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Walk-in Admin Services at 189 Facilities
01/13/2014 12:19 PM CST
Ends Walk-in Admin Services at 189 Facilities
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2014 - TRICARE military health plan service centers
will end administrative walk-in services in the United States on April 1,
Pentagon officials said today.
While the 189 facilities will stop taking walk-ins, beneficiaries can
accomplish any administrative task online or by phone, said Pentagon
spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren.
TRICARE service centers overseas are not affected, Warren said.
"The change will not let me repeat that will not affect any
TRICARE medical benefit or health care service," he emphasized.
"What it will do is allow the department to save $250 million over the
next five years, allowing TRICARE to invest in more important
Fifty percent of the visits to the centers are for in- and
out-processing and requests to change primary care providers, and the rest
involve billing-related questions, officials said. The Defense Department
spends roughly $50 million a year on these services, and this type of
customer service can be handled more efficiently by phone or online, they
TRICARE gets about 38,000 hits per day on its website. Officials have
run tests to ensure the website and call center can handle the expected
increase in volume.
The TRICARE service centers have been around since the 1990s, and
contractors staff them, Warren said. "This is being driven by the fact
that technology has gotten so much better," he added. Customers who
need the type of assistance that was being done in these walk-in service
centers can quickly and efficiently receive help online or via phone, he
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