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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 319-98
June 23, 1998

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT EXPANDED HEALTH CARE INITIATIVES ANNOUNCED AT "FAMILY RE-UNION 7 CONFERENCE"

Today in Nashville, Tenn., at "Family Re-Union 7: Families and Health," an annual family policy conference moderated by Vice President Al Gore Jr., Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Sue Bailey announced two new family health care initiatives. The initiatives stated by Bailey are "Put Prevention into Practice Program," and the institution of family-centered health care consumer councils.

By April 1999, the Department of Defense will implement the "Put Prevention into Practice Program" throughout the military system. As part of the program, military members and their families will participate in a Health Enrollment and Assessment Review (HEAR). The HEAR report will allow both military health care providers and patients to work together as a team to identify health risk factors, target areas of improvement and set intermediate goals.

The Health Enrollment and Assessment Review will be administered annually to all TRICARE PRIME beneficiaries. It will help ensure that all infants, children and adults are given the appropriate immunizations and preventive screenings, such as mammograms, at the appropriate time.

By the end of 1998, all 588 military hospitals and clinics will have active health care consumer councils engaged in promoting better health care for military personnel and their families. The health care consumer councils will involve representatives of active duty and retired personnel, and their families. They will serve as a forum for patients and their families to express their concerns about health programs, policies, and services to hospital and clinic commanders.

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