Wright-Patterson to end walk-up medical service

Tricare, a military health insurance program, will end walk-in service at its office at Wright-Patterson on April 1.

The location is one the Department of Defense will abolish the service at 189 facilities nationwide in a cost-cutting move expected to save $250 million over five years. The Wright-Patterson office had an average of about 1,000 walk-in visits a month, figures show.

Health Net Federal Services, a private contractor, will reduce the number of employees at the office to five from eight, according to Marie Vanover, a Wright-Patterson spokeswoman.

The typical visits to the centers are for billing-related questions, handling in-and-out processing transfer requests, and changing primary care providers, according to the Pentagon.

Those services are available online or over the telephone, said Kevin J. Dwyer, a Defense Health Agency spokesman.

Tricare benefactors may log online at www.tricare.mil/TSC or call (877) 874-2273 for assistance with administrative issues, according to the health care program.

The change will not affect Tricare benefits or the delivery of health care, the Pentagon said.

The Wright-Patterson office will remain open for contractor employees who handle briefings to National Guard and reserve troops on Tricare programs, and to distribute materials, among other tasks, Dwyer said.

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