NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Sometimes it is difficult to know if and when to seek medical help for an acute health problem, so having professional assistance at a moment’s notice is invaluable.
The Military Health System’s new Nurse Advice Line for TRICARE beneficiaries does just that. As of April 2014, TRICARE beneficiaries in the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii can call the NAL toll-free line 24/7.
The NAL is a team of registered nurses who are available to answer a variety of urgent healthcare questions. They can assist you in deciding whether self-care is the best option, or if it is better to see a healthcare provider.
There will always be a live-person on the line to address beneficiary concerns.
The NAL offers a variety of solutions for all TRICARE beneficiaries.
For pediatric issues, the NAL will route the beneficiary to a pediatric nurse. If a follow-up is necessary or requested, the NAL will call the beneficiary back to check on the child’s status a few hours later. The NAL will make same-day appointments with the beneficiary’s primary care manager for TRICARE Prime beneficiaries who are enrolled to military treatment facilities. If a same- day appointment is not available, the NAL will re-direct the beneficiary to the closest urgent care center, and advise the PCM an urgent care referral is needed so the patient does not have to pay any point of service co-pays.
All other TRICARE beneficiaries who are not enrolled to a MTF will receive professional health advice about their urgent health concern and when to seek urgent care.
When calling the NAL, a customer service representative will verify the beneficiary’s eligibility through the Defense Enrollment and Eligibility Reporting System. Beneficiaries with an acute health care concern or question will be connected with a registered nurse that will ask a series of very standard questions to determine the next steps and allow the NAL nurse to provide the best advice possible.
Beneficiaries can still call their PCM or clinic during regular office hours, but the NAL offers another option for beneficiaries to access the care they need and want in a timely fashion. To access the NAL dial 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273).