HIPAA Privacy Standards
DoD News Release 15 APR 03

DoD announced that all military medical facilities have implemented the privacy rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996.  With a directed start date of April 14, 2003, the new rule creates standard safeguards to protect the privacy and confidentiality of personal health care information.  As required by the new rule, DoD has mailed approximately five million military health system (MHS) notices of privacy practices (NoPP).  The notices have gone to every beneficiary enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).  If you do not receive a notice it is an indication that your are either no longer enrolled in DEERS or your mailing address needs to be updated. Retirees are enrolled for life but dependent's enrollment expires every four years.  Enrollment can be accomplished by renewing the military dependent ID card.  To submit a change of address (COA) on yourself or any of your dependents there are a number of ways it can be accomplished.  This is necessary because the address you have on file determines who will have to pay your claim and where you must submit it. It can be done by:

1.   On line web site at www.tricare.osd.mil/DEERSAddress
2.   Email to "DEERS COA" addrinfo@osd.pentagon.mil
3.   Mail to DEERS Support Office, Attn: COA, 400 Gigling Rd., Seaside, CA 93955-6671
4.   Telephone to (800) 538-9552 between 06 -1530 (PST) M-F (excluding federal holidays)
5.   FAX to 1-831-655-8317.
6.   Automatically with the acquisition of a new ID card.

Your COA transmittal should include the following:

1   Sponsor's name and Social Security Number;
2   The address change you want to make (old and new address);
3   Names of other family members affected by the address change;
4   Effective date of the address information; and
5   Telephone number and area code including country code if overseas.

Other information, such as the address or address change for geographically separated family members will be processed if you provide it.

 The new HIPAA privacy legislation requires that health information be disclosed only for treatment, payment, and some health care operations such as scheduling appointments and billing patients.  Health information will not be shared with outside sources for marketing, research or any other purpose without the beneficiary's written consent.  Doctors and nurses need to be HIPAA compliant.  Included are (but not limited to) Lab Assistants, Medical Assistants, Billing Clerks, and front desk personnel.  Those failing to be compliant are subject to $100,000 fine and 10 years in jail per violation.  Each MHS facility has an assigned, trained privacy officer available to respond to any questions or concerns that beneficiaries may have regarding the new privacy rules.  The privacy officers also serve as patient advocates ensuring that personal health information maintained by the MHS facility remains protected yet accessible to beneficiaries and their providers.  A copy of the MHS NoPP is available on the Tricare Web site for sponsors and family members to download; copies are also available for distribution at each DoD military treatment facility.  Additional information on HIPAA, Tricare and the new privacy standards can be found on the Tricare Web site at http://www.tricare.osd.mil/hipaa


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