New Rules Help Military Deal with Addiction

Many communities and families are impacted by addictions from prescribed medications, illicit drugs and alcohol.

For our military community, a new TRICARE rule effective Oct. 3, expanded coverage for mental health and substance use disorder coverage. The new rule removes barriers to access, expands coverage and eases regulations governing health care providers. This is part of the Department of Defense’s broader effort to destigmatize mental health services.

The new rule removes annual time limits on inpatient mental health services and adds access to intensive outpatient treatment and treatment of opioid use disorder. Just as important are the changes for health care service providers. The rule eliminates the formal TRICARE certification process for residential treatment centers, psychiatric and substance use disorder partial hospitalization programs to submit for a separate TRICARE authorization. If the provider is accredited by an accrediting body approved by the Defense Health Agency they are not required to submit a separate application to become TRICARE-authorized. If you or a family member are receiving mental health services from a local provider, help us spread the word to our service providers about the recent TRICARE changes. This will increase access to our military and veteran community.

To read the full VC Star article from January 1, 2017, click here.