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Call TRICARE Nurse Advice Line for medical questions

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Sometimes it is difficult to know when to seek medical help for acute health problems, so having access to professional advice at a moment's notice is invaluable.

The Military Health System's new Nurse Advice Line for TRICARE beneficiaries does just that. Since late April 2014, TRICARE beneficiaries in the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii can call the NAL toll-free 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The NAL is a team of registered nurses who are available to answer a variety of urgent healthcare questions. They can help you decide whether self-care is the best option or if it is better to see a healthcare provider. There will always be a live person on the line to address patient concerns.

When calling the NAL, a customer service representative will verify the beneficiary's eligibility through the Defense Enrollment and Eligibility Reporting System. Beneficiaries with an acute health care concern will be connected with a registered nurse who will ask a series of standard questions to determine the best course of action.

The NAL offers a variety of solutions for all TRICARE beneficiaries. For pediatric issues, the NAL will route the beneficiary to a pediatric nurse. If follow-up is necessary or requested, the NAL will call the beneficiary back to check the child's status a few hours later. The NAL will make same-day appointments, or next-day appointments if appropriate, with the beneficiary's primary care manager for TRICARE Prime beneficiaries who are enrolled to military treatment facilities.

If a same-day appointment is not available, the NAL will direct the beneficiary to the closest urgent care center and inform the PCM of the referral to avoid point-of-service bills. All other TRICARE beneficiaries who are not enrolled to a MTF will receive professional health advice about their urgent health concern.

Beneficiaries can still call their PCM or clinic, but the NAL is another option for beneficiaries to access the care they need and want in a timely fashion. To access the NAL, call 524-2273 option 3, or (800) 874-2273 option 1 if you are traveling out of the area.

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