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Military Health System

Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy Expands Access to MHS Care

Image of Infographic featuring Lt Col Legault. The MHS’s Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy is a force multiplier that saves time, improves processes, and removes barriers to care for those we serve.

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Part of putting patients at the center of everything we do is ensuring patients can quickly access high-quality care – particularly specialty care – wherever they happen to be.

Virtual health is central to increasing timely access to care, which is why the MHS has Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy. This fast, efficient process that enables providers to file one application and get permission to virtually treat patients anywhere in the Military Health System.

Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy plays a crucial role in meeting one of the MHS's biggest clinical needs: expanding access to limited specialty-care resources across the enterprise, especially to small, remote locations.

The single, centralized process has also made it up to 30 times faster for providers to get permission to deliver care virtually at military hospitals and clinics. It only takes three to five days, down from 90 days or more.

The MHS's Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy is a force multiplier that saves time, improves processes, and removes barriers to care for those we serve.

By facilitating virtual health across state and federal jurisdictions, the process is an invaluable tool to increase military readiness, improve access, improve outcomes, and lower costs.

Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy offers providers opportunities to improve all care, both virtual and in person. The process enables providers to deliver virtual care when appropriate and focus more effectively on patients that need in-person treatment.

It also enables providers to share their expertise outside their home facilities to help patients around the world.

Easing the Burden

The MHS Virtual Medical Center coordinates Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy as part of helping execute virtual health care across the MHS.

The process decreases administrative burdens on military hospitals and clinics by handling two key tasks:

  1. It confirms provider's credentials and privileges at their primary facilities.
  2. It then facilitates providers getting the same privileges for virtual care at other facilities, enabling quick access to patients at different locations as needed.

COVID-19 Impact

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the MHS to rapidly expand the reach and capabilities of its virtual health offerings to ensure continuity of care while keeping providers and patients safe.

Now that virtual health has become a permanent, growing part of MHS care delivery, many providers – and their patients – want to continue using virtual care.

Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy plays an essential role in meeting that demand. By expediting review and approval of providers to work virtually at other sites, the process enables providers and facilities to focus on delivering care more effectively – whether that care is in-person or virtual.

Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy will continue to help ensure service members, retirees, and their families get the care they deserve.

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This Practice Management Guide does not supersede DOD Policy. It is based upon the best information available at the time of publication. It is designed to provide information and assist decision making. It is not intended to define a standard of care and should not be construed as one. Neither should it be interpreted as prescribing an exclusive course of management. It was developed by experts in this field. Variations in practice will inevitably and appropriately occur when clinicians take into account the needs of individual patients, available resources, and limitations unique to an institution or type of practice. Every healthcare professional making use of this guideline is responsible for evaluating the appropriateness of applying it in the setting of any particular clinical situation. The Practice Management Guide is not intended to represent TRICARE policy. Further, inclusion of recommendations for specific testing and/or therapeutic interventions within this guide does not guarantee coverage of civilian sector care. Additional information on current TRICARE benefits may be found at www.tricare.mil or by contacting your regional TRICARE Managed Care Support Contractor.

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This Practice Management Guide does not supersede DOD Policy. It is based upon the best information available at the time of publication. It is designed to provide information and assist decision making. It is not intended to define a standard of care and should not be construed as one. Neither should it be interpreted as prescribing an exclusive course of management. It was developed by experts in this field. Variations in practice will inevitably and appropriately occur when clinicians take into account the needs of individual patients, available resources, and limitations unique to an institution or type of practice. Every healthcare professional making use of this guideline is responsible for evaluating the appropriateness of applying it in the setting of any particular clinical situation. The Practice Management Guide is not intended to represent TRICARE policy. Further, inclusion of recommendations for specific testing and/or therapeutic interventions within this guide does not guarantee coverage of civilian sector care. Additional information on current TRICARE benefits may be found at www.tricare.mil or by contacting your regional TRICARE Managed Care Support Contractor.

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Last Updated: August 10, 2022
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