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...

COVID-19 Town Hall with RADM Anne M. Swap

Article
5/24/2021
MHS and Military OneSource NCR COVID-19 Town Hall with Rear Admiral Anne M. Swap, Director, National Capital Medical Directorate, Wednesday, May 26 at 11:50 a.m. ET

The purpose of this event is to inform National Capital Region (NCR) beneficiaries of DHA’s efforts with battling coronavirus (COVID-19) and encourage them to not delay care.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | MHS and Military OneSource To Your Health

Adirim, Place laud DHA response to COVID-19 in briefing

Article
5/21/2021
Defense Health Agency Director Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place speaking at a press conference

Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency, provided a COVID-19 update during a Pentagon press briefing.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Sailors continue to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Article
5/20/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

Sailors continue to voluntarily receive one of the three available COVID-19 vaccines.

Recommended Content:

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

MHS quickly adapted to improve patient experience during pandemic

Article
5/19/2021
Military health personnel waiting for the next phone call on the COVID-19 advice line

MHS adapted technology to boost patient experience during pandemic

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA Director visits MCAGCC to hear from the ‘Boots on the Ground’

Article
5/19/2021
Military personnel wearing face masks walking

DHA Director visits Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Palliative care provides comfort to COVID-19 patients, families

Article
5/17/2021
Military health personnel taking care of a patient

Medical Center team develops palliative care toolkit for COVID-19 patients

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Military medicine heroes recognized for COVID-19 pandemic response

Article
5/17/2021
Photo of the virtual "Heroes of Military Medicine" award ceremony

COVID-19 pandemic will affect military medicine for years to come, DHA Director Place tells HJF awards ceremony.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA leadership recognizes, advances 60th MDG mission

Article
5/14/2021
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place visits Travis Air Force Base

DHA leadership visit 60th Medical Group at Travis AFB.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS

Teamwork, adaptability, service – MTFs shine during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
5/14/2021
People at screening area

MHS readiness was put to the test at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in early 2020.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | May | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Join Us!! Sixth Live COVID-19 Town Hall

Article
5/12/2021
Image describing today's Town Hall with Dr. Paul Scott and COL Clinton K. Murray, MD.  They are with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and will discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Advancement and Trials.

Join us for today's Town Hall with Dr. Paul Scott and COL Clinton K. Murray, MD. They are with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and will discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Advancement and Trials.

Recommended Content:

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

Navy nurse steps into Jacksonville community for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/7/2021
Military health personnel wearing face mask discussing the COVID-19 vaccine program

Navy Cmdr. Glenn “Pete” Bradford is aiding the underserved Jacksonville community in COVID-19 vaccination mission

Recommended Content:

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

Nurse and Tech Week: Air Force airmen are battle-tested and ready

Article
5/6/2021
12 COVID-19 patients aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft

For the past year, Air Force nurses and medical technicians have found themselves on the front lines in the battle against the COVID-19 disease.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | National Nurses Week | Technology | Nurses Week | Mental Health Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA, HA leaders discuss MHS Transformation at AHA panel

Article
5/6/2021
Military personnel talking at a podium

Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place and Dr. Terry Adirim discussed MHS Transformation, MHS GENESIS, and highlighted the DHA’s response to COVID-19 in a virtual roundtable hosted April 12 by the American Hospital Association.

Recommended Content:

Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Genesis of MHS GENESIS | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Readiness Capabilities

EACH celebrates National Nurses Week with a reflection on the pandemic

Article
5/6/2021
Military health personnel inputting information into a computer

Evans Army Community Hospital celebrates National Nurses Week 2021.

Recommended Content:

National Nurses Week | Nurses Week | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Janssen COVID-19 vaccine returns to Military Health System

Article
5/4/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask and a face shield administering the COVID-19 vaccine

Doses of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine became available April 29 to those in the Military Health System eligible and authorized to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 26

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.