Health Care Assistance Rules Tighten

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America's Veterans

In the past, member associations of organizations such as The Military Coalition could contact the Tricare Management Activity to help individuals resolve health care problems, but restrictions have been clamped down on such activities. Effective April 14, 2003, military and civilian hospitals, providers and other health care organizations were required to comply with the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The rule limits individual health information that TMA may share with third parties unless the beneficiary has provided written consent. The restrictions do not apply to the use or disclosure of health information for treatment, payment, and health care operations, such as scheduling appointments, billing patients, quality assurance activities and provider-to-provider referrals. For more information regarding the Privacy Rule, visit