News | Sept. 7, 2021

Take Advantage of New Resources Through the TRICARE Overseas Program

By TRICARE Communications

Did you know the TRICARE Overseas Program (TOP) made changes on Sept. 1 to improve your patient experience? You now have access to a wide range of new resources to help you get the care you need.
 
“International SOS, the overseas contractor, is streamlining its services to make it easier to access quality health care overseas,” said Michael Griffin, program analyst with the TRICARE Overseas Program Office at the Defense Health Agency. “The improvements will help you find and communicate more easily with providers, access services, and more.”
 
Here’s a closer look at what’s changed and how it can help you and your family.
 
Near Patient Program
The TOP has introduced the Near Patient Program (NPP) in specific locations. This program gives you access to in-country medical and non-medical professionals who can help you navigate the overseas health care system. These teams collaborate with TOP providers, overseas military hospitals and clinics, and TRICARE Area Offices to answer questions you may have about medical care in the country you live in.
 
“We want to ensure that cultural or language differences don’t impede your understanding of care,” said Griffin. “Connecting with NPP nurses and other clinical staff will help you navigate the local health care system and feel comfortable with your care.”
 
NPP staff members include nurses, who provide you with day-to-day assistance, and a physician to maintain medical oversight of your care. Clinical quality assurance leads also work with TOP providers to identify how to improve care. They may also offer additional training or support to TOP providers as needed. Each NPP team has a country lead that manages relationships with TOP providers.
 
The NPP is available in: Bahrain, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and South Korea. If you aren’t in an NPP location, the TOP Regional Call Center will continue to provide you support.
 
Medical Records Collection Teams
With the addition of Medical Records Collection (MRC) teams, TOP providers will now submit patient medical records to International SOS. What does International SOS do with your records? They ensure your records are sent to the Department of Defense (DoD). This allows the DoD to include them in your official electronic medical record. These records also ensure continuity of care and help your provider manage the patient administration process. MRC teams have started working directly with providers in the NPP regions. This will streamline the records submission process in two ways:
 
  1. Electronic submissions. TOP providers will switch from paper to electronic record submission.
  2. Translation services. TOP providers won’t need to submit medical records in English. MRC teams will provide a medically certified translation of any non-English medical records to the military hospital or clinic you’re enrolled to. Do you have TOP Prime Remote? If so, your translated records will be submitted directly into your electronic medical record.
 
Safely collecting medical records is a key priority. But you must provide consent by signing a Beneficiary Consent to Release of Medical Information Form for International SOS to collect your records. You can download the release form from the TOP website.
 
Beneficiary Support Center
You now also have access to the new Beneficiary Support Center (BSC). What is the BSC? It’s a one-stop resource to help you with your TRICARE benefit overseas. It’s available 24/7 to provide you with:
  • General assistance
  • Telephonic language assistance
  • Answers to questions about enrollment, claims processing, and more
 
One way you can connect to the BSC is by calling your TOP Regional Call Center. But you can also connect to the support center with your computer or mobile device. When the MyCare Overseas beneficiary app launches (which will also be available as a web-based portal), you’ll be able to use the ChatBot tool to find answers to frequently asked questions. You can also start a live chat session with a BSC representative. The TOP will be sharing more information about the app and portal soon.
 
Do you have questions about these changes? If so, go to the TOP website. You can also call the TOP Regional Call Center or check out the TRICARE Overseas Program Handbook for benefit information. And make sure you check out issue 3 of the TRICARE Overseas Program Health Matters Newsletter.
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