Access to Care continues to evolve for the Defense Health Agency Low Country Market serving Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield medical treatment facilities, providing quality care to TRICARE beneficiaries.
The Low Country Market is comprised of five medical and four dental treatment facilities including Winn Army Community Hospital, Tuttle Army Health Clinic, Richmond Hill Medical Home, Hawks and Marne North Troop Medical Clinics.
The installation medical treatment facilities support the healthcare needs for approximately 51,000 Soldiers, Families, and retired beneficiaries. With programs like TRICARE Select and other TRICARE Network providers, the number of beneficiaries serviced in the Low Country Market expands to more than 70,000.
The 3rd Infantry Division helps support the healthcare mission with trained personnel and resources.
“The 3rd Infantry Division's team of medical professionals include healthcare specialists (68Ws), nurses, physician assistants, physicians, physical therapists, and behavioral health professionals,” said 3rd ID Surgeon, Lt. Col. Katie Westerfield. “Our team integrates with the Army Health System and the Defense Health Agency Low Country Market to provide timely high-quality full-spectrum healthcare for our Soldiers — wherever they are.”
Active-duty Service Members can access care in multiple ways. Sick-call is available daily at battalion aid stations and troop medical clinics (TMCs). During Sick-call, a healthcare specialist utilizes Algorithm Directed Troop Medical Care (ADTMC) to triage Service Members to the appropriate level of care and provides limited protocol directed therapies for self-limited conditions. TMCs also provide routine primary care, physicals, immunizations, and contraceptive services. In addition, services such as optometry, radiology, laboratory, pharmacy, physical therapy and medical records support are available at TMCs. Behavioral health consultants (BHCs) are also available within the TMCs to provide life- coaching, assistance with coping skills, and solution focused short-term interventions. Furthermore, Embedded Behavioral Health (EBH) Clinics are aligned with operational units to provide timely behavioral health care to Service Members via appointment. Information about the various clinics can be found at winn.tricare.mil/Clinics.
Dental services include comprehensive dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics, endodontics, and oral surgery. Dental Sick call is available 7:30 a.m. to 9.m. Dental facilities, hours and contact numbers can be found at winn.tricare.mil/Health-Services/Dental. For dental or medical emergencies, visit the Winn ACH Emergency Department.
Howard Cary, Chief of Clinical Business Operations at Winn ACH, said providing quality healthcare in a timely manner is essential. The Defense Health Agency standards include providing access for acute care within 24 hours; routine care within 7 days; and physicals and specialty care with 28 days.
He said new technologies, partnerships and community feedback has helped streamline practices and expand capabilities to meet those goals.
“Innovations like the Department of Defense’s new electronic healthcare record system - MHS GENESIS and its Patient Portal, provide beneficiaries tools to view their health information and test results; schedule appointments; and request prescription refills.”
Cary said the portal is a helpful supplement to access to care tools like the appointment call center, 435-6633, and the MHS NurseAdviceLine.com for web or video chat, or dialing 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273), option 1.
“We also optimized pediatric services,” Cary said. “We hired additional pediatricians and shifted some of our younger beneficiaries from Primary Care; allowing improved access to both clinics.”
Increased access to care is also being supported by the Winn Hospital, with support of the 14th Field Hospital, with a shared Computed Tomography Scanner. The 14th FH CT Scanner is used in diagnosing, treating, and occasional intervening in patients experiencing emergent as well as non-emergent medical adversity.
Other technology leaps that are expected to increase access to care have been made in Pharmacy services including Q=anywhere, the ScriptCenter, and Express Scripts.
Using Q-Anywhere, Individuals can reduce pharmacy wait times by texting "Get in line” to 1-833-457-2014. They will receive a response text asking for their Department of Defense Identification number. Upon receipt of the DOD ID, their prescription will be filled. When it is ready, they will be notified to pick it up. The beneficiary only need reply back “I am here” when they arrive in the lobby.
The ScriptCenter is an automated pharmacy kiosk and locker system that provides a safe and secure pick-up of prescriptions. On Fort Stewart, the ScriptCenter is co-located at Winn ACH’s Emergency Room lobby, healthcare products 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. On Hunter Army Airfield, the ScriptCenter is located in the Hunter Exchange lobby, 130 Haley Drive Building 6020. It is available 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Express Scripts is a program for active duty service members, military retirees and their families to get medications delivered directly to your home. Express Scripts, www.express-scripts.com, notes medication can be delivered to your door within 5-7 days, and offers trained pharmacist to answer questions, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Additional information can be found about Q-Anywhere, the ScriptCenter or Express Scripts at winn.tricare.mil/Health-Services/Pharmacy.
Community members are encouraged to learn more about these topics by tuning in to the monthly Low Country Beneficiary Town Hall, hosted on the Low Country Market Facebook site at fb.com/Winncares. Please tune in and feel free to ask questions.