Health care: benefit, individual responsibility Published Feb. 27, 2012 By Capt. Damien Pardue 36th Medical Group ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Did you know in 2011 over 2,100 appointments resulted in no-shows for the 36th Medical Group? A missed appointment without prior notifications cost the military approximately $100 in lost opportunity, meaning over $210,000 was wasted in the past year alone. Additionally, patients who failed to attend a scheduled appointment prevented other patients from being scheduled, which resulted in increased wait time for an appointment. Such delays may adversely affect patient health and often increase frustration. We need your help! If you can't keep your appointment, please cancel by calling the appointment line so someone else can use it. To help decrease our no-show problem, an appointment reminder system is being utilized that calls the patient one day prior to an appointment. Each patient household will receive a recorded message identifying the patient by birth month and day, as well as the appointment date and time. Additionally, we are working on adding a feature to our appointment reminder system that would also give our patients the option to cancel the appointment, freeing a bookable appointment for someone else. To make this work the sponsor and family member's telephone numbers are pulled from the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, so it's critical your phone number in DEERS is current. This is why you are asked to validate your information when you make an appointment. Should you need to update your DEERS information please contact Andersen's Force Support Squadron or visit www.tricare.mil/mybenefit. The 36 MDG continues to explore options to improve access to health care for all beneficiaries, but we need the help of our beneficiaries. If you realize you cannot make an appointment, please call (671)-366-WELL (9355) as soon as possible, but at least three hours prior to Family Medicine, Flight Medicine and Pediatric appointments and 24 hours prior to Mental Health, Optometry, Physical Therapy, and Women's Health appointments. The 36 MDG appreciates your partnership in helping us meet the goal of maximizing appointment availability while offering world class health care to all of our beneficiaries.