JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
Dear San Antonio Market Military Families:
I trust that you have already heard about our upcoming transition to a new electronic health record, or EHR.
On Jan. 22, 2022, our existing record AHLTA, will be turned off and our new record MHS Genesis will be turned on. Rest assured that none of your existing medical information will disappear. We will still have access to all of your prior records of care. While this will initially be disruptive, in the end, medical documentation, coordination of care, our ability to track preventive screenings, and our ability to track your health outcomes will be improved.
In the coming years, as the Department of Veteran Affairs rolls out their new EHR, called Millennium, we will be able to link the systems and offer a seamless transition from military medicine to the VA with your electronic records intact and following you into their system. We are committed to ensuring you are cared for during this temporary transition and want to be your place of care for the long term.
Starting Jan. 3, 2022, we began reducing the number of appointments we offer daily by approximately 50%, across all specialties, so we can continue training our staff and work with them to become proficient in the new EHR system.
It is going to take some time as this system is very different from our current system, and appointment reductions will continue to a lesser extent into February and March as we build up proficiency in the system. We wanted to let you know what to expect during this time and how to access healthcare while we are going through this transition.
For primary care needs, we will predominantly see patients with chronic medical conditions or those needing preventive health screenings in our military clinics. We will have some same-day access for acute or urgent needs but will be deferring most to the TRICARE network.
To access primary care services we ask you to first call our Central Appointment Management Office (CAMO) at 210-916-9900 to check if your Primary Care Manager, or PCM, has an available appointment that fits your needs. During this period, you will be unable to make appointments online. If your need is for acute or urgent care, and there are no available appointments, you have several options to choose from:
- Ask the CAMO agent to send a secure message to your PCM team.
- You can send a secure message to your PCM team through TRICARE Online (until the end of the day on Jan. 21, 2022) or the MHS Genesis Patient Portal (starting Jan. 22, 2022).
- Seek care at one of our pre-screened Urgent Care Clinics in the TRICARE Network:
- Any MedPost Urgent Care Clinic
- Any Little Spurs Urgent Care Clinic (Pediatric only)
- Fast Tex Urgent Care in Cibolo
- You can always go to any Urgent Care Clinic of your choosing. The above are preferred sites that have agreed to support us during this period.
- Contact the Nurse Advice Line (NAL) at MHSNurseAdviceLine.com or call 1-800-TRICARE, option 1 or through our CAMO phone tree.
- Utilize the Humana Military Doctor on Demand Tele-Urgent Care Service by registering at https://doctorondemand.com/microsite/humanamilitary/ or using their mobile app.
TRICARE Prime family members and retirees do not require a referral to go to Urgent Care Centers, or UCCs, in the network, however, active duty patients do. Active duty patients must obtain a referral for Urgent Care in the network either from their PCM team or by calling the NAL.
As a reminder, Urgent Care Clinics are not Primary Care. Appropriate reasons to seek care at an Urgent Care Clinic include, but are not limited to: cold, flu, or allergy symptoms; non-chronic cough; nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; new bone, muscle, or joint pain or concern; and minor cuts, bumps, or bruises. These clinics will not be able to refill chronic medications nor order lab work for chronic conditions or preventive screening services. Please continue to work with your PCM team for those.
For specialty care, you still require a referral from your PCM. However, capacity within our specialty care clinics will also be reduced so there is a greater likelihood that you will be deferred to one of our TRICARE network partners. During this time we will be allowing patients to book initial specialty care visits out 60 days in an attempt to keep more of your care within our facilities.
The processes to access Behavioral Health care will remain largely unchanged, but they too will have a reduction in the number of appointments.
Non-Active Duty TRICARE Prime patients may opt to use the new Humana Military Telemynd Tele-Behavioral Health service by contacting them at 1-866-991-2103, option 1, or telemynd.com/humanamilitary.
As always, if you are in a crisis or feel you or a loved one needs immediate help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), option 1, or seek care in your nearest Emergency Department. The Telemynd service requires a referral for active duty patients to use. We are still working with Humana to streamline that process so it is as seamless as possible for our active duty patients.
We empathize with you regarding the disruptiveness to come in the next few months with this transition. This change is needed and will allow us to provide you with better, more efficient, and safe care across the entire care continuum.
We apologize to those of you who will have to seek care in the network during this time but want to assure you that we are committed to maintaining your care during and through this transition and beyond. We appreciate your patience through this time and please keep checking our social media pages for updates on our progress.
(Editor's note: The San Antonio Market is one of 20 large health care markets that report directly to the Defense Health Agency.)