(a)(1) In the case of a person who is a covered beneficiary, the United States shall have the right to collect from a third-party payer reasonable charges for health care services incurred by the United States on behalf of such person through a facility of the uniformed services to the extent that the person would be eligible to receive reimbursement or indemnification from the third-party payer if the person were to incur such charges on the person's own behalf. If the insurance, medical service, or health plan of that payer includes a requirement for a deductible or copayment by the beneficiary of the plan, then the amount that the United States may collect from the third-party payer is a reasonable charge for the care provided less the appropriate deductible or copayment amount.
(2) A covered beneficiary may not be required to pay an additional amount to the United States for health care services by reason of this section.
(b) No provision of any insurance, medical service, or health plan contract or agreement having the effect of excluding from coverage or limiting payment of charges for certain care shall operate to prevent collection by the United States under subsection (a) if that care is provided--
(1) through a facility of the uniformed services;
(2) directly or indirectly by a governmental entity;
(3) to an individual who has no obligation to pay for that care or for whom no other person has a legal obligation to pay; or
(4) by a provider with which the third party payer has no participation agreement.
(c) Under regulations prescribed under subsection (f), records of the facility of the uniformed services that provided health care services to a beneficiary of an insurance, medical service, or health plan of a third-party payer shall be made available for inspection and review by representatives of the payer from which collection by the United States is sought.
(d) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b), and except as provided in subsection (j), collection may not be made under this section in the case of a plan administered under title XVIII or XIX of the Social Security Act ( 42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq. ).
(e)(1) The United States may institute and prosecute legal proceedings against a third-party payer to enforce a right of the United States under this section.
(2) The administering Secretary may compromise, settle, or waive a claim of the United States under this section.
(f) The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the other administering Secretaries, shall prescribe regulations for the administration of this section. Such regulations shall provide for computation of the reasonable cost of health care services. Computation of such reasonable cost may be based on--
(1) per diem rates;
(2) all-inclusive per visit rates;
(3) diagnosis-related groups; or
(4) such other method as may be appropriate.
(g) Amounts collected under this section from a third-party payer or under any other provision of law from any other payer for health care services provided at or through a facility of the uniformed services shall be credited to the appropriation supporting the maintenance and operation of the facility and shall not be taken into consideration in establishing the operating budget of the facility.
(h) In this section:
(1) The term “third-party payer” means an entity that provides an insurance, medical service, or health plan by contract or agreement, including an automobile liability insurance or no fault insurance carrier, and any other plan or program that is designed to provide compensation or coverage for expenses incurred by a beneficiary for health care services or products. Such term also includes entities described in subsection (j) under the terms and to the extent provided in such subsection.
(2) The term “insurance, medical service, or health plan” includes a preferred provider organization, an insurance plan described as Medicare supplemental insurance, and a personal injury protection plan or medical payments benefit plan for personal injuries resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle.
(3) The term “health care services” includes products provided or purchased through a facility of the uniformed services.
(i)(1) In the case of a third-party payer that is an automobile liability insurance or no fault insurance carrier, the right of the United States to collect under this section shall extend to health care services provided to a person entitled to health care under section 1074(a) of this title.
(2) In cases in which a tort liability is created upon some third person, collection from a third-party payer that is an automobile liability insurance carrier shall be governed by the provisions of Public Law 87-693 ( 42 U.S.C. 2651 et seq. ).
(j) The Secretary of Defense may enter into an agreement with any health maintenance organization, competitive medical plan, health care prepayment plan, or other similar plan (pursuant to regulations issued by the Secretary) providing for collection under this section from such organization or plan for services provided to a covered beneficiary who is an enrollee in such organization or plan.
(k)(1) To improve the administration of this section and sections 1079(j)(1) and 1086(d) of this title, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the other administering Secretaries, may prescribe regulations providing for the collection of information regarding insurance, medical service, or health plans of third-party payers held by covered beneficiaries.
(2) The collection of information under regulations prescribed under paragraph (1) shall be conducted in the same manner as is provided in section 1862(b)(5) of the Social Security Act ( 42 U.S.C. 1395y(b)(5) ). The Secretary may provide for obtaining from the Commissioner of Social Security employment information comparable to the information provided to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services pursuant to such section. Such regulations may require the mandatory disclosure of Social Security account numbers for all covered beneficiaries.
(3) The Secretary may disclose relevant employment information collected under this subsection to fiscal intermediaries or other designated contractors.
(4) The Secretary may provide for contacting employers of covered beneficiaries to obtain group health plan information comparable to the information authorized to be obtained under section 1862(b)(5)(C) of the Social Security Act ( 42 U.S.C. 1395y(b)(5)(C) ). Notwithstanding clause (iii) of such section, clause (ii) of such section regarding the imposition of civil money penalties shall apply to the collection of information under this paragraph.
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