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Military Health System Commits $180M to Telehealth Expansion

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   October 20, 2023

The health system serving the nation’s active-duty military members and their families has selected Amwell and Leidos to create a ‘Digital First’ platform that emphasizes hybrid care.

Federal officials have selected Amwell and Leidos to create a $180 million hybrid care platform that will replace the Military Health System (MHS) Video Connect program.

The US Defense Health Agency (DHA) selected the two companies to power what it calls a “Digital First” strategy for the nation’s 9.6 million active-duty service members, family members, and retirees. The platform, to be rolled out over the next two years, will include virtual care and digital health tools and integrate with the MHS GENESIS electronic health record platform.

The announcement comes at a crucial time for the MHS, which is dealing with a surge in mental health cases and reports that only half of those needing help have access to providers. In related news, earlier this month the Department of Veterans Affairs announced agreements with 13 health systems across the country to share EHR data to improve healthcare access for veterans.

The announcements represent a commitment to hybrid care, particularly telehealth and digital health, in the nation’s largest health system, and the understanding that active-duty military members, veterans, and their families need to have multiple options to access care.

Through the task order, Amwell’s Converge platform, which offers virtual and digital healthcare services, will be offered to military members and their families through the Leidos Partnership for Defense Health, a health information system supported by Leidos, Oracle Cerner, Accenture and Henry Schein One and some 35 smaller organizations.

“Digital First addresses DHA’s goal of better outcomes, new processes, innovation, and increased standardization based on evidence,” Jason McCarthy, senior vice president of military and veterans health solutions for Leidos, said in a press release. “As part of our overall MHS GENESIS effort to enhance patient experience, we, along with Amwell, are looking forward to providing near real-time, self-service support and hybrid care options for our customer and those whom they serve.”

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, and Pharma for HealthLeaders.


The US Defense Department’s healthcare arm is dealing with a shortage of mental health providers and a lack of access for military members, veterans, and their families who need mental healthcare.

To improve access, the Military Health System is replacing its Video Connect program with a hybrid platform developed by Amwell and Leidos that will support virtual and digital health tools as well as in-person care.

The rollout of the $180 million ‘Digital First’ program will come in stages over the next two years.

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