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Ask the MEDDAC Commander

Col. Ron Stephens

'How do I get an appointment once my primary care manager puts in a referral?'

Col. Ron Stephens
Medical Department Activity-Alaska

Medical Department Activity-Alaska wants to be your trusted health care provider of choice. However, there are times when we need to refer you to another military or civilian medical treatment facility to ensure you get the care you need.

In most instances, your primary care manager will provide your referral. If you are referred to a specialist within Bassett Army Community Hospital or the 3rd Medical Group, you will be contacted by someone at the facility to set an appointment date and time.

For a routine referral, the specialty department will normally contact you within five working days. If you have not been contacted during that period of time, please call the specialty department to which you were referred.

Referrals to other facilities or providers are managed through the local Referral Coordination Center at your servicing facility. Once the RCC receives the referral, they will review it to determine where services can best be provided.

Remember, you must use a TRICARE network provider and have the authorization number provided by TriWest to avoid unnecessary out-of- pocket expenses.

If your care can best be addressed by a local civilian provider, you will receive a letter from TriWest that contains an authorization number and the contact information of the provider.

Beneficiaries registered at www.triwest.com can also receive a QuickAlert e-mail from TriWest when their TRICARE authorization or referral request has been processed. Simply follow the instructions on the letter to set up your appointment.

The RCC will contact beneficiaries whose referrals will be best served by another military medical treatment facility or an out-of-area civilian provider.

The RCC will work to coordinate appointment dates and will assist you with ensuring that travel arrangements and orders are processed. If you have a follow-up appointment out of the local area, contact the RCC to for assistance with travel arrangements.

If you have questions about the referral process, speak with your PCM at the time of your appointment or contact your RCC at 361-1813 for Fort Wainwright or 580-2778 for Fort Richardson.

As always, MEDDAC's No. 1 priority is to ensure you and your family members receive quality care with quality caring.