NEWS | May 19, 2014

Have medical questions? Call the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line

By Naval Health Clinic Charleston Public Affairs

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.
Beginning May 30, 2014, all TRICARE beneficiaries can call the NAL toll-free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Many of our enrolled patients are familiar with the Care Net advice line that has been available at Naval Health Clinic Charleston," said Capt. Debra Carter, Naval Health Clinic Medical Home Port department head. "The previous nursing advice line was only available after clinic hours and on weekends. The new Nurse Advice Line will have registered nurses available 24/7, which is an increased benefit for our patients and all TRICARE beneficiaries."

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.
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.

The NAL will make same-day appointments with the beneficiary's primary care manager for TRICARE Prime beneficiaries who are enrolled in 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.

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.

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.

To access the NAL, once it launches May 30, dial 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273); Option 1. When calling the NAL, a customer service representative will verify the beneficiary's eligibility through the Defense Enrollment and Eligibility Reporting System. Beneficiaries can still call their PCM or clinic, but the NAL is another option for beneficiaries to access the care they need and want in a timely fashion.