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Rule

TRICARE; Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS); Nonavailability Statement Requirement for Maternity Care

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary, DoD.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule implements Section 712(c) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Pub. L. No. 106-65), which requires that a nonavailability-of-health-care statement shall be required for a beneficiary not enrolled in TRICARE Prime for TRICARE cost-share of maternity care services related to outpatient prenatal, outpatient or inpatient delivery, and outpatient post-partum care subsequent to the visit which confirms the pregnancy. The Act reestablishes a requirement which was previously eliminated under the broad direction of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 1997, section 734, which removed authority for nonavailability statements (NASs) for outpatient services. Therefore, the Act changes the provisions which require an NAS for inpatient delivery, but do not require an NAS for outpatient prenatal and post-partum care. The change will significantly contribute to continuity of care for maternity patients. In furtherance of that principle, and consistent with the previous policy, an NAS for maternity care shall not be required when a beneficiary has other health insurance for primary coverage.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This rule is effective October 5, 1999, the effective date of Section 712(c) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Pub. L. No. 106-65), which imposes the requirement.

ADDRESSES:

TRICARE Management Activity, Medical Benefits and Reimbursement Systems, 16401 East Centretech Parkway, Aurora, CO 80011-9043.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tariq Shahid, Medical Benefits and Reimbursement Systems, TRICARE Management Activity, telephone (303) 676-3801.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Final Rule Provisions

This final rule implements section 712(c) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Pub. L. No. 106-65) which requires that a nonavailability-of-health-care statement shall be required for TRICARE/CHAMPUS cost-share of maternity care services related to outpatient prenatal, outpatient or inpatient delivery, and outpatient post-partum care subsequent to the visit which confirms the pregnancy. The nonavailability statement (NAS) requirement applies to non-enrolled TRICARE beneficiaries who live in a catchment area of a military treatment facility (MTF). Except for an emergency or when there is other primary health insurance coverage, these beneficiaries are required to obtain all maternity care from the MTF. If care is unavailable at the MTF, an NAS will be issued for the beneficiary. The Act changes the existing provisions which require an NAS for inpatient delivery but do not require an NAS for outpatient prenatal, outpatient delivery and post-partum care. The change will provide for continuity of care for maternity patients. Beneficiaries will need one NAS for the entire episode of maternity care which shall remain valid until 42 days following termination of the pregnancy. We published the interim final rule on December 23, 1999.

II. Public Comments

We provided a 60-day comment period on the interim final rule. We received no public comments, and no comments were received from other federal agencies with which we are required to coordinate.

III. Regulatory Procedures

Executive Order 12866 requires certain regulatory assessments for any significant regulatory action, defined as one which would result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or have other substantial impacts. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires that each Federal agency prepare, and make available for public comment, a regulatory flexibility analysis when the agency issues a regulation which would have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. This is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866 and has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. In addition, this final rule will not significantly affect a substantial number of small entities. The changes set forth in the final rule are minor revisions to the existing regulation.

The final rule will not impose additional information collection requirements on the public under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3511).

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List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 199

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PART 199—[AMENDED]

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Accordingly,

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1. The authority citation for Part 199 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 10 U.S.C. Chapter 55.

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2. Section 199.4(a) is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(9) and (a)(9)(i)(B).

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Basic program benefits.
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(a) * * *

(9) Nonavailability Statements within a 40-mile catchment area. In some geographic locations, it is necessary for CHAMPUS beneficiaries not enrolled in TRICARE Prime to determine whether the required medical care can be provided through an Uniformed Services facility. If the required care cannot be provided, the hospital commander, or designee, will issue a Nonavailability Statement (DD Form 1251). Except for emergencies, a Nonavailability Statement should be issued before medical care is obtained from a civilian source. Failure to secure such a statement may waive the beneficiary's rights to benefits under CHAMPUS.

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(B) For CHAMPUS beneficiaries who are not enrolled in TRICARE Prime, an NAS is required for services in connection with non-emergency inpatient hospital care and outpatient and inpatient maternity care if such services are available at a facility of the Uniformed Services located within a 40-mile radius of the residence of the beneficiary, except that an NAS is not required for services otherwise available at a facility of the Uniformed Services located within a 40-mile radius of the beneficiary's residence when another insurance plan or program provides the beneficiary primary coverage for the services. For maternity care, an NAS is required for services related to outpatient prenatal, outpatient or inpatient delivery, and outpatient post-partum care subsequent to the visit that confirms the pregnancy. The requirement for an NAS does not apply to beneficiaries enrolled in TRICARE Prime, even when those beneficiaries use the point-of-service option under § 199.17(n)(3).

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Dated: July 17, 2000.

L.M. Bynum,

Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.

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[FR Doc. 00-18451 Filed 7-20-00; 8:45 am]

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