DoD Releases TRICARE for Kids Report

Together we're stronger

After reviewing the recently released Department of Defense (DoD) Study on Health Care and Related Support for Children of Members of the Armed Forces, our Association has asked Congress to step in to ensure DoD addresses problems military families face with pediatric care.

Congress mandated the DoD study, commonly referred to as the “TRICARE for Kids (TFK) Report,” to determine whether the health care needs of military connected children are being met. Given that we regularly hear from military families about challenges in getting pediatric care we feel this study is long overdue, and we are grateful to Congress for requesting it. Unfortunately, the TFK Report does not address our concerns. The data included in the report is limited and largely irrelevant, making it impossible to effectively evaluate access to pediatric care. For this reason, we question the report’s conclusion that the Military Health System (MHS) meets the needs of children in its care, including those with special needs.

In fact, although the TFK Report concludes that MHS is meeting the needs of military kids, it also acknowledges in every element of the study that there are significant gaps, areas for clarification, and considerable deficiencies in data collection and analysis. These issues, along with others identified by pediatric care experts, require immediate attention.

Our Association urges decisive action to address issues with pediatric access to care. Specifically, we have asked Congress to call on DoD to convene a working group to resolve problems with military kids’ access to quality health care. Given the recent emphasis on evaluating access, quality and safety within the MHS, we believe correcting known issues within the pediatric arena is a productive and sensible starting point. 

Click here to read the TRICARE for Kids Coalition response to the 15 July DoD report.

Has your military family had problems accessing medical care for your kids?  Please tell us about it so we can share your stories with Congress and the MHS!

Nickname
Comment
Enter this word:

 

Submitted by: MomOf1
Posted:
October 1, 2014
Comment: Since moving to Fort Belvoir, we have not been able to get him an appointment any of the three times that he has been ill. He has only been seen once by his PCM and that was for a school physical, scheduled weeks in advance. He is 5 and tends to have berating complications and wheezing when he has any type of upper respiratory infection. I have been told to call back the next day repeatedly. I've called the Tricare nurse advise line and been told that he needed to be seen within 24 hours and that I should call back to FBCH and would be able to get an appointment, only to be told to call back the next day. I've left messages about his condition and was told that someone would return my call within 2 to 3 hours. That was Tuesday, I got a returned call on Friday! We have to go off post, to an ER, for routine appointments because Tricare won't cover urgent care appointments off post. My child has had no access to healthcare!



Submitted by: Jesse
Posted:
September 27, 2014
Comment: I have a GREAT recent personal story of which my 1 year old received 3rd degree burns on his chest and 2nd degree over half of his face and was denied health care. Is there an email address I can send this to? My email is jmathieu.eod@gmail.com. I would love for this story to be heard, and it NEEDS to be heard so that it does not happen to any other child. Please email me. Every military agency had turned their backs on my family and my child now had scars as a result that will never go away.



Submitted by: Kim
Posted:
September 26, 2014
Comment: Our infant's 1st PCS created over immunizing because our Lackland PCM refuse to contact our last base PCM. Apparently, it's fine to give a baby 5 hepatitis B shots & almost double all her other shots. The patient advocate for Wilford Hall said it didn't matter and after speaking with her manager we realized almost every infant that moves to Lackland will have the exact same medical fraud. We hand carried our printed card but the clinic staff (3 AD members) still said the parent record is unofficial. Then when our pediatrician refused to use gloves we filed another complaint. 1 week later our infant was sick with a 103 temp & the earliest urgent care apt was 3 days later. What a waste of taxpayer $. It's obvious there's a problem when the base medical commander issues a letter stating all spouses and children have to use the base PCM and they are not authorized to change providers as long as they live within 40 miles of the worst medical facility in the AF.



Submitted by: Stacey
Posted:
September 25, 2014
Comment: It's a shamed how one blog can get my word across, when I try to even talk to an actual person they do not know what to say but we have a survey that you can address your concerns, but really does it need to come this me posting actual complaint about how our military personnel are "not" doing. Besides that we have to wait 4 weeks to get seen by someone in our team which meaning group, and by the way not our actual PC my children have not had a consist PC at all since they were born which one is 8 years old and another is going to be 2 and the other one years old. Which I'm sure many families have this problem, think about it the civil sector has more stability and consists in their practice and I'm sure if I had the opportunity to go out I will just so my children will grow up seeing a regular doctor and not some PA that is just going to say I need to wait on a doctor to get an approval of my diagnosis. There is much more but I have said my concern at this point.



Submitted by: Laura
Posted:
September 25, 2014
Comment: Bottom line is that Tricare has become an extreme micro-manager. It tries to take control of every aspect of a patient's healthcare, when their job should be focused on the big picture: paying for the healthcare that parents and doctors deem necessary and beneficial. Parents should be given the control to choose the healthcare providers they determine are both appropriate and qualified for their child's care, and those healthcare providers should be given the freedom to do their job the way they were trained to do it. With the way Tricare is currently set up (at least Prime) it assumes parents and patients are incompetent at determining what they need and where to get it. It also assumes doctors are simply trying to pick the most expensive procedures...this is extremely patronizing! Instead of Tricare Prime running as an HMO it should be run as a PPO, and it should continue to add coverage for services that are not currently covered (like those for children with special needs and learning disabilities). Just do the job you are supposed to do (pay for our healthcare) and leave us to do our job (determining the care we need and where to get it)!



Submitted by: Erica
Posted:
September 17, 2014
Comment: Were overseas, stationed in Misawa Japan. They do not provide the proper care for children with SPD! Although, many do not recognize this as a true medical diagnosis, disorder or disability if you lived a day in our lives you would reconsider. My child's life and future shouldn't be put on hold or be inhibited because of someone else's opinion. The US lives by the educational logo "no child left behind" then why is my child being stuck in the cold for his road to success? Live up to your standards! Every child deserves a chance. If a child is diagnosed with asthma we provide the proper care so they can be comfortable and breathe and although SPD isn't "life threatening" (even though they do find children with SPD do develop depression--self worth issues, suffer from anxiety problems that do and can lead to suicide) it's the same scenario. Children are provided care when needed, but because it doesn't sit as a priority to you it's not important? We need resources and proper Ocupational therapy and if you can't provide that here you need to send us somewhere you can. I refuse to sit back and watch my sons future deteriorate because there is nothing here. I will be proactive and provide him the care even if that results my husband and I having to be away from each other! Make a change! "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein



Submitted by: Kat
Posted:
September 16, 2014
Comment: my 2 military kids get excellent healthcare, but they're on Tricare Standard and see only civilian doctors at a civilian hospital. if they need a same-day appointment for something, they get it. i don't worry about long waits for referrals (the longest i had to wait for one was 1 week, and had the appointment the next week). my 5 year old has autism and my 2 year old has a whole list of health problems, and i couldn't imagine how long they'd languish in the military healthcare system waiting for a referral. you couldn't PAY me to switch my kids and myself to Prime. i refuse to step foot into an MTF. i like the flexibility in choosing our doctors with Standard, and i love that my and my sons' doctors are REAL doctors instead of civilian contracted "doctors" that the DoD hires at the lowest bidder. actual military docs are great (as in, military servicemen who are doctors), but the civilian contracted "doctors" are way less than stellar. so glad we have the option of Standard so we can get real, timely medical care!



Submitted by: Elena
Posted:
September 15, 2014
Comment: No. If everyone would stop bringing their child in over a sneeze or little cough then there would be better access to care. Our family has had no problems in fact we just had a very wonderful experience.



Submitted by: Battle Weary EFMP Mom
Posted:
September 15, 2014
Comment: The entire EFMP program is a nightmare! I have had to fight tooth and nail for adequate care and treatment for my child, and absolutely none of the EFMP programs offered are relevant to my daughter's conditions. And, I know I am not the only parent that has to fight for adequate care. I have observed that the EFMP Program lumps together all those defined by the EFMP Process as having special needs, offering blanket programs and services. And, when we PCS, the nightmare intensifies, because we have to start the entire process over again, from scratch, with doctors who know nothing about my child's health and history. My daughter has not one, but two chronic, long-term illnesses, and her care is only now acceptable, because I demand it, fight for it, and will not settle for less. To conclude from the TFK Report that MHS is meeting the needs of our military children is grossly and woefully ignorant of what those needs are. Our children deserve and need better.



Submitted by: Val
Posted:
September 15, 2014
Comment: On the rare occasion my son gets sick, it's absolutely impossible to get an appointment for him to be seen. The last time he was ill, he had been running a fever for several days (amongst other symptoms) and I was told that he couldn't be seen for over a month, and that we couldn't be refered to urgent care. I was told to take him to the emergency room ...and when he was seen at the emergency room I was told by the attending doctor that he never should have been brought in for a fever because it was taking time away from patients who actually needed to be seen. It's incredibly frustrating to be told I can't get an appointment for my child, to be sent to the ER, and then told my child is wasting their time. When I'm dealing with a sick kid, I've now got the added stress of wondering if he's sick enough for the ER because I can't get an appointment at our clinic and I don't want to be humiliated again.



Submitted by: Sarah
Posted:
September 15, 2014
Comment: It took 3 ER visits, 7 doctors appointments and 2 overnight hospital stays before my daughter was finally diagnosed with asthma. Imagine my surprise when the er sent her home with low oxygen levels and coughing nonstop for hours trying to brush it off as a virus. When my daughter had a very bad UTI we couldn't get an appointment for three weeks later. If we actually waited that long then the infection could have spread to her kidneys. We ended up having to take her to the er to get medical treatment. It seems the ER had been our primary care due to lack of available appointments. Every single time I try to get an appointment for my kids I am always told one of two things. 1. I'm sorry we have no available appointments or 2. Call back every two hours to see if there is something available. Ridiculous!!



Submitted by: cate
Posted:
September 15, 2014
Comment: We are retired now but when my son was 1 year old he still wasn't talking and I could tell something was wrong. I fought with his military PCM for 6 months about early intervention and Getting a referral to ENT because he had chronic ear infections. I finally called early intervention myself and made a complaint and got him a referral to ENT. When he had both his evaluations he was seriously deficient in speech and he had so much fluid behind his ear drums he was essentially deaf. He had speech for two years and three sets of tubes. He is almost Six now and still has a speech deficiency. When we retired and I received his medical record his PCM wrote in his record that I basically had munchausan. Like I was looking for My child to be sick. She was just covering her but because I had complained about her. I have heard of so many stories like mine and something needs to change!



Submitted by: Tanya
Posted:
September 15, 2014
Comment: While stationed at ft sill our baby could have died with the lack if care, he was sick and we kept taking him in and they kept saying he was fine and it was "just a virus " well he went in with this so called virus for 2 months until it got really bad and we took him to the er because he was wheezing so bad and the er sent him home, the next day we took him off post to a civilian hospital and the immediately admitted him because his oxygen was so low and he had pneumonia and rsv, he was hospitalized 3 days and came home a healthy baby boy, I was furious! They are the dr they are susposed to know there job, we requested to be seen off post after that and were denied, all they offered was a different pediatrician at same clinic, we filed a nice complain in the ped. And maybe she was talked to I don't know! It also was always impossible to get an appointment, I think it's ridiculous to have to sit in an er for minor things we can see a PCM for, it takes space for those really in need and is a waste if time! Things must change!!!!!



Submitted by: regold
Posted:
September 15, 2014
Comment: EFMP child and a different pcm doctor every time we go.....need consistency with the condition my child has, I feel like he is the test product...I am my child's Dr



Submitted by: linoir
Posted:
September 15, 2014
Comment: live in Stafford, VA, husband is Marine. I have an efmp child that needs specialty appts all the time...every time I call for an appt. Ft Belvoir is full and so we get sent to Walter Reed. Daddy is gone...Im doing all of it on my own and with traffic have to leave 2 hours before to get there on time. Its a whole day adventure which my child has to miss school. Something needs to be fixed with this system.



Submitted by: Cindy
Posted:
September 12, 2014
Comment: All of these comments on this page are ringing so true for military families. Why is it the criminals in America get better care than the people and their families that fight for our freedom.



Submitted by: Cindy
Posted:
September 12, 2014
Comment: My daughter has 2 children and when they get sick, she is always told by the base doctors that they can see them in a month.She called tri-care and they told her that they couldn't let her change to an off post doctor because she is near the base. So she has to rake them to the emergency room to be seen.



Submitted by: LesLi
Posted:
September 3, 2014
Comment: It has been nothing but a constant struggle to get the support in the 30th Medical Group as a whole; from TOPPA, from the patient advocate, from the care manager. Every bit of medical help my daughter desperately needed was achieved b/c i had to fight the Medical Group the entire time. We did not even have full staffing as far as a Pediatric Doctor and/or Nurse Practitioner. There was one Pediatric Doctor and they were outsourcing ALL peds patients to adult med doctors who had know idea what they were doing nor could they answer questions concerning routine visits for well baby or checkups. I was told the cost to bring in another Doctor of NP was too much for the Medical Group and they were not willing to pay for that and it took from January 2014-August 2014 to get another person in and able to see patients. When those of us with "exceptional" family members requested to be seen by a pediatric doctor who accepted Tricare Prime we were told no due to the proximity we lived in relation to the Medical Group. We were being declined based on WHERE we lived instead of the quality of care our children needed. We were also told and pushed towards Tricare Standard and with some of the needs of "exceptional" family members we could not afford the specialist care bills as my child in particular is seeing 3 doctors at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Not only that, where we are located there are not options for pediatric specialty care unless you drive to Los Angeles or San Francisco and getting those referrals has not been the easiest task



Submitted by: Little mama
Posted:
September 3, 2014
Comment: When our teenage daughter was sick with CRPS it took approx 9 months for her to be diagnosed, even though the initial civilian doctor that saw her told us what was wrong. Our daughter missed so much because she was so sick. Then, it took so much work on OUR behalf to get tori are to authorize a rehab stay. So much went on, and really she received such substandard care ....at one point ,when we were at a visit in a mtf, because she couldn't stop throwing up, I asked the Dr. To please help us, because this was not the way a person should be living...the dr. Acted very noncommittal, I was exasperated and said to her " WHAT can we do, this is my daughter.." And the Dr. said, "maybe you should pray" WHAT?!?!?!?! Yes, this is the fine medical care our sweet children get.....



Submitted by: Jen
Posted:
September 3, 2014
Comment: There is a serious issue on most AF bases with receiving access to pediatric care in a timely manner that coincides with the standards for care set by Tricare. When an appt is not available, the solution is to seek care at an Urgent Care Clinic, where pediatrics is not their specialty. There are simply not enough providers to provide continuity of care. The care that is received is quality, but that matters not one bit if you cannot even get an appt. As a parent of two children enrolled in EFMP for asthma, being able to receive continuous care from the same provider is essential. There are numerous compelling reasons to seek civilian care in these cases, especially with children who end up in the ER and being admitted to the hospital for asthma. Military providers do not have hospital privileges in civilian hospitals, which means my children are not treated or followed by their pediatrician in these instances. Only in unusual circumstances are waivers provided for civilian care instead of the MTF. In most cases, families have to switch to Tricare Standard instead to be able to make the best decisions for their child's care.



  Print Print

Donate

Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.

Sign Up

Sign up to receive periodic eNews and alerts.

Please leave this field empty

Connect

Want up-to-date information and a community of people that care about military families?

Facebook Icon 2013

Twitter Icon 2013

Flickr Icon 2013