JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
Air Force medical treatment facilities at Joint Base San Antonio locations are still accepting registrations for MiCare, which was introduced last year to expedite communications between patients and providers.
MiCare, a secure online health care messaging system, was designed to help military members and their families more easily and effectively manage their health and wellness, regardless of the location or if care is sought inside or beyond the military health system.
"This is accomplished by allowing providers to exchange information with patients by email versus over the phone or at in-person appointments," Capt. Jennifer Tomlinson, 359th Medical Support Squadron TRICARE Operations and Patient Administration Flight commander, said.
Airmen and their dependents, retirees and Reservists on orders assigned to a primary care manager are eligible for MiCare.
Once enrolled, they can request prescription refills, book appointments, receive medical test and lab work results, obtain a copy of immunization records or ask doctors questions on non-urgent matters - all online.
To sign up, patients must fill out a MiCare registration form, turn it in to their medical treatment facility and show them their military identification card, 1st Lt. Charlene Rueben, 359th MDSS group practice manager, said.
Enrollees will then receive an email to which they must respond to complete the registration process.
According to the Air Force Medical Service website, other MiCare benefits include getting written advice that might be forgotten or misunderstood if communicated verbally, avoiding the annoyance of waiting in phone trees and playing "telephone tag," and close monitoring of health issues through confidential online communications without the inconveniences of traffic, parking or lost days at work.
For Staff Sgt. Lesley Burkett, 359th Medical Group population health office manager, MiCare also helps clinic staff members become more efficient with customer service.
"Communication between the (health care) team and patients is better," she said. "Sometimes, it's much easier for patients to send an email to providers and vice versa. Additionally, a digital record of message exchanges makes it easier for patients and providers to keep track of information."
According to the AFMS, 60 Air Force installations are listed as using MiCare. By the end of fiscal year 2013, all military treatment facilities will have received MiCare. For service members permanently changing stations, the AFMS advises eligible people to check with their health care team to see if MiCare is available at their next military treatment facility.
People can pick up registration forms at their MTF or visit http://www.jber.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-101213-021.pdf
For more information, visit http://www.afms.af.mil/micare/
. To sign into MiCare once enrolled, visit https://app.relayhealth.com/security/login/default.aspx