TRICARE referrals can be easy to obtain

By Tyler Patterson: TriWest Healthcare Alliance

PHOENIX — Has your primary care manager (PCM) decided that you need to see a specialist? Getting the care you need is just four simple steps away:

• Get a referral: If you are a TRICARE Prime beneficiary who needs specialty medical care, you’ll need to get your PCM to submit a referral request. If you use TRICARE for Life, TRICARE Standard/Extra, TRICARE Reserve Select or TRICARE Retired Reserve, you don’t need a referral to see a specialist, although you may need a prior authorization for some services. Contact TriWest at 1-888-TRIWEST (874-9378) to find out.

• Wait for your authorization letter to arrive: Good news — you can shave a few days from the process in this step! Register for paperless authorization letters at www.triwest.com/paperless and you will receive your authorization letter electronically within 24 hours of TriWest authorizing your referral. If you aren’t registered, you’ll receive your letter in the mail about a week after your referral is authorized.

• Set your appointment: You can either schedule an appointment with the specialist you were referred to, or you can use the Provider Directory at www.triwest.com/ProviderDirectory to find another TRICARE network provider. Remember to call TriWest and let us know who your new provider will be if you use the Provider Directory to find a different specialist.

• Notify TriWest at 1-866-876-2383: To help manage your care, it’s important that your PCM receives the consultation or treatment records from your specialist quickly. We can help if you let us know when your appointment is scheduled.