32 CFR 732.17 - Nonemergency care requirements.
Members are cautioned not to obtain nonemergency care from civilian sources without prior approval from the cognizant adjudication authority in § 732.20. Obtaining nonemergency care, other than as specified herein, without documented prior approval may result in denial by the Government of responsibility for claims arising from such care.
(a) Individual prior approval.
(1) Submit requests for prior approval of nonemergency care (medical, dental, or maternity) from non-Federal sources to the adjudication authority (§ 732.20) serving the geographic area where care is to be obtained. When the requirements of § 732.14(d)(2) are met and spectacles have been obtained, request after-the-fact approval per this paragraph.
(2) Submit requests on a NAVMED 6320/10. Statement of Civilian Medical/Dental Care, with blocks 1 through 7 and 19 through 25 completed. Assistance in completing the NAVMED 6320/10 can be obtained from the health benefits advisor (HBA) at the nearest USMTF.
(3) Upon receipt, the adjudication authority will review the request and, if necessary, forward it to the appropriate chief of service with an explanation of non-Federal care regulations pertaining to the request. The chief of service will respond to the request within 24 hours. The adjudication authority will then complete blocks 26 and 27, and return the original of the approved/disapproved NAVMED 6320/10 to the member.
(b) Blanket prior approval.
(1) Recruiting offices and other activities far removed from USMTFs, uniformed services dental treatment facilities (USDTFs), designated USTFs, and VA facilities may request blanket approval for civilian medical and dental care of assigned active duty personnel. Letter requests should be submitted to the adjudication authority (§ 732.20) assigned responsibility for the geographic area of the requestor.
(2) With full realization that such blanket approval is an authorization to obligate the Government without individual prior approval, adjudication authorities will ensure that:
(i) Each blanket approval letter specifies a maximum dollar amount allowable in each instance of care.
(ii) The location of the activity receiving blanket approval authority is clearly delineated.
(iii) Travel distance and time required to reach the nearest USMTF, USDTF, designated USTF, or VA facility have been considered.
(iv) Certain conditions are specifically excluded, e.g., psychiatric care and elective surgical procedures. These conditions will continue to require individual prior approval.
(v) COMNAVMEDCOM (MEDCOM-333) is made an information addressee on each letter of authorization.
(c) Maternity care.
(1) Pregnant active duty members residing outside Military Health Services System (MHSS) inpatent catchment areas of uniformed services facilities (including USTFs), designated in Volumes I, II, and III of MHSS Catchment Area Directories, are permitted to choose whether to deliver in a closer civilian hospital or travel to a USMTF or USTF for delivery. If the Government is to assume financial responsibility for non-Federal maternity care of any member regardless of where she resides, the member must obtain individual prior approval as outlined in paragraph (a) of this section. Adjudication authorities should not approve requests from members residing within an inpatient MHSS catchment area unless:
(i) Capability does not (did not) exist at the USMTF or other Federal MTF serving her catchment area.
(ii) An emergency situation necessitated delivery or other treatment in a non-Federal facility (§ 732.16(b)).
(2) Normal delivery at or near the expected delivery date should not be considered an emergency for members residing within an MHSS inpatient catchment area where delivery was expected to occur and, unless provided for in this part, will not be reason for delivery in a civilian facility at Government expense.
(3) When granted leave that spans the period of an imminent delivery, the pregnant member should request a copy of her complete prenatal care records from the prenatal care physician. The physician should note in the record whether the member is clear to travel. If receiving prenatel care from a USMTF, the HBA will assist the member in obtaining a statement bearing the name of the MTF (may be an OMA) with administrative responsibility for the geographic area of her leave address, including the telephone number of the head of the patient administration department or HBA, if available. If a member is receiving prenatal care from other than a USMTF, she should avail herself of the services of the nearest HBA to effect the aforestated services. This statement should be attached to the approved leave request. In normal deliveries, requests for after-the-fact approval should be denied when members have not attempted to adhere to the provisions of this part.
(4) Upon arrival at the designated leave address, members should contact the MTF indicated on the statement attached to their leave request. The MTF will make a determination whether the member's leave address falls within the inpatient catchment area of a USMTF or USTF with the capability of providing needed care. If no such USMTF or USTF exists, the member will be given the opportunity to choose to deliver in a civilian hospital closer to her leave address or travel to the most accessible USMTF or USTF with capability for maternity care.
(5) Upon determination that civilian sources will be used for maternity care, the MTF listed on the attachment to the leave papers will inform the member that she (or someone acting in her behalf) must notify that MTF of the member's admission for delivery or other inpatient care so that medical cognizance can be initiated.
(6) Automatically grant prior or retroactive approval, as the situation warrants, to members requiring maternity care while in a travel status in the execution of permanent change of station (PCS) orders.
(d) Nonemergency care without prior approval.
(1) If it becomes known that a member intends to seek medical or dental care (inpatient or outpatient) from a non-Federal source and prior approval has not been granted for the use of the Nonnaval Medical and Dental Care Program, the member must be counseled by, or in the presence of, a Medical Department officer. Request that the member sign a statement on an SF 600, Chronological Record of Medical Care, or an SF 603 or 603A, Health Record, Dental as appropriate, for inclusion in the member's Health Record. The statement must specify that counseling has been accomplished, and that the member understands the significance of receiving unauthorized civilian care. This must be accomplished when either personal funds or third party payor (insurance) funds are intended to be used to defray the cost of care. Counseling will include:
(i) Availability of care from a Federal source.
(ii) The requirement for prior approval if the Government may be expected to defray any of the cost of such care.
(iii) Information regarding possible compromise of disability benefits should a therapeutic misadventure occur.
(iv) Notification that should hospitalization become necessary, or other time is lost from the member's place of duty, such lost time may be chargeable as “ordinary leave.”
(v) Notification that the Government cannot be responsible for out-of-pocket expenses which may be required by the insurance carrier or when the member does not have insurance which covers the cost of contemplated care.
(vi) Direction to report to a uniformed services medical officer (preferably Navy) upon completion of treatment for determination of member's fitness for continued service.
(2) If it becomes known that a member has already received non-Federal medical care without prior authorization, refer the member to a uniformed services medical officer (preferably Navy) to determine fitness for continued service. At this time, counseling measures delineated in paragraph (d)(1)(iii), (iv), and (v) of this section must be taken.