Got TriCare? Get Treatment Off Base...With Us
Youngsun Kim

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Got TriCare? Get Treatment Off Base… With Us

The San Diego area is home to many reserve, active, and veteran military personnel. All of these use TriCare as either their primary or supplemental insurance. Maybe you have TriCare and you are wondering what the best way is to receive physical therapy treatment? Maybe you think that you have to use a physical therapist on base in order to have it covered under TriCare, but this isn’t true. TriCare members are allowed to use TriCare providers that are off-base. 

I am sure this is good news, since it allows you to choose your own treatment, but this doesn’t necessarily narrow down which is the best physical therapist for you. Afterall, no matter what your insurance is, you want to get the best treatment you can. We have some helpful recommendations for you as you figure it out!

Call or visit the clinic you are interested in to interview an office manager or therapist and ask them specific questions, such as

  1. Ask how much time a licensed physical therapist spends with the patient.
    The number one complaint we receive about other clinics is that the physical therapist spends barely any time with the patient and fills up the appointment hour with cardio machines, various modalities such as ice, heat, or electrical stimulation, and exercises with a physical therapy aide, all while providing less than thirty minutes of actual time with a licensed physical therapist. For treatment to be effective, it is essential that a physical therapist spend one on one time with a patient, listening, examining, and providing hands-on therapy.
  2. Ask if the physical therapist who first consults you will be the same physical therapist who follows up with you each treatment.
    Continuity and consistency in treatment are both extremely important. Frequent changes in physical therapists affects your quality of care and hinders your recovery. A clinic that rotates patients between therapists isn’t a good choice.

  3. Ask what issues the physical therapist typically treats.
    Discuss with them your specific problem and see if they have experience treating that issue.

  4. Ask what credentials and specializations the physical therapist has.
    Different physical therapists are experts in different areas. Depending on what issue you are dealing with, you may need a physical therapist with a specialization in orthopedics, in manual therapy, or in neurological rehabilitation.

Once you’ve found a physical therapy clinic that will provide you with high-quality care, it’s time to get your referral and authorization from TriCare. We have some helpful advice for this too. 

These are the steps you need to follow:

  1. First, ask your primary care manager for a referral to physical therapy. This is essential and can’t be skipped, otherwise your specialist care will not be authorised and covered under TriCare. 
  2. Specifically request that you be referred out to a specialist that is in-network with TriCare, and mention the clinic of your choice. 
  3. Once your request is approved, an authorization will be sent to the clinic that you requested, and you will be able to begin treatment.

Happily, TriCare coverage of in-network, off-base providers typically has low co-pays, allowing you to receive high-quality care at a low cost. 

In even better news, Genuine Care Physical Therapy is covered as an in-network provider with TriCare. And, we provide one-on-one, intentional care and treat a tremendous array of conditions with utmost professionalism and expertise, leaving our patients confident that they are receiving the best care possible. 

If you want more information about how to receive physical therapy treatment at Genuine Care Physical Therapy with your TriCare coverage, call our clinic and speak to one of our staff today! We would love to talk with you and would be happy to help you any way that we can.

Emily Schmidt

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