VFC Visitors Counter

This WeekThis Week9942
This MonthThis Month42286
All DaysAll Days4439206
Highest 06-21-2016 : 17814
Logged In Users 0
Guests 158
Registered Users 1808
Registered Today 0
  • Monitor Tricare


    Pentagon officials need to do more to make sure civilian health care providers are giving military families good care, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

    The report, released Sept. 17, found that while military health care officials have created a way to monitor whether families and troops are getting quality care from military treatment facilities, those same benchmarks aren't applied to community-based providers.

    "As a result, DoD's senior leadership has limited information on the extent to which Military Health System (MHS) beneficiaries receive consistently high-quality care across the MHS," the report states.

    To keep track of health care performance, the Defense Department has two sets of measurements -- one for military treatment facilities and one for civilian care.

    But for community-based care, rather than the providers and hospitals themselves, the Pentagon instead reviews the performance of Tricare's two civilian health care contractors, Health Net and Humana, using what's known as the Purchased Care Dashboard. The Pentagon expects those contractors, in turn, to monitor individual doctors and hospitals.

    But the providers' performance isn't based off the metrics created by the Pentagon, and details on whether the contracted doctors are providing good care aren't shared with military officials, the report found.

    "According to MHS officials, the MHS does not require the contractors to ensure that each individual hospital, physician or other provider in these networks meets the performance standards related to the Purchased Care Dashboard measures," the report states.

    And while the contractors are expected to make sure military families are receiving quality care, they aren't required to push out providers who don't perform, it adds.

    "In practice, however, MHS officials said, and documents we reviewed show, that providers are rarely removed from the network," the report says. "For example, MHS officials reported that one contractor estimated that one provider was removed from its network over quality issues every one to two years."

    Pentagon officials told GAO investigators that they don't require performance reports from individual doctors because they don't want to increase provider workloads. Instead, they said they are creating a series of "value-based" pilot programs that give extra incentives and rewards to providers who have good outcomes.

    The GAO found fault with that plan, however, because even when completely in place in 2020, those incentive programs would affect only about 25 percent of care. That means the bulk of patient experiences would be left without DoD oversight.

    "Without consistent performance standards and corrective action requirements, DoD is limited in its ability to address variation in the quality of care delivered and help ensure that its beneficiaries receive consistent high-quality care across the MHS," the report states.

    Instead, the auditors recommend that the Pentagon fix the Tricare East and West contracts to require action against providers who don't meet the standards.

    Defense officials countered that when it comes to the contracts, their hands are tied -- at least for now.

    "The Defense Health Agency will hold the contractor to the contractual performance standards, but currently cannot take action against individual providers based solely on performance," Pentagon officials said in a response included with the report.


    {jcomments on}

  • TRICARE Logo

    By law, the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) will end on Dec. 31, 2018. New dental plan options for those enrolled in TRDP will be available through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP). FEDVIP vision coverage will also be available for the first time.

    In case you missed the September webinar, join the TRICARE webinar on Oct. 11, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET, to learn about new dental and vision coverage under FEDVIP. The “New Dental and Vision Coverage Options for TRICARE Beneficiaries” webinar will discuss who is eligible for FEDVIP, as well as how and when to enroll.

    There’s no automatic enrollment into a new dental plan once TRDP ends. For 2019 dental coverage, retirees and their family members must take action to enroll in a FEDVIP plan. All beneficiaries eligible for TRDP are eligible for FEDVIP dental coverage. Visit the FEDVIP website for dental plan options.

    If you’re eligible, your first chance to enroll in FEDVIP is during the 2018 Federal Benefits Open Season. This runs from Nov. 12 through Dec. 10, 2018. Your coverage will then start Jan. 1, 2019.

    Retirees, retiree families, and active duty families are eligible for FEDVIP vision coverage. This year’s FEDVIP open season is also your first chance to enroll in a FEDVIP vision plan. If you enroll during open season, your coverage will start Jan. 1, 2019. Visit the FEDVIP website for vision plan options.

    Register to join us on Oct. 11 to learn more about the TRDP transition to FEDVIP and what the change means for you. A Q&A led by the presenters will follow the presentation.

    Keep updated on all of the TRICARE changes. For the latest on changes to TRICARE, visit TRICARE News and TRICARE Changes.


    {jcomments on}

  • Tricare Pmnt Glitch Snags


    More than 4,000 retired Tricare Prime users in the northern U.S. may not have paid their January enrollment fees due to a glitch caused during a contractor change this month.

  • TRICARE Logo


    If you’re eligible for TRICARE, you can choose from a variety of plans. This gives you options for where and how you seek medical care. But how do you decide which plan or plans are best for you and your family members? The TRICARE website can help you learn what health plans you may be eligible for and compare plan features and costs. This will help you choose the right TRICARE plan for you and your family.

    Find a TRICARE Plan

    If you aren’t sure what health plans you may be eligible for, start by using the TRICARE Plan Finder. Answer a few simple questions, and the tool will display the choices of plans you may be eligible for based on who you are and where you live. You can do this for yourself or for family members. Remember that different family members may be eligible for different plans.

    Compare Plans

    If you want to compare several health plans, you can compare their features side-by-side using the Compare Plans tool. Simply select the plans you’re interested in learning more about. The results will display in a table, allowing you to compare the main features and costs of each plan, including:

    • Cost for a primary or specialty care visit
    • Annual deductible
    • Maximum out-of-pocket costs
    • Enrollment requirements
    • Annual fee
    • Locations where the plan is available

    Take command of your health by making informed decisions about your TRICARE benefit. The TRICARE Plan Finder and Compare Plans are just two helpful tools that make it easier to determine the right health plan for you and your family.


    {jcomments on}

  • TRICARE Logo


    On July 13, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a voluntary recall of valsartan. Valsartan is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.

    The FDA announced the voluntary recall after finding an impurity linked to cancer in drug products containing valsartan.

    Not all valsartan-containing drugs are affected and have been recalled.

    Express Scripts identified 31,120 TRICARE beneficiaries who potentially received contaminated products through the mail order network or from retail pharmacies. The Department of Defense (DoD) sent notification letters to all beneficiaries who potentially received currently affected products.

    The FDA notes that because this is an ongoing investigation, more manufacturers may voluntarily recall their valsartan products. If additional valsartan products are added to the recall list, the DoD will continue to send letters to TRICARE beneficiaries who received contaminated products.

    Patients and prescribers are also encouraged to check the FDA website often for potential changes in the recall status of their valsartan medicine.

    If you take valsartan, the FDA recommends:

    • Continue taking your current medicine until your doctor or pharmacist gives you a replacement or a different treatment option.
    • If you are taking any medication containing valsartan, compare the information on your prescription bottle with the information in the recall list (company, National Drug Code, lot number) to determine if your current medicine has been recalled. If you are not certain, contact your pharmacist.
    • If you have medicine included in the recall, contact your pharmacist. The pharmacist may be able to provide you with valsartan made by another company. If not, contact your doctor immediately to discuss other treatment options.

    You can find the latest information about the recall and affected products on the FDA website.

    If you have more questions about the recall, contact the FDA or the Defense Health Agency (DHA) Pharmacy Operations:

    FDA: 855-543-3784 (toll-free) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    DHA: 866-275-4732, option 1 (toll-free) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    {jcomments on}

  • Website Updates 002 

Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.