To add to the craziness of out lives, I just got off the phone with a less than delightful person from Tricare. Let me preface all of this with the fact that the Tricare South personnel are always friendly and I have never had a problem with them. I have not had one problem with Tricare South in the over a decade I have worked with them. Tricare North, well today I discovered that's another story. You see we received this letter the other day.
Chaz had to have work done to his wheelchair before we left Walter Reed. It was actually the last thing he did. The last medical thing ever and boom Tricare North says hold up wait, prove what is going on?! I am confused?! Chaz was there being treated for two years and now you want proof? Ok fine, I'll call. I want the wheelchair people to get paid because they have been fabulous to us.
I called Tricare and was more than polite. I explained to the lady we submitted this form in 2011 and it hasn't been 2 years since I submitted that one. Then I explained my husband stepped on an IED and there's not a third party to bill unless she wants to find them in Afghanistan and I laughed. Well I guess she didn't find that funny. I was told she didn't care how my husband was injured. She was not discussing the matter any further because the bill was for him and not me. She wanted to know where he was and I told her he was at the VA (because he is). She then said our conversation was over unless I put him on the phone and he told her it was ok. I told her I am not asking questions about his records and am not violating HIPPA. I was simply questioning protocol since we already filed the form and due to the nature of the injuries. Then she snapped at me and said,"The federal government is the one looking for the proof of his injuries and you need to take this up with them and not me." Nice, huh?! I snapped and I said, "Wow, really? Well ma'am I truly hope you have a better day." Then I hung up on her.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have now entered into a new level of ridiculous. Rather than talking about protocol and trying to understand why we have to submit the same form and be polite about it, let's just blame the government and get snippy. Rather than being polite, let's be a jerk and ruin someone's day because you are obviously having a Monday on a Thursday. Rather than actually looking at our wounded, ill and injured medical
files that you have full access to view, let's send them a form to make
them justify their medical issues that you are obligated to pay.
Now I do not blame the lady on the phone for anything besides her rotten attitude. Obviously she needs to rethink her line of work. I blame the Tricare officials for not resolving this issue in advance or for not putting in some type of exemption so families of wounded don't have another hoop to jump through. And I have news for her a DD Form 2587 is a Department of Defense issued form, not Federal Government. So we can address this at the Pentagon level and not Congressional level and get this sucker taken care of. Here's an idea; the Department of Defense can have these forms filled out and signed at the time of treatment at the military treatment facility and we can avoid rude people at Tricare. Just a thought....
What's the saddest part of all of this? When I fill out the form there's not a "wounded in combat" box to check. I have to check "other" and then specify. Now the fun begins, because I need to decide what to write on that "other" line again.....