MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
In order to align with a recent Air Force Medical Service policy update, the 23d Medical Group is slated to reassign approximately 1,560 retirees and their dependents to off-base TRICARE providers, on Aug. 17, 2018, here.
The update requires all Air Force Military Treatment Facilities to reduce provider-to-patient ratios from 1,250-to-1 down to 1,100-to-1, a change designed to align with the Army and Navy healthcare rules when all services fall under the Defense Health Agency for clinical operations.
“With the new rules in place, we will only be able to care for 8,800 beneficiaries, or about 1,500 less,” said Col. Jay Vietas, 23d MDG commander. “If you have recently tried to make an appointment, it has probably already been a challenge and I anticipate it is not going to get better for a while. This change will address provider shortages, mitigate long wait times and ensure access to quality care for all our beneficiaries.”
Currently, the Moody Clinic has four primary care managers (PCM), two Family Heath and two Pediatric, who provide care to approximately 10,300 beneficiaries. Under the previous policy, this patient load would require more than eight PCMs. Under the new policy, it requires more than nine PCMs; three more than the clinic has when fully staffed.
“Due to a brutal summer permanent change of station (PCS) cycle, we are currently short four providers and don’t expect to have our full complement of providers until January of 2019,” said Vietas. “We already have a limited number of appointments for our dependents and retirees, so the time is right to make this enrollment change to ensure the best access for all our beneficiaries.
“While this change may seem abrupt, when you look at the mandate and our numbers, the timing just makes sense,” said Vietas. “As part of our decision-making process to enroll retirees and their families in the local network, we did market research to ensure there are an adequate number of providers who accept TRICARE. We are confident that this change will result in the best 'Trusted Care' for all beneficiaries."
Affected beneficiaries have until August 16 to select their preferred PCM from the list of network providers maintained by Humana Military, who is the contractor for TRICARE East.
“The list is arranged by Humana Military and updated by the providers themselves, but we have received some complaints that it may not be accurate,” said Vietas. “If it is not accurate, a complaint should be filed with Humana Military so other individuals are not misinformed in the future.”
After the Aug. 17 deadline, beneficiaries will be automatically assigned to one of the 127 providers within the TRICARE defined local area, which is a 60-mile radius from the member’s home zip code.
“Between your local Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance Coordinators (BCAC) there is no ‘I’ because ‘we’ are dedicated to ensuring TRICARE information and ongoing assistance with healthcare services during this foundational transition between our Prime enrollees and civilian network providers,” said Dennis Harris, 23d MDG BCAC. “We (will also) help promote the best military customer service community both on-and-off base with the aid of our local Humana-Military Health System Consultant.”
The 23d Medical Group BCACs are committed to ensuring the transition between providers is as smooth as possible and if beneficiaries experience issues or have questions about the process, they should contact Humana-Military.
Although these beneficiaries will no longer be assigned a provider on Moody AFB, they will still have access to Laboratory, Radiology, Pharmacy, and limited diagnostic services as well as beneficiary counseling and assistance services.
“We are very thankful for our retirees’ service and what they’ve done for our country,” said Col. Jennifer Short, 23d Wing commander. “We want our retirees and their dependents to get the quality care they need and deserve and ensure the transition works as we reassign them downtown."
For more information about this reassignment see the list below:
23d Medical Group Facebook page: www.facebook.com/23MDG
-The latest information and avenue to submit direct message to 23d MDG
Text Us Now: 229-257-3276 (text message only)
-Direct text message access to Patient Advocate Team
23d Medical Group Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance
-Contact for questions and concerns regarding your benefits and claims
Mr. Dennis Harris 229-257-4932
Ms. Dorothy Bell 229-257-4355
23d Medical Group Patient Advocate and Quality Manager
-Contact for issues or concerns with your new PCM or patient care
Ms. Phaydra Crews 229-257-3322
Humana Military and TRICARE
-Contact with questions or inquiries about claims, TRICARE programs, behavioral health matters, filing grievances and more
1-800-444-5445 or visit www.HumanaMilitary.com
Nurse Advice Line
-24/7 help with urgent care questions and needs
1-800-874-2273 (option 1)
-Contact with questions regarding your medical record