Sometimes it is difficult to know if and when to seek medical help for acute health problems, so having professional help at a moment’s notice is invaluable.
The Military Health System’s new Nurse Advice Line for TRICARE beneficiaries does just that.
Starting May 2 TRICARE beneficiaries in the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii can call the NAL toll-free twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
The NAL is a team of registered nurses who are available to answer a variety of urgent healthcare questions. They can help you decide 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 follow-up is necessary or requested, the NAL will call the beneficiary back to check 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 that an urgent care referral is needed so the patient does not have to worry about paying 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 (DEERS). Beneficiaries with an acute health care concern or question will be connected with a registered nurse that will ask the beneficiary 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 contact their PCM team through MiCare or call the clinic during duty hours, but the NAL is another option for beneficiaries to access the care they need and want in a timely fashion. Beginning May 2, you can access the NAL by dialing 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273) then select Option 1.