Some Tricare users will soon be allowed to use in-network urgent care providers without receiving any authorization under a new Tricare pilot program set to start May 23, according to policy documents released Tuesday.
The three-year pilot, ordered by Congress as part of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, will allow most Tricare users two urgent care visits per beneficiary, per fiscal year without official authorization from a provider or official. After those two visits have been used, beneficiaries can continue to use urgent care as long as they receive a referral.
“The purpose of the pilot is to ... determine if the elimination of the requirement to obtain a referral or preauthorization for urgent care visits improves access to urgent care, helps enrollees to choose the most appropriate source for the health care they need,” according t a Tricare statement. The aim is to see if it “potentially lowers health care costs for the Department of Defense (DoD) and/or improves patient satisfaction.”
Currently Tricare Prime users must receive prior authorization to visit an urgent care. Emergency room visits, however, are free. Because of that military families often default to emergency room use when they cannot get an appointment with their primary care provider, military family watchdogs say. The urgent care pilot program, they say, is aimed at fixing that.
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Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has ordered the military to teach the lessons learned from the Kunduz airstrike that destroyed a hospital and killed at least 42 to all units before they deploy, with an emphasis on what to do when their technology breaks down, according to Military.com.
“I am committed to ensuring that similar incidents do not occur in the future,” Carter said in a memo to the service secretaries and combatant commanders that went out last Friday after the release of the 3,000-page U.S. Central Command investigation of the tragic incident in the early morning hours last Oct. 3.
Carter called on leaders to “incorporate the Kunduz scenario into pre-deployment training as an example of the complex environment into which units are deploying.” He also ordered them to "establish a standard operating procedure to address contingencies when systems fail."
Republicans in Congress have indicated that they like what’s been happening in North Carolina and want to see some of the same anti-LGBT discrimination at the federal level. Last week, they added an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act intended to roll back LGBT protections introduced by the Obama administration in 2014 in a way that mirrors North Carolina’s HB2, according to blog ThinkProgress.
Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) introduced his amendment shortly after midnight Friday morning in the House Armed Services Committee. Though the text of his measure does not specifically mention sexual orientation and gender identity, it is that absence that actually defines what he hoped to accomplish with it.
Federal law does not explicitly offer any protections in employment, housing, or public accommodations to LGBT people, though some oversight has been inconsistently secured under protections based on “sex”. That’s why in 2014, President Obama issued an executive orderdeclaring that any entity that contracts with the United States must have a policy protecting its LGBT employees. Though it did not protect all workers across the country, it still impacted some 28 million employees at some 30,000 companies and also incentivized some to establish inclusive policies that previously did not exist — most notably at ExxonMobil.
CIA Director John Brennan said Sunday that 28 classified pages of a bipartisan commission's report on the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks contains “uncorroborated, unvetted information” that some could seize upon to claim Saudi Arabian involvement in the attacks.
Brennan, speaking on NBC's ‘Meet The Press,’ said such claims would be “very, very inaccurate,” according to Fox News.
The Obama administration may soon release at least part of the secret chapter, which some believe shows a Saudi connection to the Al Qaeda attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa.
A groundswell to declassify the documents began last month, when former Florida Sen. Bob Graham told CBS' "60 Minutes" he believed the 19 hijackers ‘substantially” received support from officials in Saudi Arabia's government and prominent members of society.
The 28 pages were withheld from the 838-page report on the orders of then-President George W. Bush, who said the release could divulge intelligence sources and methods. In mid-April, the White House told Graham that it would decide whether to declassify the material within 60 days.