Frequently Asked Questions: Transition of Navy Military Medical Treatment Facilities

Q: What is changing? What’s the purpose of the changes?

A: Navy Medicine is structuring its forces to focus on Readiness to better meet the needs of operational commanders, while transferring the administration and management of the Military Medical Treatment Facilities (MTF) to the Defense Health Agency (DHA). This transition will drive better integration and standardization of care across all MTFs, which means patients will have a consistent, high-quality health care experience no matter where they are.

Q: Will this change how patients get care?

A: The transition to DHA administration and management should be seamless to all our beneficiaries, who should encounter little to no immediate impact on their patient experience, and will continue to have access to high quality care.

Q: Does this change prioritize active duty readiness over all other types of care? Are families or retirees being left behind?

A: There are no changes to the prioritization of beneficiaries at MTFs as a result of this transition.

Q: Does this change impact active duty dental care? If so, how?

A: No.

Q: Are there patient safety / high reliability benefits from this change?

A: This transition will increase efficiency by eliminating duplication, and enhancing standardization and consistency across the military services.

Q: Will the name of the MTF (hospital or branch health clinic) change?

A: For the foreseeable future, all facilities’ names will remain the same, and will maintain their Navy affiliation.

Q: Why are we shifting the administration and management of Navy MTFs to the Defense Health Agency?

A: Congress enacted this change in December 2016 (NDAA FY 2017) to create a single agency focused on enhancing the patient access to care and the overall health care benefit.  It also provides Navy Medicine an opportunity to enhance operational readiness and focus on man, train and equip responsibilities and operational support.

Q: When will you be able to provide a more detailed transition timeline? When is IOC?  When is FOC?

A: The DHA is implementing the changes mandated by Congress in a phased approach that allows them to gradually assume management and administration of MTFs across the health care system, no later than Sept. 30, 2021. For the Navy, this effort started Oct. 1, 2018 with the transfer of Naval Hospital Jacksonville.

Q: Who does a line/installation commander call if they have issues related to access at the MTF for active duty beneficiaries or their family members?

A: We remain committed to a single point of contact for line/installation commanders on medical issues. As a general rule and for now, a single military officer will be dual-hatted as the MTF Director, and the CO of the co-located Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command. As the MTF Director, the officer will operate under the authority, direction and control of the Director, DHA. As the CO, the officer will operate under the authority, direction and control of Navy Medicine, and control all uniformed personnel.

Q: How long before a final decision is made on whether MTFs will remain affiliated with a Service or become Joint/Tri-Service?

A: For the foreseeable future, all facilities’ names will remain the same, and will maintain their Navy affiliation.

Q: Do we have a blueprint for what is defined as readiness vs. health care delivery?

A: Yes. Memoranda signed by the Department of Defense outline these distinctions. We are also actively refining our Concept of Operations to better define readiness.

Q: Will branch health clinics be placed under the new Service command or will they transition to the DHA?

A: Branch clinics will also transition to the DHA.

Q: What are the differences between MTF Directors and Service Commanders?

A: As a general rule and for now, a single military officer will be dual-hatted as the MTF Director, and the CO of the co-located Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command. As the MTF Director, the officer will operate under the authority, direction and control of the Director, DHA. As the CO, the officer will operate under the authority, direction and control of Navy Medicine, and control all uniformed personnel.

Q: How will people be replaced at MTFs while they’re getting the required training to be prepared to deploy at a moment’s notice?

A: The dual-hatted MTF Director and NMRTC CO needs to balance the responsibilities of sustaining health care delivery in the MTF while meeting emergent operational requirements. The MTF Director, in coordination with the DHA, can also use the managed care support network to delivery health care during contingencies.

Q: Are there plans to increase civilian partnerships to help us meet staff training requirements?

A: Yes. Navy Medicine and the DHA are actively working to expand and strengthen partnerships with the civilian sector to improve and sustain the currency and competency of our providers.

Q: What will drive the assignment locations of clinical staff, in light of the increased focus on readiness?

A: Navy Medicine will balance individual provider readiness needs with health care delivery needs at the MTF. Changes to personnel working within the facilities will be determined in coordination with the Defense Health Agency (DHA) as they assume administration and management of the facilities.

Q: After the MTF transition, who will be responsible for credentialing and privileging providers at MTFs?

A: As they assume administration and management of MTFs, DHA will be responsible for credentialing and privileging providers at the MTFs.

Q: Will these changes impact a provider’s scope of practice at the MTF?

A: No, however, all MTFs within the Military Health System were required to adhere to DHA policies, procedures and standard clinical and business practices starting Oct. 1, 2018. In the absence of published DHA issuances, current Service policies and procedures will remain in effect until superseded by the appropriate DHA issuance.

Q: What are you doing to ensure retention does not suffer as a result of this transition?

A: It is the responsibility of Navy Medicine leaders at every level of the enterprise to communicate with their people and remain understanding and responsive to questions and concerns as they arise.

Q: The administration and management of the MTFs are a significant undertaking. What is the DHA doing to prepare to take on these additional roles and responsibilities?

A: Navy Medicine and the DHA are mutually dependent upon each other for success in carrying out assigned responsibilities. Navy Medicine leadership is committed to working hand in hand with the DHA to execute a successful transition and mitigate impact to the delivery of care.

 

For more information on Navy Medicine transition visit, www.med.navy.mil or www.navymedicine.navylive.dodlive.mil

 

 

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