Back to Top Skip to main content

McCaffery offers MHS view with Blue Star Families panel

Thomas McCaffery (center) participated in the Blue Star Families Panel at American Red Cross National Headquarters Feb. 26. He is seen here with Amy Goyer (left), family and caregiving expert at AARP, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Patty Horoho (right), CEO of OptumServe. The panel discussed timely, quality health care for service members and their families. (Photo by MHS Communications) Thomas McCaffery (center) participated in the Blue Star Families Panel at American Red Cross National Headquarters Feb. 26. He is seen here with Amy Goyer (left), family and caregiving expert at AARP, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Patty Horoho (right), CEO of OptumServe. The panel discussed timely, quality health care for service members and their families. (Photo by MHS Communications)

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | MHS Transformation | MHS GENESIS | Mental Health Care

Thomas McCaffery participated in a Blue Star Families panel at American Red Cross National Headquarters Feb. 26. As the assistant secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, McCaffery briefed the audience on how the Military Health System is changing to help military families receive timely, quality health care.

Blue Star Families held the event to discuss results of the annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, BSF’s yearly “snapshot” of military families. It offers insights to military and national leaders, as well as local communities.

“An organization like this is critical in terms of connecting military families with our fellow citizens,” McCaffery said of BSF’s work on the survey.

Hisako Sonethavilay, director of applied research at BSF, agreed. “We’re really dedicated to ensuring that research like ours is done in a way that we’re able to … really make some change for military families,” she said.

Survey respondents highlighted relocation, employment and sense of community for military families, and resources for children with special needs as particular areas of concern. Suicide and mental health were also important to respondents. About 40% of surveyed military, veteran, National Guard, and Reserve family respondents said they had attempted or seriously considered suicide in the past year. Nearly half of this group did not get professional help, with 48% of them indicating they did not seek help out of fear for their careers or those of loved ones.

McCaffery urges service members and beneficiaries to use the many resources throughout the Department of Defense that target mental health care.

“Seeking mental health care is no different than seeking care for any other serious health condition,” he said. “You need to seek out services. You need to consult other professionals and ask about those services.”

Multimedia efforts like the Real Warriors Campaign encourage service members to seek treatment as a sign of strength. Real Warriors also provides resources for service members to seek treatment. Programs like InTransition ensure treatment continues as service members and their families move between medical facilities.

These tools are readily available for beneficiaries to use. More changes are underway as a part of the MHS transformation to improve readiness and the quality of health care.

The Defense Health Agency began assuming administrative responsibility for all military hospitals in October 2019. Results from the survey show these changes need to happen. Respondents said finding timely, specialty medical care after a relocation can be challenging.

“One of the benefits of consolidating the management of our facilities is a common, standardized experience,” McCaffery said, “so you can know how to get your prescriptions, how to get lab tests, and most importantly how to get those referrals to specialists.”

MHS GENESIS, the military’s official electronic health record, also helps address this need. As families move from location to location, their records will be stored in one location. Easy access to medical records, from point of injury to treatment, should speed the referral process for families.

McCaffery stressed that patient-centered care is a top DHA priority. Results from the Military Family Lifestyle Survey help leadership create processes to improve care across the services.

“We have to do this together,” Sonethavilay said, “We want to help the [DoD] and military leadership advance military family outcomes…and also understand that there is a critical component to making sure that your civilians have an understanding as well.”

“Our patients are our top priority,” McCaffery agreed. “Everything the MHS does works to enhance the patient experience. We’re going to treat the health system not as separate systems, but as one enterprise.”

You also may be interested in...

DHA AI 1020.01: Reasonable Accommodations (RA)

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Administrative Instruction (DHA-AI), based on the authority of References (a) through (c), and in accordance with the guidance of References (d) through (s), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA) procedures to: a. Set procedures, responsibilities, and implement guidance for administering the DHA RA Program in accordance with federal guidelines. b. Provide, submit, and respond to requests for RAs of qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment. c. Process RA requests for DHA employees and applicants with disabilities to ensure an appropriate response in a timely manner. Further, these procedures establish criteria for collecting and annually reporting data on the numbers and types of request for RA considered.

DHA IPM 19-004: Utilization of the Case Management (CM) Registry (Active and Screening) for Military Health System (MHS) Beneficiaries

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Interim Procedures Memorandum (DHA-IPM), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures to: Outline responsibilities for MHS and Service Department CM personnel to utilize the CM Screening Registry; Identify requirements to utilize CM coding in alignment with current MHS CM coding guidance; and Require the use of standardized Adult and Pediatric Tri-Service Workflow (TSWF) forms for CM documentation (inclusive of telephonic, virtual, or face to face screening) located within AHLTA system and future Electronic Health Record MHS GENESIS

DHA-PI 6025.32: MHS GENESIS Medical Device

Policy

This DHA-PI establishes Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures to provide key stakeholders’ responsibilities for connecting medical devices to MHS GENESIS; establish clinical expectations for connecting medical devices to MHS GENESIS; provide references for MTFs to use in procuring medical devices that will be connected to MHS GENESIS; and provide process for MTFs to elevate medical device connection issues related to MHS GENESIS.

DHA PM 6025-01: Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) Standards

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedures Manual (DHA-PM), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (i), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures to establish required standards for: a. Military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs) and primary care clinics for adult, child and adolescent, health behavior, behavioral medicine, and behavioral health services in primary care. b. Behavioral Health Consultants (BHCs). c. Behavioral Health Care Facilitators (BHCFs). d. External Behavioral Health Consultants (EBHCs). e. Primary Care Clinic Leaders.

Continuing Implementation of the Reform of the Military Health System

Policy

This memorandum directs the continued implementation of the Military Health System (MHS) organizational reform required by 10 U.S.C. § 1073c, and sections 71 land 712 of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. The DoD policy for this reform is guided by the goals of improved readiness, better health, better care, and lower cost. The Department will advance these objectives through specific organizational reforms directed by Congress and the continued direction of the Secretary of Defense·anct the National Defense Strategy.

DHA IPM 18-021: Guidance for Immediate Completion and Closure of Open Encounters and Records in Legacy Systems

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Interim Procedures Memorandum (DHA-IPM), based on the authority of References (a) through (c), and in accordance with the guidance of References (d) and (e): • Establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures to complete and close open encounters within the legacy systems in preparation for the implementation of Military Health System (MHS) GENESIS. • Identifies and delineates responsibilities associated with completing and closing open encounters within the legacy systems in preparation for the implementation of MHS GENESIS. • Should be used by DoD military treatment facilities (MTFs) to update procedures and workflows that pertain to the DoD Health Record Management, Patient Administration, and other MTF functions impacted by these decisions. • Is effective immediately; it must be incorporated into a DHA-Procedural Instruction. This DHA-IPM will expire effective 12 months from the date of issue.

DHA PI 6025.10: Standard Processes, Guidelines, and Responsibilities of the DoD Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities in the Military Health System (MHS) MilitaryMedical 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.

  • Identification #: 6025.10
  • Date: 10/9/2018
  • Type: DHA Procedural Instruction
  • Topics: Access to Health Care

DHA PI 6490.02: Behavioral Health (BH) Treatment and Outcomes Monitoring

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (k): a. Establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures for the collection and analysis of BH outcome data. b. Addresses how DoD will standardize BH outcome data collection to: assess variations in mental health and substance use care among in-garrison medical treatment facilities (MTFs) and clinics; assess the relationship of treatment protocols and practices to BH outcomes; and identify barriers to provider implementation of evidence-based clinical guidance approved by DoD. c. Designates the Army as the DoD lead Service for maintenance and sustainment of the Behavioral Health Data Portal (BHDP) in specialty care mental health and substance use clinics, referred to collectively as BH clinics, until BHDP functionality can be integrated with GENESIS or another electronic health record (EHR) system managed by DHA. d. Designates DHA Information Operations (J-6) as lead on transitioning BHDP functional requirements related to outcomes monitoring to future EHR data collection platforms and processes.

Patient Centered Practice Hours

Policy

This memorandum encourages Air Force military treatment facilities to establish more patient-centered clinic hours.

DoD Instruction 6490.10: Continuity of Behavioral Health Care for Transferring and Transitioning Service Members

Policy

In accordance with the authority in Reference (a), this Instruction establishes policy for the Military Departments, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes guidelines for establishment of Military Department policy and procedures to ensure continuity of behavioral health (BH) care at the losing and gaining installations when Service members transition from one health care provider (HCP) to another when transferring to a new duty station or transitioning out of the Service.

  • Identification #: DoD Instruction 6490.10
  • Date: 10/28/2015
  • Type: Instructions
  • Topics: Mental Health Care

DoD Directive 6010.04: Healthcare for Uniformed Services Members and Beneficiaries

Policy

This directive reissues DoD Directive (DoDD) 6010.04 (Reference (a)) to update established policy and assigned responsibilities for administering Title 10, United States Code (Reference (b)). It serves as the joint document for administration of healthcare benefits required pursuant to Reference (b), and is issued by the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services

First Call Resolution and Do Not Call Back Policy

Policy

This policy requires first call resolution for all patients requesting appointments at all Air Force medical treatment facilities. Under this policy, beneficiaries will not be asked to call back for an appointment.

First Call Resolution and Expeditious Reply to Patient Policy

Policy

This policy requires first call resolution for all patients requesting appointments at all National Capital Region Medical Directorate medical treatment facilities. Under this policy, beneficiaries will not be asked to call back for an appointment.

First call Resolution and Do Not Call Back Policy

Policy

This Army OTSG/MEDCOM policy identifies responsibilities of MTF commanders, primary care, specialty care and other stakeholders identified in the appointing process to ensure patient satisfaction for our beneficiaries; outlines use of alternative portals such as Army Medicine Secure Messaging, Nurse Advice Line and TRICARE Online; specific procedures are also identified to correctly transfer calls in accordance with existing access to care standards, referral management protocols, and proper use of managing clinic schedules to ensure appointing success the first time one of our patients seeks access.

Non-Availability of Patient Appointments at Medical Treatment Facilities

Policy

This policy is to be implemented immediately to ensure patients are not told to call back the next day for an appointment.

<< < 1 2 3 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 3

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.