Special Medical Needs Services Help Eligible Beneficiaries

Jessica Etienne, a beneficiary services branch health care assistant who works in the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center TRICARE Services Center, talks to a patient about her special medical needs and services that are available to her. Photo by Kim Zamarripa

Jessica Etienne, a beneficiary services branch health care assistant who works in the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center TRICARE Services Center, talks to a patient about her special medical needs and services that are available to her. Photo by Kim Zamarripa

Story by Brandy Gill, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Public Affairs
Edited by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kayla Finley, Defense Media Activity

The Beneficiary Services Branch of Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center has staff available to assist beneficiaries as they navigate the system in order to ensure they receive the health care they deserve.

Patients arriving at a new duty station with documented special medical needs may experience delays in their treatment program while they are getting enrolled and oriented to new systems. Sometimes this complexity may prohibit patients from receiving coordinated continued care services required for their special medical needs, said Stacy Perez, director of CRDAMC beneficiary services.

“It’s important for beneficiaries to visit their primary care providers at their current duty station before relocating to Fort Hood to ensure patients who are special needs or who require complex medical care have everything they will need while they are in transition from one location to the next,” she said. “Planning ahead can help relieve some of the stressors associated with big changes like a move.”

CRDAMC beneficiary services assistants can provide needed coordination for beneficiaries with the goal of helping them receive special medical care in the Fort Hood area.

Beneficiaries with documented complex or complicated medical needs may self-refer by contacting the Beneficiary Services Branch by phone or in person at the TRICARE Service Center, said Jessica Etienne, a CRDAMC health care assistant.

“We assist all TRICARE-eligible beneficiaries from birth until death or disenrollment. Currently, the staff is working with over 1,500 beneficiaries. We make quarterly phone calls to the beneficiaries who are enrolled to see if we can provide any assistance or answer any questions. We are available to assist, coordinate, advise and direct patients to help them navigate CRDAMC’s health care system,” Etienne said.

Etienne said that while staff members are knowledgeable health care assistants within CRDAMC’s health system, they are not case managers, nurses, or Exceptional Family Member Program staff.

“If you need a case manager or need to speak with an EFMP representative, the CRDAMC health care assistants can point you in the right direction,” she said.

“The CRDAMC staff in Beneficiary Services looks forward to assisting you with coordination of medical care in hopes of making your transition to Fort Hood easier,” Perez said.

For more information on this program and to speak with a health care assistant, please call the Beneficiary Services Branch at 254-288-8983/8837 or visit the TRICARE Service Center (Bldg. 36023) located across from Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center on Fort Hood. The Beneficiary Services staff are available between the hours of 7:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

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