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Local phone number changes for TRICARE appointment line

FORT CARSON, Colo. -- The telephone number for patients to call to make TRICARE medical appointments has changed.

Beneficiaries can dial 526-CARE or 524-CARE and continue to get access to care.

The old 457-CARE was supported by Air Force funding to a contractor and is no longer available. As a result, Fort Carson MEDDAC chose to take over the local line.

"By maintaining the number, we ensure continuity and quality of care to make an appointment that will get our beneficiaries to their patient centered medical homes," said Col. Jimmie O. Keenan, MEDDAC commander.

Although the phone number prefix has changed, all of the other features and menus within the CARE line remain the same.

Because Fort Carson MEDDAC owns the new numbers and hosts the new system onsite, there are other benefits as well.

"This will ensure reliability and shorten response times to technical problems," said Maj. Roby Randall, MEDDAC Information Management Division chief. "The collaboration and cooperation between the Army and Air Force medical commands will save the taxpayers $55,000 a year."

Beneficiaries calling the old number in December will hear a message about the new 524/526-CARE line and then will be forwarded to the correct number.

In January 2012, the old line will simply play a message about the new numbers.

By February, the old line will be permanently cut off.

Keenan emphasized that continuity and uninterrupted service is the focus.

"We truly want to ensure we do all we can each and every day to care for American's sons and daughters by reducing confusion and the hassle of accessing health care," she said.

In addition, beneficiaries can make appointments anytime online. Register at www.tricareonline.com for the convenience of making appointments at the click of a button.

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