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Telehealth Program

The Virtual Health Clinical Integration Office provides functional leadership, planning, and clinical guidance for Military Health System enterprise virtual health (telehealth) efforts.

VH CLIO works closely with the Virtual Medical Center and the virtual health programs across the military services, markets and at major military treatment facilities worldwide to enable quality, consistent delivery of virtual health care to military service members, retirees, and their families.

What is Virtual Health?

Virtual health, telehealth, and telemedicine all mean the same thing. These terms describe a patient using technology (computer, smartphone, or tablet, for example) to access their health care.

Are you a provider?

MHS virtual health provider

As a provider in a military hospital or clinic, the Virtual Medical Center serves as a resource for information on how to incorporate virtual health technology into practice. To get started, visit the VMC SharePoint Site.

Virtual Health Provider Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a patient?

MHS provider engaged in a virtual health care encounterVirtual health is a safe, convenient, and effective way to access the Military Health System. You can engage with your health care team from the comfort of your own home.

We've been expanding its virtual health capabilities. Contact your provider to learn about virtual health options available to you at your military hospital or clinic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Technical Guidance

Q1:

What kind of equipment do I need to have a virtual health visit?

A:

All you need is your phone, smartphone, tablet, or computer depending on the type of virtual visit. For a virtual video visit using a computer, you will need to ensure that your computer has video capability or that you have a web camera attached. Many people also prefer to use a headset for privacy.  

Q2:

I'm not good with technology. Is virtual health right for me?

A:

Absolutely! Patients of all ages and different experience levels with technology use virtual health to complete medical appointments. Virtual health visits can be as simple as receiving a phone call or as easy as using a mobile app like FaceTime or Skype.

Q3:

What should I do if I'm having technical problems?

A:

Confirm your provider has your phone number at the start of an appointment. If a technical problem occurs, your provider will contact you by phone to complete your visit. 

Appointment Guidance

Q1:

How do I sign up?

A:

Generally, there is no requirement to sign up for virtual services, but it is best to check with your military hospital or clinic. Your facility staff may also wish to confirm that you have appropriate equipment to participate in virtual visits. 

Q2:

How can a health care professional care for me without seeing me in person?

A:

Many health care interactions can be done virtually when a professional can see or speak with you. If a physical exam is needed, the health care professional may request that they see you in person. 

Q3:

What time can I have a virtual health appointment with my provider?

A:

Appointment times vary, much like in-person appointments. When scheduling your visit, staff will let you know if virtual appointments are available. 

Q4:

What kind of services are available virtually?

A:

There are many different virtual health services, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Primary care appointments (including items like medication refills, lab result reviews, contraceptive counseling, aches and pains, minor skin conditions, minor respiratory illness, and more)
  • Behavioral health counseling appointments
  • Follow-up appointments for surgeries or other procedures
  • Appointments for many other medical and surgical specialties

Check with your MTF staff to see what conditions they treat virtually. 

Insurance Guidance

Q1:

Will my insurance cover a virtual health visit?

A:

If you are a Department of Defense beneficiary receiving virtual health care from a military hospital or clinic, your virtual health visit is covered. To find out more about covered services for TRICARE, please visit https://tricare.mil/CoveredServices/IsItCovered/Telemedicine.

Privacy and Safety

Q1:

Is virtual health safe?

A:

Yes! Virtual health is a safe and effective way to extend the delivery of health care and limit the amount of time you spend traveling to the clinic or health care facility. Health care professionals are held to the same standards of care, privacy, and confidentiality as an in-person visit.

Q2:

Are virtual health visits recorded?

A:

No. Virtual Health visits are never recorded without your direct consent. As with any clinical visit, a health care professional will document the visit in your electronic health record. 

Q3:

What if I try virtual health but I don't like it?

A:

Virtual health is a way of expanding your access to care options. If you find it is not for you, just let your provider know if you prefer to have an in-person visit. 

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Last Updated: July 11, 2023
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