- By Dawn S. Onley
- Jun 25, 2004
. The new Tricare Retail Pharmacy program became effective on June 1, linking military members and their beneficiaries to about 53,000 civilian pharmacies in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.
The pharmacies are part of a centralized national network.
To use the TRRx program, beneficiaries must be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.
DEERS requires that beneficiaries report to the site any status changes such as marriage, divorce or change of address.
Previously, Tricare had a number of regional managed care contractors who provided pharmacy services.
The TRRx contract was awarded last year to Express Scripts Inc. of Maryland Heights, Mo.
'The new single contract integrates the previous regional contracts into one uniform retail pharmacy benefit across all Tricare regions,' said Army Col. William Davies, director of DOD pharmacy programs, in a Defense release.
Among the enhancements of the TRRx program:
- Pharmacy claims processing is centralized. Beneficiaries no longer have to mail claims to multiple sites or call various telephone numbers. Now they can file a claim using the Pharmacy Data Transaction Service. PDTS is an automated tool that reviews a beneficiary's new prescription against others filled anywhere in the Military Health System.
- The TRRx benefit is now portable. To locate a network pharmacy, beneficiaries use the Tricare pharmacy locater service. The TRRx program is not available for beneficiaries living or traveling outside the United States or its territories.
. The Army is deploying software to handle ammunition requests electronically.
The Army's G-3 Collective Training Division has deployed software from Silanis Technology of St. Laurent, Quebec, under the Training Ammunition Management Information System'Redesigned program. TAMIS'R handles all training ammunition requests worldwide for the Army, Army National Guard and Marine Corps.
'Soldiers like the new Web-based process, as it provides immediate and clear confirmation that what was requested will be available at the time and place indicated,' TAMIS'R project manager Bob Torche said in a news release.
The system uses Silanis' ApproveIT Extensible HyperText Markup Language Server for electronic signatures, authenticated approvals and digital signing using the DOD Common Access Card, or an ePersona file if the user doesn't have a CAC.
'The addition of electronic signatures increases accuracy, saves time, and allows us to electronically close out the request and capture expenditures immediately,' Torche added.
The TAMIS'R system serves about 4,000 users managing training ammunition requests online, resulting in roughly 155,000 transactions per month.