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Tricare Walk-in centers expected to close in 2014

Tricare to close walk-in centers

Tricare officials said Nov. 14 that the walk-in centers, which provide beneficiaries with face-to-face assistance on claims
paperwork, enrollment changes, processing and more, were inefficient and underutilized.

After a year-long review, military health system leaders concluded that customers could be better served with a toll-free
Tricare telephone customer service center or online.

“We were making beneficiaries come to us rather than bringing customer service to them. We are now re-engineering
how we deliver service, and removing any requirement for beneficiaries to ‘walk in’ at limited, prescribed hours of the day
to get their questions answered or problems solved,” Tricare spokesman Austin Camacho said.

Many centers are located within military hospitals and clinics, but some are in freestanding buildings on military
installations or in the nearby civilian community. They often are staffed with one or two individuals.

According to data provided by Tricare, utilization rates at service centers have varied from eight to 3,000 customers per
month. The cost of running a center ranges from $30 to $216 per walk-in customer.

Overseas Tricare Service Centers will not be affected. The changeover is likely to begin in spring 2014