Sep 26 2014
I read an article in the Military Times titled “Tricare ‘meeting the needs’ of children, with some caveats.” It is an interesting article, although the title is a bit misleading. As the article starts out: “A recent Defense Department report finds that the military health system is meeting the needs of its youngest beneficiaries…” and, later:
“[The military health system] is meeting the needs of the children in its care, including those with special needs,” wrote members of the DoD working group that compiled the report. “The data confirm that the MHS provides comprehensive and high-quality health benefit programs for all children.”
However, the group behind the study did identify “several issues — including DoD’s lack of a centralized health data system — that make it difficult to draw direct, complete comparisons between care across the services or in military hospitals or clinics versus private care.”
I don’t know what the caveats are other than the lack of a centralized health data system. I would be curious to know. Obviously, the centralized system would be nice, but it seems normal that the services would only have a data system for their own members.
Now, this could lead to another caveat – have the medical services under one roof to improve service. Then there would be one data system, as well as a lot of money saved through such things as one surgeon general, one surgeon general’s staff, etc. I don’t know why Congress doesn’t focus on this option when discussing the budget as opposed to finding ways to have servicemembers shoulder the crisis through caps on raises or cutting back the retirement program.
Back to the military health care system and milkids; personally, we have had great experiences – from Japan, to D.C., to Germany. Currently, all of our kids see providers at the Air Force Academy clinic and our positive experiences continue. I like the mil system for a number of reasons: appointments are easily made; the TRICARE appointment reps are very friendly and helpful; the providers are very good; appointments run on a timely basis; all of the records are online; and, needed referrals (x-rays, pharmacy, etc.) are steps away from the provider’s office. Oh, and we never feel rushed at appointments.
I contrast this with my medical appointments off-base and the appointments I take my 92 year-old dad to once a month or so. Too many times the provider rushes through the appointment. And, after filling out 3 to 4 pages of information (most of it repeated on each page, and don’t get me started on the outdated requests for full social security numbers – I try to tell them that TRICARE is more advanced than their office is but the staffs don’t listen), we typically have 15 to 30 minute waiting times.
But the off-base providers sometimes sneak around this wait time – they call you in for vitals at the appointed time, making you think things are progressing – however you then sit on the treatment table for the usual wait time (why is this called a “table” by the way?) with a stack of out of date magazines from a publisher who writes about their advertisers.
Anyway, what are your experiences? We’d like to hear. MOAA Spouse is asking at their Facebook page. So go vent or compliment.
And, while at their page, you can post a question about why are they showing an adult military sniper at a Facebook post on care for kids. Maybe the guy is a bad shot and he is hunting with his kids. But he doesn’t look like Dick Cheney.