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Proposed Rule

TRICARE: Unfortunate Sequelae From Noncovered Services in a Military Treatment Facility

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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, Department of Defense.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Defense is publishing this proposed rule to allow coverage for otherwise covered services and supplies required in the treatment of complications (unfortunate sequelae) resulting from a noncovered incident of treatment provided in a Military Treatment Facility (MTF), when the initial noncovered service has been authorized by the MTF Commander and the MTF is unable to provide the necessary treatment of the complications. This proposed rule is necessary to protect TRICARE beneficiaries from incurring financial hardships due to the current regulatory restrictions that prohibit TRICARE coverage of treatment of the complications resulting from noncovered medical procedures, even when those procedures were conducted in a Department of Defense facility.

DATES:

Comments received at the address indicated below by October 5, 2010 will be accepted.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) and title, by either of the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Federal Docket Management System Office, 1160 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1160.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or RIN for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

René Morrell, Medical Benefits and Reimbursement Branch, TRICARE Management Activity, (303) 676-3618.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In order to support Graduate Medical Education and maintain provider skill levels, Military Treatment Facility (MTF) providers are frequently required to perform medical procedures that may be excluded from coverage under TRICARE. Unexpected complications (unfortunate sequelae) from these procedures may result and, in those instances where the MTFs are unable to provide the appropriate level of care necessary for the proper treatment of these complications, the MTF Commander must refer beneficiaries for treatment outside the MTF. Under current regulatory provisions, TRICARE is unable to cover treatment of the complications resulting from noncovered procedures. When beneficiaries require treatment outside the MTF for these complications, arising from noncovered procedures, they are responsible for payment for this necessary treatment resulting in significant financial hardship. This proposed rule will address that unfortunate situation by allowing coverage of treatment for the complications resulting from noncovered treatment provided in an MTF when the original procedure was authorized by the MTF Commander. The specific procedures for approval of this treatment will be addressed in the TRICARE Policy Manual rather than in the regulation to ensure that this information is current and easily accessible. TRICARE manuals may be accessed at http//:www.tricare.mil.

Regulatory Procedures

Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review”

Section 801 of title 5, United States Code, and Executive Order 12866 require certain regulatory assessments and procedures for any major rule or significant regulatory action, defined as one that would result in an annual effect of $100 million or more on the national economy or which would have other substantial impacts. It has been certified that this rule is not a major rule or significant regulatory action.

Public Law 104-4, Section 202, “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act”

Section 202 of Public Law 104-4, “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act,” requires that an analysis be performed to determine whether any federal mandate may result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million in any one year. It has been certified that this proposed rule does not contain a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year, and thus this proposed rule is not subject to this requirement.

Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601)

Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601), requires that each Federal agency prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis when the agency issues a regulation which would have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule is not an economically significant regulatory action, and it has been certified that it will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, this proposed rule is not subject to the requirements of the RFA.

Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

This rule does not contain a “collection of information” requirement, and will not impose additional information collection requirements on the public under Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

Executive Order 13132, “Federalism,” requires that an impact analysis be performed to determine whether the rule has federalism implications that would have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. It has been certified that this proposed rule does not have federalism implications, as set forth in Executive Order 13132.

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List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 199

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Accordingly, 32 CFR part 199 is proposed to be amended as follows:

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PART 199—[AMENDED]

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(e)(9) is revised to read as follows:

Basic program benefits.
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(e) * * *

(9) Complications (unfortunate sequelae) resulting from noncovered initial surgery or treatment.

(i) Benefits are available for otherwise covered services and supplies required in the treatment of complications resulting from a noncovered incident of treatment (such as nonadjunctive dental care and cosmetic surgery) but only if the later complication represents a separate medical condition such as a systemic infection, cardiac arrest, and acute drug reaction. Benefits may not be extended for any later care or procedures related to the complication that essentially is similar to the initial noncovered care. An example of complications similar to the initial episode of care (and thus not covered) would be repair of facial scarring resulting from dermabrasion for acne.

(ii) Benefits are available for otherwise covered services and supplies required in the treatment of complications (unfortunate sequelae) resulting from a noncovered incident of treatment provided in a Military Treatment Facility (MTF), when the initial noncovered service has been authorized by the MTF Commander and the MTF is unable to provide the necessary treatment of the complications, according to the guidelines adopted by the Director, TMA, or a designee.

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Dated: July 26, 2010.

Patricia L. Toppings,

OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.

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[FR Doc. 2010-19310 Filed 8-5-10; 8:45 am]

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