David F. Wade

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Christina Rusnock, PhD.


Department of Defense (DoD) healthcare is one of the largest contributors to the DoD budget. In recent years, the cost of the DoD healthcare system has risen at an exponential rate. Much research has been conducted on the impacts that continuity of care has on both improving the quality of patient care and on reducing healthcare costs in the private sector. The DoD has attempted to take a similar approach with regards to healthcare continuity as a means to reduce healthcare costs. This research investigates whether continuity of care influences costs and a military member's availability to perform duties. Specifically, this research examines Air Force fliers with musculoskeletal injuries. Linear and logistic regression techniques are utilized to interpret the relationship continuity of care has on both patient availability and costs. The study does not identify any relationship between continuity of care with costs and patient availability. These findings suggest the need for further research as to whether these findings regarding continuity of care extend beyond musculoskeletal injuries within the DoD healthcare system, as well as evaluating other potential outcomes for continuity of care. Research should also be conducted to determine other factors influencing costs and patient availability.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number