Tom Philpott

Tom Philpott has been breaking news for and about military people since 1977. After service in the Coast Guard, and 17 years as a reporter and senior editor with Army Times Publishing Company, Tom launched "Military Update," his syndicated weekly news column, in 1994. "Military Update" features timely news and analysis on issues affecting active duty members, reservists, retirees and their families. Tom also edits a reader reaction column, "Military Forum." The online "home" for both features is

Tom's freelance articles have appeared in numerous magazines including The New Yorker, Reader's Digest, and Washingtonian. His critically-acclaimed book,Glory Denied, on the extraordinary ordeal and heroism of Col. Floyd "Jim" Thompson, the longest-held prisoner of war in American history, is available in hardcover and paperback.

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Deep Military Cuts Begin as Congress Dawdles

Capitol in fog.

Congressional leaders appear to have reach consensus that it is safer politically to allow deep and arbitrary cuts to military budgets than it is to negotiate a large debt-reduction deal that would have names attached. With Republicans and Democrats unwilling to make difficult decisions to address budget deficits in a balanced way, the military... more

DHA Ops Chief Vows Relief From Some Lab Fees

Doctor and Patient

Army Maj. Gen. Richard W. Thomas, newly assigned as chief medical officer and director of healthcare operations for the new Defense Health Agency (DHA), acknowledges that some TRICARE patients and their civilian physicians face lab fee challenges that the DHA needs to address. A year ago TRICARE, the military's health insurance program, qu... more

Some Lab Fees to be Billed to TRICARE Patients

Doctor speaking with patient.

TRICARE beneficiaries soon will have to pay out of pocket for certain diagnostic genetic tests that their civilian physicians order, but that the Defense Health Agency doesn't view as appropriate or medically necessary. In January 2013, without notice to beneficiaries or to health care providers, TRICARE stopped reimbursing clinical laborato... more

Defense Health Agency Aims to Expand On-Base Care


A new Defense Health Agency (DHA) will come to life Oct. 1, armed with new authorities to control health costs by cutting waste and duplication across the separate medical departments of Army, Navy and Air Force. DHA is tasked to streamline delivery of care, recapture thousands of patients for the direct care system from purchased care contract... more

Military Community Blasts Congress Over Sequester

Readers of Tom Philpott's Military Update Column Sound Off While members of the Senate and House continue to kick the [budget] can down the road, those who have sacrificed and suffered pay the price. This is reprehensible. Folks on Capitol Hill have nothing to worry about regarding money, healthcare and other compensation.  They do not need t... more

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