I call the Patient Appointing Service at 7 a.m. every time I need to make an appointment. Even though I call as soon as the phone lines open I am still put
on hold for what seems like forever, and once I do speak with a real person I can't get an appointment because my clinic is already booked for the entire
day. How is it that by 7:05 a.m. all the appointments are already booked? Why is it so hard to get a same–day appointment?
A. Frustrated Beneficiary
Dear A. Frustrated Beneficiary,
"Thank you for your question. Your concerns are valid. We recognize our healthcare system is facing challenges at this time, and we are working to
implement new and innovative methods to address these access–to–care challenges."
For instance, we recently increased the number of appointments our Primary Care providers have available each day, and we are now offering
appointments to clinics outside of assigned primary care clinics in an effort to increase access to care and better accommodate our patients' needs.
There are other options we encourage all of our beneficiaries to take advantage of too which may reduce the stress of making and getting to an appointment
or mitigate the need for an appointment altogether.
The Nurse Advice Line is available to all Tricare beneficiaries. This is a local service patients call to
address any medical question 24–hours a day, seven days to receive advice on what to do during a health crisis. No question is too small or large.
They can tell you if you need an appointment, if you should go to the emergency room or provide advice on self care. The Nurse Advice Line
phone number is (254) 553-3695.
Another option available to our beneficiaries is the Army Medicine Secure Messaging System (AMSMS), contracted by RelayHealth. AMSMS is a secure online
message system which allows you to directly email your Primary Care provider for medication refills, lab results, and any health concerns. At your
next appointment, ask your clinic for an information form to fill out. Once the clinical staff has this short form completely filled out, they will
enroll the identified beneficiary or beneficiaries in secure messaging. The clinic will then send the beneficiary an email message to let them know
they can begin messaging their provider. Make sure you check your spam once you've signed up so you don't miss the email
from your clinic. By following this process, we can validate the correct patient information and ensure all HIPAA requirements are managed appropriately
so patient health information is safe. After properly enrolling in AMSMS through your assigned clinic, AMSMS can be accessed through TRICARE Online,
at www.tricareonline.com. Beneficiaries may access TRICARE On Line with a DFAS MyPay PIN,
Common Access Card or by creating a Department of Defense Self Service account. Registration is quick and easy!
For medical concerns that occur over the weekend or on holidays, CRDAMC offers a walk–in Weekend Acute Care Clinic at Thomas Moore Health Clinic
on Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays from 8 – 10 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m. The clinic is available to all Active Duty Soldiers, and TRICARE
Prime beneficiaries assigned to the following clinics; Copperas Cove Medical Home, Harker Heights Medical Home, Killeen Medical Home, Bennett,
Thomas Moore, Monroe, Russell Collier, Family Medicine Residency Center, TMC #12, TMC #14 and the Pediatric Clinic.
Additionally, if appointments are not available and the above mentioned options are not available, beneficiaries can be seen by an Urgent Care Team
Member in the Emergency Department at the hospital.
We hear your concerns and are diligently working to meet your healthcare needs and exceed your expectations.