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Reform, COVID-19 Have Been Catalysts for Change in Military Medicine

Dr. Terry Adirim speaking to an audience at a conference Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, speaks to the audience during a Views from the Top educational session at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society 2021 annual conference at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, August 10 (Jacob Moore, MHS Communications).

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Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Military Health System Transformation

"We cannot forget that healthcare is about taking care of people, so no amount of change or innovation is ever sufficient if modernization does not lead to helping patients, delivering better outcomes, saving lives or helping healthcare providers deliver care," said Dr. Terry Adirim, acting assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, during a Views from the Top educational session at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society 2021 annual conference.

She spoke about the unique differences, as well as the similarities, between civilian and military medicine.

"I believe there are unique lessons from our experience within the Military Health System, regardless of what sector of healthcare you sit in," said Adirim. "From data systems driving greater efficiencies and better outcomes within our agencies, to efforts helping us realize the advancements in science and medicine."

These innovations, she said, are aligning federal healthcare providers with the best in private sector care, delivering the best results for service members and their families.

Adirim said the two largest factors currently leading to innovations, changes and advancements within the MHS are:

"We can't discuss innovation, modernization and responding to change without also talking about the pandemic. COVID-19 continues to prove to be the ultimate disruptor," she said. "It has tested the readiness and resilience of the entire enterprise and put our providers at risk and, ultimately, threatens our service members' ability to do their jobs."

Adirim explained how new approaches to medical care and public health such as virtual health and testing methodology have kept military health beneficiaries safe since the onset of the pandemic.

These, "seemingly small but significant wins," she said, have created real change.

She cited Keesler Medical Center in Biloxi, Mississippi's best practice of using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommended 15-minute waiting period following COVID-19 vaccination to ask patients about making appointments for routine care that may have been missed due to increased focus on the virus.

Adirim also used the opportunity to praise the military medical community.

"It is a privilege to lead and serve military medical providers who are fully committed to ensuring the health and readiness of our troops, which is so vital to our national security," she said. "They have been doing so through an especially challenging time of national and global disruption due to the COVID pandemic."

Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place also spoke at HIMSS21 as part of the Views from the Top series the following day.

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DHA-PI 6205.01: Medical Logistics Guidance for the DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program

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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 (n), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA's) procedures for ordering, receiving, and managing COVID-19 Vaccines inventory and ancillary kits.

DHA-IPM 20-004: Department of Defense (DoD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation

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This Defense Health Agency (DHA) Interim Procedures Memorandum (IPM), based on the authority of References (a) through (d), and in accordance with the guidance cited in References (e) through (aa), establishes the DHA’s procedures to implement instructions, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures for the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. This DHA-IPM applies to DHA, DHA Components (activities under the authority direction, and control of the DHA), Military Departments (MILDEP), and the United States Coast Guard (CG). This DHA-IPM cancels and replaces DHA-IPM 20-004, “Department of Defense (DoD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation,” December 13, 2020.

TAB A MEO COVID19 Medical Coding Policy

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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

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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

Supplemental Guidance for Providing DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccines to DoD Contractor Employees and Select Foreign Nationals

Policy

This memorandum provides supplemental guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, in accordance with reference (a). The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DoD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DoD Components as appropriate.

HA Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Laboratory Pre-Testing Questionnaire

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This memorandum provides guidance for a COVID-19 laboratory pre-testing questionnaire that will be mandatory for all Active Duty Service members and encouraged for all other DoD beneficiaries treated at military medical treatment facilities.

Executive Order on Ensuring Access to United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines

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This EO outlines who should receive priority access to COVID-19 vaccines developed in the United States or procured by the United States Government (“United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines”).

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccine Guidance

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This memorandum provides guidance on the provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is the lead coordinating DoD Component for executing this guidance, in coordination with the Military Departments and other DoD Components.

DHA-AI 3020-01: Return to the Workplace Staffing Plan in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Environment

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This Defense Health Agency-Administrative Instruction (DHA-AI), based on the authority of References (a) through (b) and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (z3), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA) plan to return to full operations and support the whole-of-government response, during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This DHA-AI also provides a preventive plan to monitor and assess for the appearance of new cases and implement those processes that will prevent them from impacting the workforce. The processes describe herein are intended to offer an actionable plan for the workforce to re-enter DHA Administrative Offices. See Appendix 1 for a summary of the DHA Administrative Office Reopening Plan. The plan uses the Force Health Protection Guidance and Health Protection Conditions (HPCON), in accordance with Reference (d), to ensure protection for the workforce, including the most vulnerable-to-serious complications from the virus while enabling DHA Administrative Offices to continue its mission. See Appendix 2 for the conceptual HPCON framework.

  • Identification #: 3020-01
  • Date: 11/3/2020
  • Type: Administrative Instructions
  • Topics: Coronavirus

DHA AI 3020.01: Return to the Workplace Staffing Plan in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Environment

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This Defense Health Agency-Administrative Instruction (DHA-AI), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) plan to return to full operations and support the whole-of-government response, during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and in preparation for regression or resurgence in COVID-19 cases that could impact the workforce.

  • Identification #: DHA AI 3020.01
  • Date: 6/12/2020
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Continuing Implementation of the Reform of the Military Health System

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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.

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