Back to Top Skip to main content

Transformation underway across the Military Health System

Thomas McCaffery, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, with Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director, Defense Health Agency, celebrated the Defense Health Agency's fifth anniversary on Oct. 1, 2018, by welcoming the first military hospitals and clinics transitioning to the DHA. This was first step for the MHS to emerge as a more integrated and efficient system of health and readiness. (MHS photo by Military Heath System Strategic Communications Division) Thomas McCaffery, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, with Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director, Defense Health Agency, celebrated the Defense Health Agency's fifth anniversary on Oct. 1, 2018, by welcoming the first military hospitals and clinics transitioning to the DHA. This was first step for the MHS to emerge as a more integrated and efficient system of health and readiness. (MHS photo by Military Heath System Strategic Communications Division)

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Health Readiness | TRICARE Health Program | MHS GENESIS | Military Hospitals and Clinics | MHS Transformation

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — The Military Health System is one of America’s largest and most complex health-care delivery systems, and the world’s preeminent military-medical enterprise. Saving lives on the battlefield and caring for 9.5 million beneficiaries in one of the nation’s largest health-benefit plans, the Military Health System (MHS) is embarking on a new chapter, ushering unprecedented reform to military medicine. This transformation marks a new way of doing business – from military treatment facility (MTF) management, to electronic health record (EHR) employment, to TRICARE benefit enhancements – and we are working hard to provide medical readiness and health-care delivery that is more integrated and effective than ever before.

Organization Changes in the Military Health System

October 1, 2018, was a landmark day for the Department of Defense (DoD) and military-health care. Jumpstarting one of the largest organizational changes in decades, the Army, Navy and Air Force began the process of transferring the administration and management of their military MTFs to the Defense Health Agency (DHA). Part of a larger effort to implement reforms across the MHS, this historic change was mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017. The law requires all MTFs to adhere to DHA-established standardized policies, procedures and clinical and business processes. In addition, through a phased approach, the DHA will assume direct responsibility for all MTFs across the MHS.

As such, the DHA will be responsible for MTF budgetary matters; information technology; health-care administration and management; administrative policies and procedures; and military-medical construction. We began the first phase on October 1 with the hospitals and clinics at Fort Bragg, Pope Field and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina; Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida; Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; and Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. These facilities are in addition to the DHA’s existing management of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and their associated clinics. Subsequent phases of the MHS transition plan will include more than 50 percent of all hospitals and clinics in the continental U.S. coming under DHA control by October 2019 (phase 2), the remaining hospitals and clinics in the U.S. moving to DHA control by October 2020 (phase 3) and overseas hospitals and clinics by October 2021 (phase 4). Once complete, this transition will enable the MHS to better support the DoD’s medical-readiness requirements; provide a more consistent and higher quality experience for our patients; and deliver a more integrated military-health enterprise that reduces the costs required to operate the system, freeing up resources to invest in additional priorities.

Our highest priority is ensuring our medical forces are ready to support combat forces in the field, around the globe and building and sustaining a world-class health-care system geared at ensuring a medically ready force. The reforms underway create new opportunities for our providers both in our MTFs and through civilian-sector partnerships to build and maintain clinical skills – part and parcel to delivering on our readiness mission to support the warfighter, their families and retirees.

We will also be able to deliver a more integrated and consistent experience for our patients, whether they are active duty, retired or family members. For the first time, all of the department’s health-delivery functions will be under one roof. The DHA will be responsible for both Purchased CareThe TRICARE Health Program is often referred to as purchased care. It is the services we “purchase” through the managed care support contracts.purchased care – what our beneficiaries receive from the civilian sector – and Direct CareDirect care refers to military hospitals and clinics, also known as “military treatment facilities” and “MTFs.”direct care – what our beneficiaries receive at our MTFs. This consolidation will produce a better experience for our patients when we implement improvements such as standardizing appointment scheduling systems and streamlining referral processes.

Thomas McCaffery, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, met with Lt. Gen. Michael Tempel, Bundeswehr Surgeon General of the unified armed forces of Germany, to reaffirm our partnership to enhance interoperability, share knowledge and best practices, and deepen the integration of the two great medical systems. (MHS photo by Military Heath System Strategic Communications Division)
Thomas McCaffery, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, met with Lt. Gen. Michael Tempel, Bundeswehr Surgeon General of the unified armed forces of Germany, to reaffirm our partnership to enhance interoperability, share knowledge and best practices, and deepen the integration of the two great medical systems. (MHS photo by Military Heath System Strategic Communications Division)

Deploying a New Electronic Health Record

As the MHS embarks on unprecedented reforms, we are utilizing new tools to position us for a successful future. We continue to deploy MHS GENESIS, the new EHR for the military, which will provide enhanced, secure technology to manage health—connecting medical and dental information across the continuum of care, from point of injury to the MTF. MHS GENESIS will replace our legacy systems, which lack the capability to support the delivery of modern, integrated health care. We are scheduled to roll out the next wave in the fall of 2019, with the system-wide completion targeted for calendar year 2023.

The DoD purposefully deployed MHS GENESIS in four initial sites to identify and address lessons learned from initial implementation and utilize those experiences and best practices to inform the next wave of MHS GENESIS sites. We are seeing MHS GENESIS enable easier monitoring and response to patient health through an enhanced set of tools: data reporting and tracking capabilities, improved analytics, computer-aided decision support and a user-friendly patient portal. We’ve seen significant improvements in the four initial MHS GENESIS sites: a substantial decrease in the percentage of emergency-department patients who left without being seen; patient risk-alert systems leading to enhanced clinical decision making; and an avoidance of tens of thousands of duplicate lab tests. Like our broader transformation plans, at the heart of these efforts is a concerted push toward standardization, integration and readiness – and we are moving in the right direction.

TRICARE Enhancements

What do these major organizational changes mean for our beneficiaries? Our ultimate goal is to enhance the quality of care and improve access to health care for all our beneficiaries –making an already strong MHS even better. Alongside the MHS transformation come a number of ongoing enhancements to the TRICARE Health Plan. Over the last year alone, we have kicked off new TRICARE contracts for managed care through our civilian networks, which is more convenient for our beneficiaries when they move, reduces administrative costs, and requires our managed-care support contractors to provide broader access to primary and specialty-care networks. We also rolled out the new TRICARE SelectStarting on January 1, 2018, TRICARE Select replaces TRICARE Standard and Extra. TRICARE Select is a self-managed, preferred provider network plan. TRICARE Select is a fee-for-service option in the United States that allows you to get care from any TRICARE-authorized provider.  Enrollment is required to participate. TRICARE Select benefit and implemented a series of enhancements for TRICARE beneficiaries, including expanded access to preventive care, urgent care and mental-health services.

From November 12 through December 10, 2018, TRICARE held its first Open Season enrollment period, the annual period when beneficiaries can make changes to their plan for the following calendar year. Also, we replaced the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program effective December 31, 2018, and now offer our 3.3 million retirees dental coverage through the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program, or FEDVIP. Most beneficiaries are also now eligible for vision coverage – something DoD has never offered before. With 10 dental and four vision carriers, FEDVIP provides greater choice and scalability for 4.1 million eligible beneficiaries. 

Bringing it all together: what we seek to achieve

The major initiatives underway within the MHS are important steps in answering the call of DoD Secretary Jim Mattis to focus on three lines of effort to execute the National Defense Strategy: enhancing lethality, expanding alliances and partnerships and reforming the way we do business. Secretary Mattis’s call for business reforms is aimed, in his words, at “greater performance and accountability.” Our MHS reforms and the deployment of MHS GENESIS are setting us up to better support medical-readiness requirements and health-care delivery through integration and efficiency. These efforts help lower our costs, working to ensure the department has the resources to sustain the health benefits on which our Service members, retirees and their families depend.

Ultimately, all of these changes – the Military Health System transformation, MHS GENESIS, TRICARE enhancements – are aimed at taking the DoD’s health enterprise to the next level. Amidst these changes, we remain steadfast in our commitment to support readiness, both for our combat forces and for medical personnel. We are committed to meeting the evolving needs of today’s warfighter, and we will continue to deliver the highest quality health care for our 9.5 million active duty, retiree and family members who play such a critical role in keeping our country safe and secure. Our Service members and beneficiaries deserve nothing less. 

You also may be interested in...

Mid-season flu activity increase: How to keep healthy

Article
1/22/2020
Navy Hospital Corpsman Kenny Liu, from San Jose, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford's medical department, prepares a needle with a flu vaccination in the ship's hangar bay. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Angel Thuy Jaskuloski)

Despite reports of increased flu activity in the U.S., the Military Health System remains vigilant

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Influenza Summary and Reports | Health Readiness | Influenza Seasonal | Vaccine Recommendations | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch

MHS Minute January 2020

Video
1/21/2020
MHS Minute January 2020

Thanks for tuning in to the *NEW* MHS Minute! Check back each month to learn about more exciting events and achievements by organizations and partners across the Military Health System!

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | TRICARE Health Program

Army, FDA discuss 3D printing at workshop

Article
1/21/2020
When a medical device breaks down on a medical unit deployed to a remote part of the world, the closest repair parts could be thousands of miles away (U.S. Army photo by Francis S. Trachta)

Army medical logisticians are looking to 3D printing as a potential solution to this challenge

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Technology | Combat Support | Medical Logistics

Transition spotlight: Air Force Medical Service, part 2

Article
1/16/2020
Air Force Maj. Nicole Ward (left) and Air Force Capt. Matthew Muncey, program managers with the Air Force Medical Service Transition Cell, pose for a photo at the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Mahler)

Two officers speak about standing up DHA’s new capabilities to manage MTFs, ensuring the process is as smooth as possible for personnel and patients

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation

DHA director visits Colorado, discusses medical transition

Article
1/15/2020
Defense Health Agency Director Lt. Gen. Ronald Place speaks to Evans Army Community Hospital leaders at BK George Hall about the Military Health System transformation. Place visited military medical teams at Peterson Air Force Base, the U.S. Air Force Academy and Buckley Air Force Base, which also encompass the Colorado Springs Military Health System. (Photo by Jeanine Mezei)

Colorado Springs currently exists in an enhanced multi-service market

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation

HPV vaccine now recommended for those up to age 45

Article
1/14/2020
https://www.nfid.org/infectious-diseases/hpv/ Recent CDC and FDA guidance recommends that men and women up to 45 years of age get vaccinated to protect against the Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and can cause certain cancers and genital warts. More than 14 million new HPV infections occur in the U.S. each year, and about 80 percent of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some point in their lives. (National Foundation for Infectious Diseases image)

HPV shot protects against a host of diseases in men, women

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Men's Health | Women's Health | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Vaccine Recommendations

Transition spotlight: Air Force Medical Service

Article
1/13/2020
Air Force Maj. Nicole Ward, left, and Capt. Matthew Muncey, program managers with the Air Force Medical Service Transition Cell, at the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, Jan. 9, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Mahler)

Two Airmen deeply are involved with the process of standing up DHA’s new capabilities to manage MTFs

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation

Changes in TRICARE Plan Enrollment (July 2019)

Report
1/9/2020

To assess the impact of plan changing in TRICARE, we examined data from the first quarter of the 2019 Health Care Survey of Department of Defense Beneficiaries (HCSDB), which was fielded during open enrollment.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Survey of DoD Beneficiaries | TRICARE Health Program

U.S. Transportation Command: DoD’s manager for global patient movement

Article
1/9/2020
An ambulance bus backs up to the Mississippi Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III as Airmen prepare to unload patients at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The bus transports the ill and/or injured to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. JBA and Travis Air Force Base, California, serve as the primary military entry points or hubs for patient distribution within the continental United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Karina Luis)

On a weekly basis, USTRANSCOM moves up to 40 patients from overseas to CONUS

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Joint Chiefs say mind, body, spirit all part of Total Force Fitness

Article
1/7/2020
Image of a Marine climbing a rope ladder

2020 focus on factors making service members, families “resilient”

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Operation Live Well

Navy Medicine demonstrates Virtual Health options to Africa

Article
1/6/2020
Air Force Staff Sgt. Danny Lim practices conducting a throat examination on Army Sgt. Harvey Drayton at Chabelley Airfield, Djibouti. Drayton and Lim were introduced to the Telehealth In A Bag system during a recent visit that included personnel from Regional Health Command Europe's virtual health team. (U.S. Army photo by Russell Toof)

Djibouti hosts the largest U.S. American military base on the African continent

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

MSMR Vol. 27 No. 1 - January 2020

Report
1/1/2020

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Active and Reserve Component Service Members and Non-Service Member Beneficiaries of the Military Health System, U.S. Armed Forces, July 2009–June 2019; Respiratory Pathogen Surveillance Trends and Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Estimates for the 2018–2019 Season Among Department of Defense Beneficiaries; Brief Report: The Early Impact of the MHS GENESIS Electronic Health Record System on the Capture of Healthcare Data for the Defense Medical Surveillance System; and Brief Report: Incidence and Prevalence of Idiopathic Corneal Ectasias, Active Component, 2001–2018.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Air Force studies fatigue, sleep to enhance readiness

Article
12/31/2019
An Air Force Airman sleeps inside a C-17 Globemaster III during a flight over an undisclosed location in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration)

Good sleep habits are closely related to overall health and performance

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Sleep

Achievements in 2019 provide strong foundation for year ahead

Article
12/23/2019
A Year in Review: Year of Military Health 2019

Dedication, commitment to mission praised as changes continue

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | MHS GENESIS | Research and Innovation | Preventive Health | MHS Transformation

DHA PI 6025.10: Change 1: Standard Processes, Guidelines, and Responsibilities of the DoD Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities in the Military Health System (MHS) Military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs)

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) through (d), and in accordance with the guidance of References (e) through (t), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures to begin standard processes and guidelines for the Patient’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, Reference (e)), in MTFs.

<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 67

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.