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Q: I am a retired veteran and I use TriCare for my supplemental health care plan. I have several chronic conditions for which I receive prescriptions through TriCare and receive automatic refills delivered to my home through Express Scripts. I was notified there would be a change in the process. What are the changes and how will they affect me?

A: Beginning Sept. 1, Express Scripts needs annual consent from patients who want to receive automatic refills of their maintenance medications enrolled in TriCare Pharmacy Home Delivery.

Just before one of your prescriptions runs out of refills, Express Scripts will confirm if you would like your doctor to be contacted to renew the prescription and if you would like to continue in the automatic refill program. If not, Express Scripts will not refill your prescription.

For more information, visit the Express Scripts website or call 877-363-1303. This annual consent is part of the effort to ensure that medications veterans receive are appropriate and compatible with other medications.

Did you know?

The VA has a caregiver support line, a great resource for a caregiver of any veteran. The support line is staffed by caring, licensed professionals who know about available care and support programs, can access services through the VA, and can connect with a caregiver support coordinator at a local VA medical center.

The support line also offers monthly telephone discussions on a variety topics. Visit the VA Caregiver Support Line monthly presentations webpage or call 855-260-3274.

Q: I have received VA health care for several years and overall have had a great experience. However, I recently was prescribed a three-week regimen of medicine. I quit taking the medication due to the side effects.

My concern is that no one from the VA ever made a follow-up contact to discover how I was fairing with the new medication. It was like no one cared how I was doing.

A: Depending on the likelihood of a bad side effect, the VA often calls to see how the patient is doing with a new medication. However, the VA also strongly encourages veterans to be a full partner in their health. When you decided to stop taking the medication, you should have contacted your VA medical teams and relayed that information to them.

The VA list of medications is extensive; if the medical team knew about your side effects, they likely would have changed your prescription. Patients, especially those who receive VA health care, have a responsibility to keep the VA medical team informed of significant health events and to provide the information that they need to properly diagnose and treat the veteran’s health care needs.

Event

Ken Burns’ epic series, "The Vietnam War," will air on most PBS stations beginning at 7 p.m. Sept. 17. The 10-part, 18-hour series follows America’s involvement in Vietnam and the consequences during and after the conflict.

H. Wayne Wilson of Central Illinois has compiled a companion documentary with input and perspectives from a number of Central Illinois veterans who served in Vietnam. Wilson’s documentary will air on WTVP beginning at 8 p.m. Sept. 15 and 4 p.m. Sept. 24. 

Veterans Corner publishes Monday. It is written by the McLean County Veterans Assistance Commission, 200 W. Front St., Bloomington, IL 61701; call 309-888-5140.

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