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TRICARE Patient Transfer Pilot

Questions and answers about the TRICARE Patient Transfer Pilot


Why is TRICARE launching the TRICARE Patient Transfer Pilot?


We want to evaluate the collaboration between our MTFs, the regional contractors and civilian emergency departments. The outcome may enable us to consider operational and financial changes needed to:

  • Optimize the capabilities of the direct care system
  • Support medical readiness
  • Enhance MTF provider efficiency and graduate medical education programs
  • Steward taxpayer dollars
  • Reduce beneficiary costs
  • Enhance beneficiary satisfaction


Why would beneficiaries want to transfer to a MTF?


Beneficiaries will need to decide based on their individual scenario. They may already have a doctor at the MTF they prefer to see or maybe moving to an MTF will save them money.


Is there any scenario when transferring to an MTF may not be the best option for beneficiaries?


A transfer won’t be recommended unless the patient is clinically stable and doctors at both facilities agree to the transfer. Ultimately, it’s a personal decision, and beneficiaries should consider:

  • The rules for their health plan (i.e. TRICARE Prime, TRICARE Select, TRICARE For Life)
  • The type of care they need and how long they may be admitted
  • Which facility is more convenient for them (closer to home, etc.)
  • Costs for the care at a civilian facility compared to the MTF


What is the process for transferring from a civilian facility to an MTF?


Each MTF will establish its own process, but basically:

  • The civilian facility will contact the MTF Patient Transfer Hotline
  • The MTF decides if they will accept the transfer within 30 minutes
  • Patient transport is arranged within 30 minutes

MTFs and regional contractors will work with neighboring civilian facilities to inform them about the process and provide educational materials about the pilot.


How can I learn more about the TRICARE Patient Transfer Pilot?


For more information, contact a participating MTF using the links listed in the chart above.


If a non-active duty beneficiary accepts transfer from the civilian hospital to an MTF, who pays for the ambulance ride?


For the pilot, if either the civilian facility or the MTF makes the request, it is considered an "order" and allows TRICARE to cost share for the ambulance transport to the MTF. >>View Health Plan Costs

In some locations, the MTF may arrange for a contracted ambulance service at no cost to the beneficiary.

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