PDBR Review of Disability Claims Continues

The Physical Disability Review Board (PDBR) was created by the FY2008 Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to reassess the accuracy and fairness of combined disability ratings of 20 percent or less for service members who were separated from service, rather than medically retired because of medical conditions. In order to be eligible for a PDBR review, service members must have been medically separated between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2009, with a combined disability rating of 20 percent or less, and found ineligible for retirement. The Physical Disability Review Board (PDBR) claims that more than half of reviewed claims have been upgraded to a disability rating of 30 percent or more.

This review panel is authorized to recommend an increase in a disability rating, uphold the previous finding, or issue a disability rating when the previous board did not assign one. The board, however, is not able to recommend a lower rating. Eligible veterans can request a board review by submitting a Department of Defense Form 294, Application for Review of Physical Disability Separation from the Armed Forces of the United States, which is available at VA Forms

Veterans requesting a review must mail their completed and signed DD Form 294 to SAF/MRBR, 550 C St. W., Suite 41, Randolph Air Force Base, TX 78150-4743. Applicants may submit statements, briefs, medical records or affidavits supporting their application.

For more information about the PDBR go to: PDBR

Prescription Home Delivery Saves Money

The TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery program has proven to be a cost-efficient way for beneficiaries to get their prescription medications. TRICARE Management Activity officials reported this week the results of a year-long study conducted by the DoD inspector general.

The study compared what the government spent on prescription drugs through the Home Delivery mail-order program and what the cost would have been at retail pharmacies. The Home Delivery program saved the government 16.7 percent - nearly $67 million - in the third quarter of FY 2012. Additionally, Express Scripts, the TRICARE pharmacy contractor, reported that Home Delivery offers a 99.99-percent prescription fill accuracy rate, high beneficiary satisfaction and improved patient outcomes.

"Although not surprised, we are certainly pleased at the results of the report," said U.S. Public Health Service Rear Adm. Thomas J. McGinnis, chief of TRICARE pharmaceutical operations. "Home Delivery saves beneficiaries and the Department of Defense millions of dollars every year, and gives beneficiaries a safe and secure way to receive their prescription medications."

In June 2013, the 1.64 million prescriptions filled through Home Delivery represented a 17 percent increase in volume compared to the previous year, while retail prescription volume fell 10 percent, officials said.

When TRICARE beneficiaries use the Home Delivery pharmacy to fill maintenance medication prescriptions, they receive a 90-day supply through the mail and have no copayment for generic formulary medications and a $13 copay for brand-name formulary medications. At retail network pharmacies, beneficiaries pay $5 for a 30-day supply of generic formulary medications and $17 for brand name formulary medications.

TRICARE beneficiaries can learn more and enroll for Home Delivery online at http://www.express-scripts.com/TRICARE/homedelivery or by phone at 877-363-1296.

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