Office and appointment access standards

TRICARE access standards ensure that beneficiaries receive timely care within a reasonable distance from their homes. Emergency services must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Network and military hospital and clinic providers must adhere to the following access standards for non-emergency care:

  • Preventive care appointment: Four weeks (28 days)
  • Routine care appointment: One week (seven days)
  • Specialty care appointment: Four weeks (28 days)
  • Urgent care/acute illness appointment: One day (24 hours)

Office wait times for non-emergency care appointments shall not exceed 30 minutes except when the provider’s normal appointment schedule is interrupted due to an emergency. Providers that are running behind schedule should notify the patient of the cause and anticipated length of the delay, and offer to reschedule the appointment. The patient may choose to keep the scheduled appointment.