Mathematica Partners with the U.S. Department of Defense to Assess TRICARE

2004-2013
Prepared for
U.S. Department of Defense

TRICARE, a health care program of the United States Department of Defense (DoD), provides medical insurance coverage to over nine million active duty and retired service members and their families. Health care services, delivered by military and civilian providers, aim to meet the quadruple aim of readiness, population health, positive patient experience, and low per capita costs. To better understand how TRICARE provider networks and service delivery for all military personnel meet these aims, the DoD contracted with Mathematica on a range of projects, including the following: 

  • Surveys of Beneficiaries and Civilian Providers: We develop samples and survey questions and prepare analytic files and reports for three large-scale, ongoing multi-mode surveys: (1) Health Care Survey of DoD Beneficiaries; (2) TRICARE Standard Survey of Civilian Providers (TSS-P); and (3) TRICARE Standard Survey of Beneficiaries (TSS-B). The HCSDB surveys a representative worldwide sample of beneficiaries eligible for TRICARE about their access to and satisfaction with health care. The TSS-P and TSS-B are congressionally mandated to assess access to care of beneficiaries who rely on TRICARE’s Standard and Extra options, and include surveys of beneficiaries, physicians, and mental health providers. 

  • Analyses and Studies for Policy Support: We conduct short-term program and policy assessments to inform TRICARE leadership about the future of military health care on a range of issues, including analyses of:
    • Dual enrollment in TRICARE and Medicaid among children with special health care needs
    • Best practices for program integrity efforts
    • Prevalence and health care costs and utilization of children with autism and developmental disabilities
    • Primary care quality through the development of metrics for TRICARE 
  • Network Adequacy: What Constitutes a Viable, High Quality Network of Health Care Services and Providers? Mathematica and its subcontractor, Kennell and Associates, assessed how the TRICARE program monitors and ensures an adequate network of civilian providers for delivering medical care to its beneficiaries. As part of this evaluation, we interviewed TRICARE staff, support contractors, and providers to learn about monitoring approaches and potential areas for improvement.