Back to Top Skip to main content

Health care transition looks to improve processes for wartime missions, beneficiaries

Defense Health Agency seal Defense Health Agency seal

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Implementation of MHS Transition

WASHINGTON — Since 2001, the military medical establishment has learned much about caring for trauma.

Many American service members alive today who have fought since 9/11 would have died in previous wars. Thousands more have benefitted from state-of-the-art care and the experience that military medical providers have learned in 18 years of war.

The lessons of the battlefield were learned through experience and repetition, and DoD and Congress want to ensure those lessons are not forgotten.

At the direction of Congress, the military health care system is going through a substantial set of changes in its structure and how it will operate, said Robert Daigle, the Defense Department’s director of cost assessment and program evaluation.

“Our No. 1 priority … is to maintain the quality of care for both the wartime mission and the beneficiary population,” Daigle said in a recent interview. “Our goal … is to improve the readiness of the military health care personnel for the wartime mission.”

From Capitol Hill to the Pentagon to military treatment facilities around the world, all are working together to make the transition as seamless as possible, the director said.

Management of the military treatment facilities will transition from the services to the Defense Health Agency. The agency will focus on providing high-quality care for beneficiaries, enabling the services to focus entirely on medical readiness for the wartime fight.

The military treatment facilities will move to the agency over a three-year period. Officials will be able to examine the changes, assess how the transition is working and make changes as needed, Daigle said. Currently, the facilities at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and those at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; and Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, come under the Defense Health Agency. This transitions more than 1,000 headquarters medical staff from the services to DHA.

“The second major muscle movement in this is to reshape the military medical force for the wartime mission,” Daigle said. “In some specialties, we have too few providers – emergency medicine for example. In other cases, we have more than we need.”

The latest budget request calls for more than 100,000 active-duty military medical professionals, with more than 60,000 in the reserve components.

The budget reallocates 14,000 positions from medical specialties into other critical shortfalls in the services’ operational force structure, Daigle said. If the service needs cyber, infantry or aircraft maintenance personnel, it will be able to apply these slots to those fields, he added, noting that most of the slots reassigned will be personnel who seldom deal with patients directly.

Improving Readiness for the Wartime Mission

Finally, he said, the initiative is intended to ensure the medical force improves its readiness for the wartime mission.

This is more complicated. The question is to ensure medical personnel get the patient load they need to develop and maintain qualifications. The number of times a surgeon performs a specific surgical procedure is directly tied to the outcome, Daigle explained. “Higher reps, better outcomes,” he said.

One of the challenges from a medical readiness perspective is relatively low workload levels per provider. “We just don’t have enough patients of certain types to generate the readiness levels we need,” Daigle said. “In some cases, we are going to want to remove some people from hospitals so the amount of workload that remains, divided over fewer providers, will give them the opportunity to hone their procedures.”

This mirrors the trends in the civilian world, where surgeons specialize in certain procedures. Some surgeons do only knee replacements, and may do hundreds of them per year. Those surgeons have seen the range of complications that can arise from a procedure and are best equipped to deal with them when they arise. They certainly would be better equipped to handle a complication than a surgeon who might do one a month, Daigle said.

Daigle emphasized that all of this process will be studied and assessed even as the process continues forward, and that there is time to make changes as needed in the process.

The director also said he hopes that standardization of the administrative processes in the military treatment facilities will make moving among the facilities easier for service members and beneficiaries.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Changes coming to military medical treatment facilities

Article
4/22/2019
Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, Defense Health Agency director, speaks with members of the 42nd Medical Group about upcoming changes to military treatment facilities, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The DHA will be responsible for all facilities with respect to budgetary matters, information technology, health care administration and management, administrative policy and procedure and military medical construction. (U.S. Air Force photo by William Birchfield)

The DHA is as committed to the Air Force as the Air Force is to the DHA

Recommended Content:

Implementation of MHS Transition | Military Hospitals and Clinics

DHA ‘delivers’ nurses for babies

Article
4/16/2019
Air Force Col. Michelle Aastrom, 81st Inpatient Operation Squadron commander, discusses the intensive care unit capabilities with Army Maj. Gen. Ronald Place, Defense Health Agency, director, for the National Capital Region Medical Directorate and Transition Intermediate Management Organization, during an immersion tour inside the Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, recently. The purpose of Place's two-day visit was to become more familiar with the medical center's mission capabilities and to receive the status of the 81st Medical Group's transition under DHA. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Every month Keesler Medical Center’s Labor and Delivery Clinic averages approximately 35 births

Recommended Content:

Implementation of MHS Transition | Children's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Patient care will remain steadfast despite staff cuts, DHA director says

Article
4/5/2019
Navy Hospitalman Yesenia Macedo, a sailor participating in Navy Medicine’s hospital corpsman trauma training, takes a patient’s temperature at University of Florida Health Jacksonville’s emergency room in Jacksonville, Fla., March 22, 2019. Sixteen hospital corpsmen from across the Navy received two weeks of specialized training at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, followed by five weeks at UF Health Jacksonville, a Level I trauma center. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel

With proposed military medical staffing reductions, the Defense Health Agency is taking steps to ensure access to care and availability of health services remain constant for Military Health System beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Implementation of MHS Transition | Testimony

Transformation underway across the Military Health System

Article
1/29/2019
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)

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

Recommended Content:

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

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

Trauma care reference body now woven into DHA combat support

Article
8/3/2018
Establishing the Joint Trauma System within the Defense Health Agency optimally positions the JTS to serve as the reference body for all trauma care. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Gary Johnson)

The JTS mission is to provide evidence-based process improvement of trauma and combat casualty care to drive morbidity and mortality to the lowest possible levels, and to provide recommendations on trauma care and trauma systems across the Military Health System

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Access to Health Care | Combat Support

RESET improves pediatric care

Article
4/18/2018
Air Force Capt. Joseph Migliuri, 92nd Medical Group pediatrician, performs a wellness vision exam during a patient’s check-up at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. The pediatric team has implemented a new concept of operations: rewarding, efficiency, setting priorities and empowering team members, or RESET, to their system of patient care. The integration of RESET in the Military Health System Genesis workflow has improved the clinic’s goals of patient access and care. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Whitney Laine)

The aim of RESET is to improve access to care for the patient population

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Changes coming to the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program

Article
3/19/2018
Official TRICARE logo

TRDP will end on Dec. 31, 2018

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | TRICARE Health Program

From an award ceremony to panel talks, senior leaders will have presence at HIMSS

Article
3/8/2018
Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director of Defense Health Agency, will be honored as a recipient of the HIMSS Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards on March 8 in Las Vegas.

Federal health, IT experts come together for discussion on hot topics

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Innovation | Patient Safety | Quality and Safety of Health Care (for Healthcare Professionals) | Research and Innovation

Advancements in telehealth improve access to healthcare

Article
2/23/2018
Air Force Medical Service Seal

Telehealth brings a range of services all working together to improve access

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Military Hospitals and Clinics | Technology

Survey indicates higher satisfaction with military medical facilities

Article
1/8/2018
Staff at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington, treat patients. The 2017 results of the Defense Department’s Joint Outpatient Experience Survey show an increase in patient satisfaction with military medical facilities and pharmacy care. (U.S. Army photo)

The results of the survey show an overall increase in satisfaction

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Access to Health Care | MHS Patient Satisfaction Surveys | MHS Quality, Patient Safety, and Access Information (for Patients)

TRICARE Philippine demonstration ends, new preferred-provider network begins

Article
1/3/2018
Official TRICARE logo

Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, a preferred-provider network will be available in the Philippines.

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Access to Health Care

Care Loop

Video
11/29/2017
Care Loop

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Mariana Carrano’s business is patient care. She’s one of four Air Force liaison officers with the 86th Medical Squadron at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, a short drive from Ramstein AB. As an LO, as they are often called, Carrano is responsible for taking care of a patient throughout the entire care loop – from the moment he ...

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Warrior Care

Joint medical team provides medical care to remote communities

Article
6/19/2017
Army Maj. Jesus Morales, dentist, 49th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jessica Hawk, dental assistant, 172d Airlift Wing, Jackson Mississippi, extract a decayed tooth from Raymond Kline. Kline participated in the no-cost medical services offered during the Ozark Highlands Innovated Readiness Training, Mountain Home, Arkansas, recently. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Peter Dean)

The Innovative Readiness Training program is a unique way to provide real-world training to medical personnel while helping our fellow Americans by providing them no-cost medical care

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Health Readiness

MHS Facts and Figures

Infographic
5/1/2017
The Military Health System cares for almost 10 million Americans of all ages, delivering care in military hospitals or clinics, or providing coordinated care through our civilian TRICARE networks.

The Military Health System cares for almost 10 million Americans of all ages, delivering care in military hospitals or clinics, or providing coordinated care through our civilian TRICARE networks.

Recommended Content:

Access, Cost, Quality, and Safety | Access to Health Care
<< < 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.