3rd party insurance funds improve Lyster clinic services
August 20, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Patients benefit when they notify Lyster Army Health Clinic of any applicable third party insurance companies, according to clinic staff.
Lyster receives extra funding to provide Soldiers and Families better services from third party sources. Notification is not only helpful, it is required.
The Third Party Insurance Collection program was established by Public Law 101-510, so military treatment facilities can bill private insurance companies for health care costs, said Martha Frausto, LAHC public affairs officer. The government absorbs deductable and co-payment costs, saving patients money.
All LAHC beneficiaries can participate by completing Department of Defense Form 2569 annually.
Some MTF patients elect to purchase commercial health insurance or accept health care benefits provided by employers, in addition to any Army and Tricare benefits they receive, said Lt. Col. Joseph D. Graham, LAHC deputy commander for administration.
Individuals sometimes choose to have extra coverage since commercial insurers may provide additional treatment options not available through Tricare, he said.
"It's all about the choice," Graham said. "It saves a lot of money for the Family members when and if they have to use that other health insurance, and the money (Lyster receives from third party insurance companies) goes back into the facility."
Funds received from third party companies have been used to hire extra providers, open an MRI facility and allow pharmacy staff to offer a wider selection of drugs, said Phyllis Perdue, LAHC third party collections lead.
Filling out DD Form 2569 is mandated by law, Graham noted, so every Soldier, retiree and Family member who uses any Lyster services must complete the form, even if they do not use third party insurance.
"We're required to have that form on file for everybody we service," Graham said. "Without getting information and the tools necessary, it's hard to keep our doors open."
Once beneficiaries complete the form, those with third party insurance are given green insurance verification cards, Graham said. Patients must bring these with them to each visit, otherwise they must complete additional paperwork every time.
"(The cards) make it simple and efficient," he said.
All LAHC staff has undergone training to answer any questions patients may have, Perdue noted.
For more information, call the Third Party Insurance Collection Office at 255-7139, 255-7241 or 255-7689.