Military Health System: Defense Health Agency takes action against COVID-19

“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…”

“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…”

“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…” Read the full article here.

Source: Defense Health Agency takes action against COVID-19 – March 30, 2020. Military Health System.

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