Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Defense Health Agency takes action against COVID-19

Image of medical worker  putting on gloves and a mask The Department of Defense is working swiftly to aid in COVID-19 countermeasures. Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kimberly Wyss, from Ventura, California, dons surgical gloves aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy, March 29. Mercy deployed in support of the nation's COVID-19 response efforts and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. This allows shore base hospitals to focus their efforts on COVID-19 cases. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

A swift response is needed to deal with an emerging virus like the one that causes COVID-19. From the race for a vaccine to the release of preventive safety guidance, the Department of Defense is working quickly to keep citizens safe from the virus. Government agencies like the Defense Health Agency help bring that safety to military hospitals across the globe.

DHA has improved its programs and resources to respond to COVID-19. DHA acts as the central conduit for all medical requests for information from military hospitals. Providers and beneficiaries can obtain information in a couple of ways:

DHA’s Nurse Advice Line offers registered nurses that are trained to triage beneficiaries, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The nurses offer self-care advice, refer the beneficiary for testing if appropriate, or coordinate clinically appropriate care. The care may be a virtual appointment with a provider, a referral to an urgent care center, or a visit to the emergency room.

If the beneficiary is referred to a military hospital or market ER, the nurse on call will notify the ER of the upcoming beneficiary visit. If the beneficiary is referred to a network ER, the nurse will remind the beneficiary to notify the ER in advance or tell the 911 dispatcher that he or she is suspected to have COVID-19.

DHA’s TRICARE Health Plan formed a work group to focus on COVID-19 efforts and coordinate with DHA’s managed care support contractor partners, HealthNet Federal Services or HNFS and Humana Government Business or HGB. HNFS and HGB continue to work between the Direct CareDirect care refers to military hospitals and clinics, also known as “military treatment facilities” and “MTFs.”direct care (military treatment facilities or MTFs) and 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 sectors. As the situation evolves, this coordination finds gaps early and allows contingency planning for network providers to accept MTF patients if needed. This collaboration also ensures visibility of COVID-19 cases to leadership in both direct and purchased care.

Additionally, both contractors help connect network providers to support coordination for the deployments of the USNS Mercy and Comfort. HNFS and HGB are reaching out to beneficiaries directly to process and collect enrollment forms and guarantee continued access to care. They also receive and process all private sector claims for COVID-19 testing, assess no copays or cost-shares, and coordinate reporting of COVID-19 lab testing with network laboratories.

To maintain the safety of patients who are currently hospitalized, HNFS and HGB are coordinating ambulance transports to relocate non-COVID-19 patients to alternate hospitals. Both contractors are also working to identify and better support the most vulnerable members of the population. To date, HNFS has contacted 614 case management beneficiaries and 438 disease management beneficiaries to verify disaster preparedness. HGB has fielded almost 2,000 calls related to COVID-19.

The Joint Operations Center is also supporting COVID-19 efforts by acting as the information hub of DHA. The JOC collects requests and information from across the military, including the Joint Staff, combatant commands, and a variety of other military organizations. The JOC then provides that information to the proper authorities in DHA to take action.

“By ensuring that the JOC is getting current and accurate information, we can make sure that the DHA leadership provides our primary stakeholders with the best resources we can offer,” said Neil Doherty, task lead for the JOC.

Information collected from Doherty’s team helps inform DHA leadership on how to proceed with preventive measures. This information helped DHA stand up a crisis action team, or CAT, in direct response to the spread of COVID-19 diagnoses in the United States.

A CAT is usually established for an unplanned event that has wide impact, from natural disasters such as hurricanes to widespread illness such as the current outbreak. A CAT is made up of a team of subject matter experts who work together to share information on these wide-impact issues. This team helps the flow of information up and down the chain of command to make sure the entire DHA enterprise is moving appropriately and efficiently.

The CAT was set up for COVID-19 in response to the impact on service members and other beneficiaries around the world. According to the CAT, any pandemic can have impacts to the medical readiness of service members. This makes taking precautions, especially when traveling, important for the uniformed services.

The DoD has posted travel guidance that should help slow the domestic spread of the virus. The DHA helped finalize and distribute the Force Health Protection or FHP Guidance released by DoD and available on Health.mil. The first FHP Guidance was released in early January.

The most recent FHP guidance related to travel was effective March 13. The new guidance adds extra safety precautions when traveling abroad, identifying high-risk areas throughout the globe by category. The guidance also offers suggested tips for pre- and post-travel.

Service members and beneficiaries are encouraged to keep up to date on guidance provided by DoD and CDC in response to COVID-19. To learn more about DHA actions to combat the illness, visit the Military Health System or TRICARE websites.

You also may be interested in...

More Than 95% of Active Duty Have Received COVID-19 Vaccine

Article
10/15/2021
Female hospital corpsman gives a COVID-19 vaccine injection to a sailor in her left arm

Service members continue to line up for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors

USECAF receives insight into COVID19 vaccinations at Reserve wing

Article Around MHS
10/8/2021
Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones visits with 433rd Airlift Wing members at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Oct. 2, 2021.

Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones visited the 433rd Airlift Wing here to meet with Reserve Citizen Airmen leaders on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination efforts, Oct. 2, 2021.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

Mask Mouth Does Not Exist, Dentists Say

Article
10/6/2021
A bunch of children wearing face masks walk on a city street.

Mask mouth doesn’t exist, Internet chatter to the contrary, dentists say.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Compassionate Caring with COVID Vax Commitment

Article Around MHS
10/6/2021
A  female doctor poses for a photo.

When pregnant patients have an appointment with Lt. Cmdr. Megan Northup at Naval Hospital Bremerton, they get more than a qualified and caring OB/GYN physician.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Health Promotion duo optimizes health on Incirlik Air Base

Article Around MHS
9/30/2021
Air Force Capt. Sydney Sloan, 39th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion element chief (right), and Air Force Senior Airman Gloriann Manapsal, 39th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion technician (left), promote making healthy choices at the Sultan’s Inn Dining Facility on Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.

The 39th Operation Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion team provides and integrates evidence-based programs to optimize the health and readiness, even during these unprecedented times.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Total Force Fitness | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Booster Shots are Now Available – What You Need to Know

Article
9/30/2021
Containers of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Each vial contains six doses for vaccination against the COVID-19 virus.

Booster shots are now recommended for millions of people – but many others will have to wait for additional approvals.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Myths & facts about the vax - debunking common COVID-19 vaccine myths

Article
9/29/2021
Myths and facts about the vax

The COVID-19 vaccine has been mandated across the Department of Defense and despite its demonstrated effectiveness and safety, a host of myths have left some Airmen and Guardians hesitant to receive it. While social media posts and some news outlets may make it harder to keep up with what is fact or fiction, the science is clear … approved COVID-19 vaccines work.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Retired colonel leads Fort Irwin COVID response mission

Article Around MHS
9/28/2021
Army Col. Richard Hopkins, the COVID-19 response coordinator with Weed Army Community Hospital, collects paperwork from a Soldier who received the COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination event.

Retired Army Col. Richard Hopkins volunteered under the Army’s COVID-19 Retiree Recall Program to return to service as the COVID-19 response coordinator for Weed Army Community Hospital and Fort Irwin, California.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

ARNORTH military support to FEMA begins in Tennessee, continues in five states

Article Around MHS
9/24/2021
Prepared COVID-19 vaccine shots wait to be administered to an Airman. Members of the 134th Air Refueling Wing were eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccines during Unit Training Assembly here May 2nd, 2021.

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, approximately 20 military medical personnel deployed to Tennessee to support civilian healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients in local hospitals.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DODEA Schools Keeps On With In-Person Classes, and Fall Sports, Too

Article
9/23/2021
Kids playing football

DODEA schools are striving to continue in-person learning in the 2021-22 school year.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Coronavirus

COVID-19 can lead to long-term health concerns

Article Around MHS
9/23/2021
Debra Lamb, a 30-year civil service veteran at Ft. Carson, contracted the COVID-19 virus late in 2020 and experienced a harrowing ordeal before partially recovering months later.

Debra Lamb, a 30-year civil service veteran at Ft. Carson, contracted the COVID-19 virus late in 2020 and experienced a harrowing ordeal before partially recovering months later.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

6th Medical Group Delivers Mandatory Vaccines

Article Around MHS
9/21/2021
An Airman from the 6th Medical Group prepares a COVID-19 vaccine for distribution at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

Airmen from the 6th Medical Group began redistributing doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, on Sept. 9, 2021. This comes after the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum on Aug. 23, 2021, mandating all active duty personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Got Your 6

Video
9/16/2021
Got Your 6 Infographic

‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, on days that end in ‘6.’ It includes the latest information about DOD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability. Got a question about ‘Got Your 6’? Send an email to dha.ncr.comm.mbx.dha-internal-communications@mail.mil

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

After the ventilator COVID survivor advocates for vaccine

Article Around MHS
9/15/2021
Tim Harris is sedated while on a ventilator

Tim Harris, a mobilization and planning specialist, U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, is sedated while on a ventilator at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, June 27, 2020.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

The COVID-19 Pandemic: How Health Care Workers are Coping

Article
9/13/2021
a nurse helping a COVID-19 patient

For health care providers, experiencing the pandemic inside a hospital has brought

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health Podcasts
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 35

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.