32 CFR 728.77 - Secretarial designees.
Subject to the capabilities of the professional staff and the availability of space and facilities, naval MTFs and DTFs will provide treatment to individuals that have been granted Secretarial designee status by any of the three service Secretaries (Navy, Army, or Air Force), the Secretary of Commerce for NOAA personnel, the Secretary of Health and Human Services for USPHS personnel, or the Secretary of Transportation for Coast Guard personnel.
(a) Potential designees. Upon a showing of sufficient cause, the Secretary of the Navy may authorize individuals, not otherwise authorized by law, to receive such care as is available in naval MTFs in the United States. Designation may be extended on a worldwide basis for preadoptive children and wards of active duty members, and for abused dependents delineated in paragraph (a)(6) of this section. Temporary in loco parents or foster parent status of the member with regard to a minor is insufficient for approval. Also, civilian health care under the CHAMPUS program cannot be authorized for other than abused dependents. The Secretary's discretionary authority is exercised most conservatively, however, favorable action is usually taken on requests involving the following situations:
(1) Preadoption proceedings wherein an active duty member or a retired member has taken affirmative legal action to adopt a child.
(2) Custodianships and guardianships authorized by a court order wherein the member is designated by the court as the custodian or guardian and the child is fully dependent upon the active duty or retired member sponsor.
(3) Evaluation and selection of nonbeneficiaries who are donor candidates for an organ or tissue transplant procedure in behalf of a military service beneficiary.
(4) Nonbeneficiary participants in officially approved clinical research studies.
(5) Unremarried former spouses who: Require care for a condition incurred during or caused/aggravated by conditions associated with the member's or former member's creditable service; do not qualify under the former spouses act; and do not have medical coverage under an employer-sponsored health plan which will provide for the care required.
(6) Abused dependents of discharged or dismissed former uniformed services members in need of medical or dental care resulting from knowledge of the abuse or for an injury or illness resulting from abuse by the former member. Eligibility will terminate the earliest of 1 year after the date on which the member is discharged or dismissed from a uniformed service, or when care is no longer needed.
(7) In other instances wherein the circumstances clearly merit the providing of treatment in naval MTFs, and in which the best interest of the patient, the Navy, and the Government will be served, favorable Secretarial action may result. The mere need of medical care by a former beneficiary or other person, alone, will not support approval of such a request.
(b) Requests for consideration. Requests for consideration will be submitted to the Commander, Naval Medical Command (MEDCOM-33) by applicants via their command, when applicable, or by the Medical Department command concerned. Requests should include any pertinent information which will support resolution and a return address. Requests involving:
(1) Preadoption must include a legible reproducible copy of an interim court order or adoption agency placement agreement which names the sponsor and identifies the other participating parties. A petition for a court order is insufficient to support a recommendation for approval.
(2) Custodianships and guardianships must include a legible reproducible copy of the court order, identification of the parties, and also identify any amounts of income to which the ward is entitled.
(3) Participants in clinical research studies must include:
(i) Sufficient clinical information concerning the nature of the study.
(ii) Benefits which may accrue to the individual.
(iii) The extent, if any, to which access by other authorized beneficiaries will be impaired.
(iv) Benefits which will accrue to the command, e.g., enhancement of training, maximum use of specialized facilities, etc.
(v) Recommended duration of designation.
(vi) Whether the consenting individual has been informed concerning the nature of the study, its personal implications, and freely consents.
(4) Unremarried former spouses must include:
(i) A notarized copy of the marriage license.
(ii) A statement attesting to the fact that the sponsoring former spouse achieved 20 or more years of creditable military service.
(iii) Copy of divorce decree with official date.
(5) Abused depdendents must include:
(i) Full name, social security number, grade or rate, branch or service, and date and type of discharge or dismissal of the former member. Such a member must have received a dishonorable or bad-conduct discharge or dismissal from a uniformed service as a result of court-martial conviction for an offense involving abuse of a dependent of the member.
(ii) Full names, social security numbers (if assigned), and relationship to the former member of any dependent in need of medical or dental care to treat adverse health conditions resulting from such dependent's knowledge of the abuse or any injury or illness suffered by the abused person as a result of such abuse.
(c) Blanket designation. (1) The Secretary of Defense has granted Secretarial designee status to full-time Schedule “A” faculty members of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS). They have been provided documentation substantiating their eligibility and, where necessary, an eligibility termination date. These personnel are authorized routine care at the Naval Hospital, Bethesda, MD. At other naval MTFs, only emergency treatment is authorized while they are traveling on official university business. The letter of authorization excludes routine dental care, prosthetic appliances, and spectacles.
(2) The following officials within the Government, the Department of Defense, and military departments have been granted blanket Secretarial designation for medical and emergency dental care in naval MTFs in the United States:
(i) The President.
(ii) The Vice President.
(iii) Members of the Cabinet.
(iv) Article III Federal Judges.
(v) U.S. Court of Military Appeals Judges.
(vi) Members of Congress.
(vii) The Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and the Assistant Secretaries of Defense.
(viii) The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
(ix) The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.
(x) The Secretaries, Under Secretaries, and the Assistant Secretaries of the Military Departments.
(d) Authorization. Designees will present a signed letter bearing the letterhead of the designating service. Secretarial designees are not included in the DEERS data base and may not possess Government identification cards. Therefore, the only proof of their eligibility for treatment may be the letter of authorization. When a Secretarial designee presents for treatment:
(1) Ask for identification of the individual presenting the letter of authorization to assure that the person seeking care is the individual to whom the letter was issued.
(2) Check the expiration date on the letter of authorization. Many authorizations are issued for only a specified period of time, e.g., abused dependents - no longer than 1 year.
(3) Check to assure that the individual is applying for care authorized by the letter of authorization. Designation is often granted for a specific diagnosis or specific mode of treatment.
(4) Check to assure that the individual has not been designated for care only as specific facility. Many authorizations are granted for conditions or for care that can be rendered only by a specified physician or under a specific program.
(5) Place a copy of the letter of authorization in the individual's Health Record or outpatient treatment record on the left side at the first visit or admission.
(e) Charges and collection. (1) Interagency rates are applicable for inpatient and outpatient care provided outside the National Capital Region to all individuals listed in paragraph (c)(2) of this section with the exception of Members of Congress. Charges are at full reimbursement rates for Members of Congress provided inpatient or outpatient care outside the National Capital Region.
(2) In the National Capital Region:
(i) Charges are waived for outpatient care provided to all categories listed in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
(ii) Charge interagency rates for inpatient care of all individual in paragraph (c)(2) of this section except Members of Congress. Charge Members of Congress at full reimbursement rates.
(3) Complete and submit, per subpart J, a DD 7 (Report of Treatment Furnished Pay Patients, Hospitalization Furnished, part A) or DD 7A (Report of Treatment Furnished Pay Patients, Outpatient Treatment, part B) when outpatient or inpatient care is rendered to Secretarial designees whose charges for care have not been waived.