Federal Daily News

Tricare service centers to cease administrative walk-in service

The Defense Department announced that Tricare will no longer provide administrative walk-in services at service centers in the United States after April 1. Overseas centers are not affected.

DOD emphasized the change will not affect Tricare medical benefits or health care services.

DOD said that half of the administrative visits to the 189 contractor-operated centers are for in- and out-processing and requests to change primary-care providers, and the remainder all involve billing-related questions. The services cost DOD of about $50 million per year to provide.

The department currently spends about $50 million a year on the centers. DOD said the administrative tasks the centers conduct can be handled more efficiently by phone or online, and that the department already has done tests make sure its website and call center can handle the additional volume after the change.

DOD said improvements in technology have made getting help online or by phone faster and more efficient.

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