The “ayes” had it as Congress approved a three-year pilot program that waives preauthorization for Tricare beneficiaries who want to visit an urgent care center. Tricare provides civilian health benefits for military personnel, military retirees, and their dependents. Part of the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, the program will take effect six months after President Obama signs the bill (S. 1356) into law. At the end of year 1 of the pilot, the Department of Defense must submit a report to Congress that compares use of urgent care with use of emergency departments in military medical treatment facilities and the Tricare-purchased care provider network, among other data. The Urgent Care Association of America has advocated for waiving preauthorization for urgent care visits for Tricare beneficiaries.
Tricare Urgent Care Pilot Now in Obama’s Hands