23rd MDG announces change in services

  • Published
  • By 23rd Medical Group
  • 23rd Medical Group
Starting April 1, the 23rd Medical Group nursing call service, "CareNet", will no longer be available. This is the service that normally takes your calls after hours and on the weekends.

Medical assistance will still be available for all of our beneficiaries; however the process of how to seek care after hours will be different.

Exceptions can be made when the clinic is closed and a beneficiary requires urgent medical care. In the event this happens, beneficiaries must contact us within one duty day after being seen and provide information pertaining to the visit so a retro-referral can be properly entered.

The medical group's regular duty hours will remain the same, which are: Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed on weekends, federal holidays and Air Combat Command family days. They will also close at 10:30 a.m. on wing training days as scheduled for each month.

The main telephone number to the 23rd MDG will remain (229) 257-2778 or toll free at 1-800-889-3041. Updated information will be available at this number to assist beneficiaries with care options.

It is very important to always have one of these numbers with you: memorize it, enter it in to your cell phone, write it down and keep it in your wallet or purse - just make sure it is available when you need it.

During a normal duty day when a beneficiary calls for an acute care appointment, the appointment clerks will first try to schedule an appointment with a medical group provider. If all of our appointments are booked, information pertaining to the nature of the call will be sent to the primary care manager's registered nurse.

The RN returning the call will provide clinical guidance or consult with the beneficiary's PCM to determine the best course of action and ensure the care needed is rendered as quickly as possible. This may include walking patients into the clinic schedule, booking them for the next day or referring them to a network provider.

The "Fast Track" service will still be available Monday through Friday, 7: 30 to 11:00 a.m., for all of our active duty service members at the family practice clinic, with the exception of those assigned to flight medicine.

This walk-in care option will be expanded to meet a larger variety of acute care needs. We will work hard to ensure all active duty service members with acute care needs are seen by their enrolled clinic within the 24-hour standard time period. To prevent extended wait times, we recommend calling first to schedule an appointment.

During the normal duty hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., unless it is a true emergency, all TRICARE Prime beneficiaries enrolled at the 23rd MDG are required to contact their PCM before seeking medical care from a downtown network provider.

If medical care is inappropriately used or not properly coordinated through the PCM, the beneficiary may be billed. For this reason, beneficiaries should understand what is considered a medical emergency, when to go to the emergency room or if an urgent care center would be a better option.
What is a Medical Emergency?
A medical emergency is defined as a threat to life, limb or eyesight. Examples of conditions that would require emergency care at an ER include but are not limited to: severe bleeding, chest pain, shortness of breath or inability to breathe, allergic reactions, spinal cord or back injury, or severe eye injuries.

If you have a true emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest ER. Authorizations for true emergencies are honored; however, a follow up with the medical group is necessary on the next duty day to let us know what happened and to avoid potential billing problems.
Calling 911 while on Moody
The ambulance service is Moody's primary flightline response and should only be used in a true medical emergency. Calling 911 on base for minor problems can risk delaying a response to an in-flight emergency or a major medical crisis.
Please do not call the ambulance if it is not a medical emergency or if you do not intend to be treated or taken to the ER in the ambulance. If activating 911 while on base, please be certain to state you are calling from a location on Moody.
Urgent care center versus emergency room
UCCs are an excellent alternative for those faced with a condition that requires urgent care but is not a true life threatening emergency. UCCs are open late hours and on weekends and are equipped to handle most urgent medical situations efficiently at a fraction of the cost of an ER visit.

Urgent care is for an illness or injury that would not result in further disability or death if not treated immediately, but does require professional attention within 24 hours. Urgent care may have the potential to develop into an emergency if treatment is delayed longer than 24 hours.

Examples of urgent care conditions include minor injuries, high fever, severe headaches, sprains, broken bones, small cuts requiring stitches, excessive vomiting, eye pain/infections, sever colds and flu, earaches/infections and sore throats.

In summary, the ER should only be used when emergency care is required for serious medical, maternity or psychiatric conditions that would result in loss of life, limb or sight without immediate medical attention. UCCs are the preferred option for conditions that are not life threatening.
In either case, beneficiaries must contact their PCM before or no later than one duty day after being seen. Your follow-up call completes the referral process and helps avoid unnecessary charges that could result from Point of Service Care as described in the TRICARE rules.
If the beneficiary is traveling out of the area, contact Humana Military at 1-800-444-5445 or visit www.humana-military.com for help with locating a provider and obtaining a referral.
Following is a list of UCCs, after-hours walk-in clinics and ERs available in the local TRICARE network.

Urgent care centers and after-hours walk-in clinics in the local TRICARE network:

- Parrott Medical Clinic, (229) 249-7888
- Smith Northview Y-PAC, (229) 333-9722
- South Georgia Medical Center Youth Care, (229) 333-1196
- Choice Family Medicine - After-hours Walk-in Clinic, (229) 241-0041
- Valdosta Family Medicine - After-hours Walk-in Clinic, (229) 244-1400
- Winnersville - Walk-in Clinic, (229) 241-0774

Below is a list of Local Emergency Rooms in the local TRICARE network:

- Louis Smith Memorial Hospital, (229) 482-8440
- Smith Northview Hospital, (229) 333-9722
- South Georgia Medical Center, (229) 333-1000