Tricare will resurrect a popular service nationwide in the coming months — a 24-hour nurse advice line intended to give out information, improve care and reduce emergency room visits.
The Defense Department announced Thursday it has awarded a nearly $30 million contract to Science Applications International Corp., of McLean, Va., to provide the nationwide service to troops, retirees and their family members.
Some overseas Tricare beneficiaries already have access to a nurse advice line that provides a 24-hour link to medical information and advice. Registered nurses furnish guidance on at-home treatments and provide counseling to determine whether a beneficiary should seek immediate care.
They also assist with information on managing chronic conditions and in some cases can help with scheduling appointments.
According to the Pentagon’s fiscal 2013 budget estimates, the domestic line will provide similar benefits.
Tricare discontinued its round-the-clock Health Care Information Line in 2004 because “past studies” indicated it could “improve customer service by enhancing access to care and health care information with alternatives,” according to a then-issued release.
Tricare told customers they should address personal health care issues with their provider or a local treatment facility and said they could access general health care information through their Tricare region contractor’s libraries, resources at their military treatment facilities and at www.tricareonline.com.