Medical care when the clinic is closed

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- What do you do if you need medical care when the clinic is closed? Where do you go? Who do you call?

These were some questions I received at a recent commanders call. I was concerned our warfighters and family members weren't aware of how to obtain medical care when the clinic is closed, either in or out of the local area.

Providers on stand-by
Buckley's providers are on call from 4 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends and holidays. When the clinic is closed and you require medical care, call the appointment line at 720-847-WELL and you will be transferred to the on call provider.

The provider's role is to answer questions and, if necessary, provide verbal authorization for you to receive care at an urgent care facility.

Beneficiaries can also call the appointment line when they are out of the local area or when the clinic is closed.

Emergency care
Emergency care is defined as a medical condition that could threaten life, limb or eyesight without immediate treatment. If the situation requires immediate medical treatment, or there are painful symptoms requiring immediate attention to relieve suffering, the situation is an emergency. 

If you are in need of emergency care call 911 or go directly to the nearest emergency room. Call the clinic the next duty day to speak to a nurse regarding your visit.

Examples of emergency situations include, but are not limited to: severe bleeding, chest pains, no pulse, inability to breathe, spinal cord or back injury, severe eye injuries or broken bones.

Emergency care may require 911 services or seeking care from the nearest emergency department. The following emergency departments are located near Buckley:

Aurora South
1501 South Potomac Street, 303-695-2600.

University of Colorado Hospital
Anschutz Medical Campus Emergency Department is located in the Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion off of Colfax Avenue near Peoria Street. The main entrance for the emergency department is to the right of the main hospital entrance. The phone number is 720-848-9111.

Urgent care
Urgent care is defined as illness or injury that won't cause further disability or death if not treated immediately, but requires professional attention to prevent it from developing a greater threat.

Urgent care visits are only to be used if the primary care manager is not available, such as after hours. Beneficiaries must obtain authorization for urgent care; otherwise they will be billed under TRICARE Prime's point of service option. 

If you believe you need urgent care call the appointment line, leave a message, and wait for the on-call provider to call back and give you authorization. Call the clinic the next duty day to speak to a nurse regarding your visit.

Examples of urgent care include, but are not limited to: minor lacerations, urinary tract infections, ear aches, migraine headaches, sprains or rising fever.

When to call
Contact the Primary Care Manager on-call at 720-847-WELL from 4 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday or all day on weekends and holidays. 

Beneficiaries must follow up with their enrolled clinic the next duty day.

Urgent Care locations:
Wal-mart Smart Care:
9156 Ironwood St., Highlands Ranch
6101 So. Aurora Pkwy., Aurora
Rocky Mountain Urgent Care facilities: www.rockymountainurgentcare.com