TriWest Introduces New Veteran Appointment Self-Scheduling Pilot Program
Phoenix, AZ (September 30, 2022) – A new TriWest pilot initiative will launch on Oct. 1, 2022, providing Veterans who have a VA-approved Optometry referral the ability to self-schedule appointments through the TriWest Self-Service Veteran Portal.
TriWest will initially roll out the new self-scheduling functionality with Optometry referrals only. This is because many Veterans needing Optometry services are already accustomed to scheduling their own eye exam appointments. Once the Optometry pilot program has successfully been completed, TriWest plans to roll out the Veteran self-scheduling capability to other provider specialties where self-scheduling is advantageous to Veterans.
This new self-scheduling capability will provide Veteran patients with several benefits. Veterans will have new convenience and control over their schedules, and the capability offers providers convenience and efficiency in working directly with Veterans while taking advantage of VA’s referral process and appointment scheduling procedures.
As with all appointments in the community, Veterans will be required to have an approved VA referral prior to scheduling Optometry appointments with local network providers and facilities of their choice.
Similarly, VA-approved Optometry referrals for Veterans and their families will indicate the type of doctor and facility to which the Veteran or family member has been referred. If a Veteran has a preferred provider for their referral, they will have to verify that the provider participates in the TriWest network found at VA.gov/find-locations.
It is important to be aware that Veterans must use a network provider for care, otherwise they may be responsible for any or all of the charges incurred.
How the Veteran Appointment Self-Scheduling Pilot Program Will Work
Under this new initiative, Veterans who visit TriWest.com and access the TriWest Veteran Portal through the “Veterans Services” dropdown menu will be able to access their VA referral indicating the type of Optometry doctor or facility to which they have been referred by VA.
If Veterans don’t have a portal account, they will see instructions to create one on the portal “Welcome” page before accessing their VA-approved referral.
Prior to accessing the portal, Veterans can view the “Veterans: Schedule Your Own Appointment” page to find instructions on how to access and view their complete referral information, and then begin scheduling their own appointments. After Veterans have viewed their referral on the Veteran Portal, they will be able to select the right type of doctor and facility to schedule their Optometry appointment.
Once Veterans select a network provider, they will be required to call the provider to schedule the appointment. Veterans will need to confirm their personal contact information and date/time of their newly scheduled appointment at that time.
After scheduling an appointment, Veterans must then report back to TriWest within 24 hours, indicating that their appointment has been scheduled. Otherwise, network providers will not receive important details and paperwork from TriWest for the Veteran appointment.
For Our Community Care Network Partners: When Veterans Call to Schedule an Appointment
As network providers, TriWest anticipates initially Optometrists, and later other providers, may begin to experience increased Veteran calls regarding scheduling appointments for VA-approved referrals.
Because Veterans will receive automated phone calls from TriWest informing them they have a VA-approved referral for care in their community, it is important they quickly schedule their appointments.
Veterans must schedule their appointments within 2-3 days of receiving their initial phone call from TriWest, which may prompt Veterans to call their preferred providers directly prior to reviewing their VA approved referral on the TriWest Veteran Portal.
Should network providers receive calls from Veterans, TriWest encourages providers to inform Veterans of the capability to access their referrals for self-scheduling appointments by finding easy instructions under the “Veteran Services” dropdown menu on the TriWest.com home page.
After a Veteran schedules a VA-referred appointment, a provider should remind the Veteran to report back to TriWest within 24 hours, indicating that their appointment has been scheduled. Otherwise, network providers will not receive important details and paperwork from TriWest for the Veteran appointment.