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Uniform Business Office (UBO)

DHA UBO

The Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Capital Region Medical Directorate (NCR MD) establish and operate UBO offices at Defense Health Program (DHP) fixed military treatment facilities (MTFs) throughout the world that administer Third Party Collections (TPC), Medical Services Account (MSA), and Medical Affirmative Claim (MAC) Programs:

  • MSA activities involve the first-payer billing of individuals and other Government Agencies for services rendered in MTFs to include, but not limited to, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Public Health Service. 
  • TPC activities involve billing third-party payers on behalf of non-active duty dependents for treatment provided in MTFs. 
  • MAC activities involve billing all areas of liability insurance, such as automobile, products, premises and general casualty, homeowner's and renter's insurance, medical malpractice (by civilian providers), and workers' compensation (other than Federal employees).

These efforts are coordinated by the Chartered UBO Advisory Working Group, composed of the DHA, Army, Navy, Air Force, and NCR MD Program Officers, who meet quarterly to review and recommend effective processes to identify, review, validate, and prioritize functional changes and business process improvements to support MTF revenue cycle management activities.

UBO offices focus on ensuring that billable services are identified; payer information is available; accurate and complete claims are generated; and appropriate collections are received. Together, the three cost recovery programs provide the business processes for cost recovery including collections control, accounts receivable, and deposits.

The UBO Mission

Our mission is to optimize allowable health care cost recovery within compliance guidelines in support of the operational and readiness mission of the MHS.

The UBO supports the TRICARE managed care programs by providing tools and policies to enhance and improve the effectiveness of the financial and collection operations. Additionally, the UBO supports managing and expediting collections from patients and third party insurers; supports consistent and uniform reporting of expense, manpower and workload data, and enhancing third party reimbursements.

Latest News:

  • The updated MTF UBO Manual is now available. The UBO Manual provides guidelines for the operation of MTF UBOs and prescribes uniform billing procedures and accounting practices for the management and follow-up of patient accounts, including collecting, depositing, posting, and reconciliation. If you have any questions, please contact the DHA UBO Help Desk. 
  • The DHA UBO Fall 2017 Newsletter is now available. The content of the newsletter includes topics such as PATCAT updates, DHA UBO User Guide updates, and the VA Choice Initiative. If you have any questions, please contact the DHA UBO Help Desk.
  • New CY17 Outpatient and Cosmetic Surgery Rates became effective July 1, 2017.  Download current files from the “MHS UBO Rates” landing page on health.mil or Launchpad. If you have any questions, please contact the DHA UBO Help Desk
  • New PATCAT table (v6.1) is available for use. The table was updated effective May 19, 2017 to incorporate rate changes/corrections for civilian personnel stationed/employed at OCONUS facilities and new PATCATs created for the VA Choice Program.  Download current PATCAT table (v6.1 released May2017).
  • VA Choice Program (VCP) Initiative – New PATCAT Approved. Please see full update on the "Patient Categories" landing page on health.mil or Launchpad. For questions, please contact the DHA UBO Help Desk

Visit the DHA Launchpad site and navigate to the UBO page for more information. CAC Authentication is required.

Frequently Asked Questions

UBO offices focus on ensuring that billable services are identified; payer information is available; accurate and complete claims are generated; and appropriate collections are received. Together, the three cost recovery programs provide the business processes for cost recovery including collections control, accounts receivable, and deposits.

This section is updated with questions the UBO receives from you! Send questions or suggestions to us via email, with the subject "FAQs".

For additional questions and answers, visit the UBO Learning Center to view webinar Q&As by topic.

Q1:

What should I do if a claim is denied?

A:

You should contact the payer and ask for the reason(s) that the claim was denied and what information is necessary to correct the claim (make sure you document the conversation). In addition to reviewing on a claim by claim basis, review denials for trends for certain submissions. Talk with your utilization review team to get a sense as to what is impacting covered vs. non-covered claims, identify trends, and seek to proactively reduce and correct common mistakes.

For additional questions or comments, please email the UBO Help Desk, or leave a message for the Help Desk staff at 202-776-1532.

Q2:

Can Army MEDCOM military treatment facilities (MTFs) bill for acupuncture and chiropractic services rendered to TRICARE beneficiaries?

A:

Yes, MTFs can bill for acupuncture and chiropractic services, provided there are UBO approved rates for the services (CPT or HCPCS codes). However, the payer may not cover acupuncture and chiropractic services if the payer determines those services are not covered, unless they are deemed medically appropriate by the provider.

You also may be interested in...

DHA-PM 6015.01: Military Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) Uniform Business Office (UBO) Operations

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedures Manual (DHA-PM), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (ah), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures to: Provide guidelines for the operation of MTF UBOs. It prescribes uniform billing procedures and accounting practices for the management and follow-up of patient accounts, including collecting, depositing, posting, and reconciliation. Prescribe procedures for the Third Party Collections (TPCs), Medical Services Account (MSA), and Medical Affirmative Claims (MAC) programs, such as identification of beneficiaries who have other health insurance (OHI), coordination of benefits, and recovery of claims.

DoD Instruction 6015.23: Foreign Military Personnel Care and Uniform Business Offices in Military Treatment Facilities

Policy

This instruction reissues and renames DoD Instruction (DoDI) 6015.23 (Reference (a)), in accordance with the authority in DoD Directive 5124.02 (Reference (b)), to establish policy, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures on provisions in the delivery of health care at MTFs in the Military Health System (MHS) regarding foreign military personnel care, Uniform Business Offices (UBOs), beneficiary counseling and assistance coordinators (BCAC), and debt collection assistance officers (DCAO).

Uniform Business Office User Guide

Publication
4/29/2014

This user guide provides functional guidance on data collection and Uniform Business Office (UBO) practices and billing procedures for military treatment facilities (MTFs). This is a living document that is updated by the Defense Health Agency (DHA) UBO Program Office as necessary.

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Uniform Business Office
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