14th Medical Group introduces new PHA process
By Captain Brian Caruthers, 14th Medical Operations Squadron
/ Published April 12, 2007
COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
The 14th Medical Group strives to keep their patients healthy by delivering the right care, the right way, at the right time. This also means avoiding unnecessary appointments that have little benefit to the patient. That's why the way Active Duty Preventive Health Assessments are conducted is being changed.
In the past during a patient's birth month, they came to the 14th MDG to have their PHA. At this time, the patient could be in perfect health, but they still had to come in. This inconvenienced the patient, their duty section and reduced appointment availability. This was not an efficient way to do business. In September the 14th MDG looked at the PHA process and how it could be improved. This new process was certified as an AF Best Practice during the Installation Excellence visit. The new process has been implemented, but several issues have been identified, some of which showed that the process has not been adequately explained to AD patients.
Approximately a month before the patient's birth month they will receive an email to conduct a web based health assessment. Two weeks will be given to complete the survey and should take only 15 to 20 minutes. Once the survey is complete, the patient will receive instant feedback on their current health and any risky behaviors that have been identified. The survey results and the patient records are reviewed by 14th MDG administrative personnel, technicians, nurses and then finally the doctor. They are looking for any concerning health issues the patient may have.
This process will be different for flyers and non-flyers. If the patient is a non-flyer, the results of the record review, and depending on if they are due for preventive services required according to your age and gender, will determine whether they need to be seen. For all non-flyers, about two weeks after completion of the online health assessment, an email regarding a yearly PHA will be sent. The message will say one of the following: 1) due to no outstanding health concerns you do not need to be seen at this time, 2) you do not need to be seen by a provider however you need to come to the clinic and complete labs or immunizations or 3) you must be seen by a provider and get labs and immunizations accomplished.
If an appointment is required, please plan on arriving at 1 p.m. no matter the appointment time. This is so labs, immunizations and any paperwork that is needed can be accomplished. If labs require fasting for 12 to14 hours, feel free to come in earlier. The patient should plan on spending the entire afternoon at the clinic. To make an appointment, log onto www.tricareonline.com to schedule a PHA. When booking an appointment choose Preventive Health Assessment as the appointment reason.
For all flyers after completing the online health assessment, call 434-2140 to schedule a PHA. PHAs for flyers are mandatory annual appointments to maintain flying status. Plan on arriving at the clinic at 7:15 a.m and spending the majority of the morning completing the PHA. Please do not book a PHA on TRICARE online, if this does happen the appointment will be rescheduled.
Student flight physicals are good for two years so all SUPT students are covered for their PHA while they are here. For all other AD members, completion of the Web-based health assessment is part of the mandatory yearly medical requirements. If any of these requirements are not met, a letter will be sent to notify the respective squadron commander.
As with any new process there are bound to be some bumps. For questions or concerns, call Ms. Sabrina Robinson at 434-2140 or if assistance is needed with TRICARE online, call 434-2139.