Cuts could impact TRICARE users

Low reimbursements are the top reason physicians say they turn away beneficiaries who use TRICARE Standard, the military’s fee-for-service insurance option, or TRICARE Extra, the preferred provider option, according to TRICARE health care provider surveys. Access to health care for these two groups of beneficiaries could become an even bigger challenge thanks to the convoluted […]

Walgreens leaving Tricare pharmacy program

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CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Kwame Griffith, a graduate pharmacy intern at Walgreens in Clovis, enters orders into the Walgreens system Thursday. Liliana Castillo Just over 89,000 Tricare beneficiaries in New Mexico will be affected by Walgreens leaving the Tricare’s drug network. Walgreens says it will split with Express Scripts, the company that manages Tricare’s […]

Military touts medical home care

Most military beneficiaries haven’t heard of PCMH or “patient-centered medical home,” a civilian-conceived strategy to improve managed care. Yet 655,000 military beneficiaries who use base clinics and hospitals have been enrolled with a PCMH team over the past 14 months and that number is projected to double this year and double again, to 2.5 million […]

New contractors for TRICARE

By Tom Philpott: Military update Six million military health care beneficiaries, those who live in TRICARE’s North and South regions, will have new managed care support contractors and claim processors to deal with by April. In a surprise development, two of three current TRICARE contractors — Health Net Federal Services and Humana Military Healthcare Services […]

Late fee waived for Medicare Part D

CNJ Staff Low-income Medicare beneficiaries in New Mexico who are not getting federal prescription drug benefits can still apply for prescription coverage without a late fee, according to a news release from U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M. The Department of Health and Human Services has eliminated 2007 Medicare Part D late enrollment penalties for low-income […]

Benefit program deadline approaching

By Pete Domenici: Guest columnist The May 15 deadline for signing up for Medicare prescription drug benefits is quickly approaching and there are still thousands of New Mexicans, particularly low-income residents, who have not signed up. Because we built in extra compensations to help poor seniors, I strongly encourage them to act now to sign […]

Military update: Campaign targets mail-order drug usage

By Tom Phllpott: Last year, only 6 percent of 6.6 million military beneficiaries with prescriptions to fill used the low-cost TRICARE Mail Order Program. By contrast, 51 percent had at least one prescription filled through TRICARE’s more costly retail network. The rising popularity of the retail drug benefit versus near “flat line” usage of mail […]

Senior department holding meeting

CNJ staff The New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department will be holding a series of educational meetings throughout the state to discuss the new Medicare prescription drug plans. Representatives will conduct a Clovis meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Friendship Senior Center located at 901 West 13th. The meeting is free and open […]

Cost-efficient drugs stressed with health plans

By Tom Philpott: Military Digest Congress five years ago approved a Defense Department plan to slow pharmacy cost growth by creating a uniform drug formulary for the military, and by imposing higher co-payments on drugs knocked off the list as too expensive and no more effective than other medicines. Finally, the process of identifying these […]