Back to Top Skip to main content

MTF facilities, markets set to resume transition heading into 2021

A military nurse, wearing a mask, prepares a needle for a vaccination Army Capt. Patricia Nolan, a nurse, prepares vaccinations of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington on Dec. 16. Madigan is part of DHA’s Puget Sound market, scheduled to begin transition to the DHA in February. (Photo by John Wayne Liston, Madigan Army Medical Center.)

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Coronavirus

Despite the unforeseen impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the transition of military medical treatment facilities to the Defense Health Agency is on track headed into the new year, explained Dr. Barclay Butler, DHA’s assistant director for management.

The Department of Defense made the decision early in the pandemic to pause transition activities due to the unprecedented burden on the Military Health System. However, in November, the Department resumed transition activities.

The strategic pause ended up having a positive impact on the transition, Butler added.

“The pause in Military Health System transition let us compile a number of lessons learned,” Butler said. “We then applied those lessons learned to MHS reform. We also used the pause to improve the transition planning, and the transition products.”

Lessons learned included standardization of military health metrics reporting to the DOD. Previously, each military service reported that information separately to the DOD, but the DHA was able to demonstrate the value of collecting information and reporting it collectively. The four regional areas, known as ‘markets’ that have already transitioned to the DHA also demonstrated speed of response as a result of integrating their market MTFs into an integrated health system.

This information also served to inform the DOD’s COVID-19 Task Force.

“That speaks largely to the lesson learned regarding the COVID response and to the markets’ ability to respond,” Butler said.

Medical personnel, wearing a mask, checks a patient's heart with a stethoscope
Navy Lt. Jeremiah Thompson, an emergency medicine physician assistant at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, checks Navy Chief Aviation Electrician’s Mate Robert Frehulfer’s heart. (Photo by Jacob Sippel, Naval Hospital Jacksonville.)

Butler added that one of the most important results of the past year was the confirmation that the DHA is progressing in the right direction with the market model, affirmed by the Department’s decision to continue the current plan.

“The services asked the Secretary to re-asses the approach and the Secretary took that information and made a decision on the 9th of November to continue forward with our plan,” Butler said.

Standardization across the military health enterprise, including clinical quality, is one example of how a market-based approach improves the quality of care for patients.

“Before the DHA started the transition, we found there were 38 different clinical quality standards in the MHS,” Butler said. “How many should we have? We should have one. When you get rid of unwanted variation, you see healthcare quality go up and costs go down.”

Going forward, Butler said, military medicine will be facing a ‘new normal.’  We will need to remain flexible, and adapt and react as we have over the past year.

“We don’t really know what that ‘new normal’ actually looks like, so we need that agility to be able to respond and continue to provide our patients with access to high quality care,” he said.

Hints of what is on the horizon include increased use of virtual health options.

“Use of virtual health has gone up thousands of percent from where we were pre-COVID pandemic” Butler said. “I think you’re going to continue to see a high utilization of our virtual health systems, which gives our patients greater access.”

In terms of facilities, the next step is transitioning five additional markets to the DHA.

“Our next five MTFs – Hawaii, Colorado, Puget Sound, San Antonio and Tidewater – will be stood up and operating as markets near the end of February,” Butler said. “That’s a big step for the DHA.”

He sees a relatively smooth transition, as all of the aforementioned were already Enhanced Multi-Service Markets, where multiple services have coordinated healthcare management for several years. Contrast that with remote single-service MTFs, such as Twentynine Palms in California and Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, where these MTFs are “the only option,” and where the DHA will focus on providing support to these remote locations.

Military lab technician, wearing a lab coat and mask, inspects a lab sample
Air Force Airman 1st Class Alexandria Johnson, 81st Diagnostic and Therapeutics Squadron lab technician, reviews a bacteria sample inside the Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi in July 2020. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Spencer Tobler.)

Other focus areas, he said, include extending partnerships with entities such as the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, other federal institutions, academic medical centers, and other partners in order to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

Army Col. Christopher Ivany, director of the DHA’s Transition Program Management office, explained how the pandemic highlights the need for the military health system to be able to respond to large-scale crises with a single, cohesive approach.

Ivany said that the response across the National Capital Region, where a market with each of the services is already established, was a perfect example.

“In those areas where all the facilities, the people, the resources were all applied to this huge problem in a way that was focused on what was best for the beneficiaries as a whole, it was done more effectively across all service lines,” Ivany said. “It reiterated the need for the MHS transformation to go forward.”

Those successes, he said, have shaped how the DHA will move forward with the next set of markets.

“The MHS is in the midst of a fundamental shift in how it manages healthcare, and while that shift can and will be difficult at times, the end state of where this change is going will have significant benefits for our patients, for our staff and for the medical readiness of the line units, and the healthcare teams themselves.”

Butler’s message to MHS patients is that the quality of their care is paramount.

“The DHA and the MHS are focused on delivering high-quality care to our beneficiaries. That high-quality care translates into having our care teams ready to do their deployed mission while it produces readiness for the department,” Butler said.

“Lieutenant General Place, the director of the DHA, is focused in on great outcomes. The number one great outcome is a medically ready force, without a doubt,” Butler said. “That’s what he wants us to do, and that’s what we do.”

You also may be interested in...

Tidewater set to become fifth Military Health System market

Article
4/19/2021
Military health personnel reading a medical machine

The Tidewater Military Health System market in southeast Virginia is scheduled to officially stand up April 19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | MHS Transformation

Appenzeller emphasizes: Get COVID-19 vaccine, no matter where

Article
4/16/2021
Military personnel explaining forensic equipment

The DHA’s Combat Support assistant director had some direct and encouraging words about the military’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout to date.

Recommended Content:

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

Tele-critical care will play increased COVID-19 response role in 2021

Article
4/15/2021
Infographic that says "202 tele-critical care successes will help 2021 COVID19 response"

Virtual health and particularly tele-critical care for critically ill patients assumed frontline roles in sustaining care while keeping beneficiaries and health care teams safe.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | MHS Transformation

Join Us!! Third COVID-19 Townhall Update with Major General George Appenzeller!

Article
4/13/2021
MHS and Military OneSource COVID-19 Townhall, with Major General (Dr.) George N. Appenzeller.  Wednesday, 14 April, 1 PM ET

Join us for the MHS' Third COVID-19 Townhall with Major General George Appenzeller

Recommended Content:

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

DOD surpasses 2 million COVID-19 vaccines worldwide

Article
4/9/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask and a face shield giving the COVID-19 vaccine

The DOD hit the 2 million mark for vaccinations worldwide just a month after the 1 million milestone.

Recommended Content:

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

Public health remains an integral part in the fight against COVID

Article
4/9/2021
Infographic featuring health personnel wearing face shields and mask with "National Public Health Week" across the top of the picture

The pandemic has highlighted a need to provide more advanced training on infection prevention and control.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Toolkit | April Toolkit | Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Children’s well-being contributes immeasurably to force readiness

Article
4/6/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask in the back of a truck

The Defense Health Agency joins in celebrating military children during Month of the Military Child, observed in April, and always.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | April Toolkit | Month of the Military Child – Celebrating the Mighty | Coronavirus | Month of the Military Child | Month of the Military Child Image Library

Telemedicine advances put to the test during pandemic

Article
4/1/2021
Uniformed service member stands behind wall of computer screens

COVID-19 has led to the need for physical distancing and has overwhelmed the capacities of health systems, compelling many to adopt telehealth solutions.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Research and Innovation | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DHA preparing to complete treatment facility transition by Fall 2021

Article
3/31/2021
Military medical personnel giving a vaccine shot to a soldier

The Military Health System’s military medical treatment facilities transition in “deep throes” of completion by Sept. 30, Defense Health Agency’s Dr. Brian Lein tells AMSUS.

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation

DOD healthcare leaders give COVID-19 update, praise DHA personnel

Article
3/30/2021
Picture of Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr. Ronald Place providing a COVID-19 update at  the Pentagon

Dr. Terry Adirim and Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place provide update on COVID-19 vaccination progress and offer thanks to MHS workers for their contributions.

Recommended Content:

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

Lovell FHCC staff steps up to create formidable COVID-19 team

Article
3/30/2021
Military health personnel preparing to administer the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccination effort at the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois, has brought out the best in staff.

Recommended Content:

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

Dover Air Force Base features ‘Park ‘N Pickup’ pharmacy

Article
3/26/2021
Picture of prescription sitting on a counter

Due to the increased need for patient safety, the 436th Medical Group pharmacy at Dover Air Force Base has implemented a Park ‘N Pickup process.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety Awareness Week | COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | Patient Safety

DHA Form 207: COVID-19 Vaccine Screening and Immunization Document

Form/Template
3/25/2021

The purpose of this form is to determine if the COVID-19 vaccine can be administered to the patient.

Recommended Content:

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

TAB A MEO COVID19 Medical Coding Policy

Policy

Memorandum for DHA Staff - Military Medical Treatment Facilities to Implement Updated DHA COVID-19 Medical Coding Policy

  • Identification #: N/A
  • Date: 3/25/2021
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Coronavirus

DHA COVID19 Medical Coding PolicyV5 1v

Policy

Establishes the DHA procedures to standardize the coding for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) within military medical treatment facilities (MTFs). This memorandum replaces DHA-Policy Memorandum 20-003 of July 1, 2020. Attachment 1 was updated to include the 2021 procedure and diagnosis codes for COVID-19, including the new vaccination and treatment codes.

  • Identification #: 20-003
  • Date: 3/25/2021
  • Type: Memorandums
  • Topics: Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 38

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.