Monday, July 14, 2008

managing the military medical system

Last week (after dh dropped off the enrollment paperwork) I called the appt line and was able to get an appt for Theresa (I think because it's for a Rx) but they had none available for me. I was told to call back every few days... so today I called again and was told there were still not appts. I asked how far out they were booked and wasn't answered directly. I was told that the clinics release a few appts every few days or so ..... so I just had to keep calling every few days until something was available for a well woman appt.
I then got in touch with the patient advocate. I was told that she could get me an appt with another provider (appt clerk had not made that offer) but there was only ONE appt available and it didn't fit my calendar. I was also told that I was supposed to go to a Welcome Wellness class followed by a counseling session.... but even that wasn't available for over two weeks. Of course ever after I would have been to both those appts, I still wouldn't have my yearly visit.
I was frustrated and called the insurance company directly. They assured me that we did NOT have to be seen at the clinic on post but could use a civilian PCM. So I changed to the doctor I wanted in the first place (effective 1 Aug) and then called her office making an appt that fits my schedule.
Today Theresa has her appt on post so we'll see how that goes... she is currently taking a German Rx and it will be interesting to see if they can come up with an American equivalent.

8 comments:

RAnn said...

Have you read http://catholic-mom.blogspot.com/ ? She talks of much the same thing.

Renee said...

I have now :) Unfortunately that IS the way the military is... and since I've not had to use it much for the past four years, I am so over it... I"m just glad we were able to get a civilian doc

RAnn said...

Yea, I know. My folks gave up on using the military hospital years ago--just too much trouble.

Valerie said...

I'm glad you found a way around the predicament, Renee. I'd forgotten how annoying it was to navigate that system.

Janette said...

My suggestion is that you establish yourself on post after you are rolling (keeping your civilan dr). If things go right- and you can afford the copays when you retire- great. But, if things are tight and co pays become a nightmare- then you have an established "spot" with the military hospital. Once you have a spot- you need only to "check in every other year. Our hospital no longer accepts retirees- and the co pay is managable- but could have been a nightmare for this last surgery.
I love military medicine- it is always there if you need it and can be left behind if you can find another way. Much the way I envision universal health.
Three of my four sibs have no medical coverage----what a nightmare that is (at least from my stand point).

Renee said...

I can't have two PCMs - it's either on post or off post. The patient advocate did call me on Tues or Wed and was SHOCKED that I was able to switch to an offpost PCM. She thought maybe we were retired, I assured her that we were active duty and that I called Tricare direct and they insisted that Redstone was NOT restricted and that I could go off-post. I am fairly confident that Scott will be able to find a decent job when he retires so we shouldn't have a problem with copays. He's likely to end up with two retirements.

Cynthia said...

ACK! That would drive me NUTS! I'm not very toleramt of getting the run around!

Renee said...

Neither am I Cynthia. My stress level just skyrockets during things like this.