussed here in relation to inter-agency agreements.