Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Deployment health screenings revised

Feb. 9, 2013 - 10:35AM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 9, 2013 - 10:35AM  |  
Seaman Rachael Pederson draws blood from a patient at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Marines now need fewer medical appointments before and after deployments because some physical and mental health assessments have been rolled into a single visit.
Seaman Rachael Pederson draws blood from a patient at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Marines now need fewer medical appointments before and after deployments because some physical and mental health assessments have been rolled into a single visit. (Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado / Marine Corps)
  • Filed Under

Changes to the medical policy for pre- and post-deployment health assessments are making the process more convenient for Marines and sailors. The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center has combined mental and physical health screenings for deploying service members, an administrative change that means Marines will have to schedule fewer doctor visits, but will receive the same amount of health care.

  • Please enable JavaScript for your browser in order to use marinecorpstimes.com.com.
Want to read more?
Current Subscribers
Access to Marine Corps Times Prime is free for current Marine Corps Times subscribers.
Log in
Haven't registered online?
Activate Account
New Subscribers
Start your subscription to Marine Corps Times Prime for as little as 59¢ a week!
Subscribe

Changes to the medical policy for pre- and post-deployment health assessments are making the process more convenient for Marines and sailors. The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center has combined mental and physical health screenings for deploying service members, an administrative change that means Marines will have to schedule fewer doctor visits, but will receive the same amount of health care.

Any Marine, sailor, Coast Guardsman or Defense Department civilian who spends at least 30 days with boots on the ground in U.S. Central Command takes the assessments. Personnel who remain on ships are exempt. In 2012, nearly 120,000 Marines completed the process.

Marines and sailors previously took seven assessments before and after a deployment. This included three physical health assessments and four mental health assessments. Now two of the mental health assessments have been combined with two physical assessments, reducing the total to five.

As of Jan. 1, troops must complete a pre-deployment assessment; a post-deployment assessment; a post-deployment reassessment; plus two mental health assessments within 30 months of the end of the deployment. Under the new policy, mental health screenings have been rolled into the pre-deployment assessment and the post-deployment reassessment.

The screenings are meant to identify potential physical or mental health problems. A pre-deployment visit might mean answering questions about medication or recent health problems. After your stint in CENTCOM, you'll be asked if you are experiencing depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress or sleep problems that could be tied to the deployment.

The number of medical evals has grown through the years as concerns about health — particularly mental health — have emerged from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2005, there were only two assessments. That number gradually increased, and Congress mandated mental health tests in 2011. The Navy couldn't immediately combine the mental and physical assessments because it needed to get new forms approved. "This meant a member had to complete seven separate health assessments for one deployment over a 2½-year period," said Chris Rennix, head of the Epidemiology Data Department at NMCPHC.

Participants log into an NMCPHC website, https://data.nmcphc.med.navy.mil/edha, and complete a series of questions. From there, they schedule an appointment with a medical provider trained for these assessments. A person who is relatively healthy without any lingering problems will likely spend 15 to 20 minutes with his or her health care provider, but others with health concerns could take up to 20 minutes longer.

"Most units and commands do the deployment health assessment as a group to efficiently use the medical provider's time and to keep compliance rates high," Rennix said.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Marine Corps Times

This Week's Marine Corps Times

Best in the Corps
Super Squad competitions are sweeping through the fleet

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook