Tinker families to have opportunity to choose Primary Care Provider

  • Published
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Soon, and for a limited time only, active duty family members, retirees and their family members will have the opportunity to change their Primary Care provider.

In the coming weeks, The 72nd Medical Group will open up an opportunity that will allow all active duty family members, retirees and retiree family members enrolled to the Family Health and Pediatrics clinics, the ability to transfer their enrolment off base to a network Primary Care provider.

72nd MDG commander, Col. Jennifer Trinkle explained, “The top priority of the 72nd Medical Group is patient safety and delivering Trusted Care to all our Air Force family members, past, present, and future. In our current environment, we need to find a balance between patient demand and available resources.”

The Air Force Medical Service as a whole is facing a shortage of primary care providers. This shortage, combined with inconsistent policies, over empaneling patients to PCMs, deployments, and other factors has resulted in suboptimal access to healthcare for AFMS patients.

To improve access to care, the AFMS is required to balance patient demand with the resources available. By standardizing the patient-to-primary care manager’s ratio, providers will be postured to deliver high-quality, trusted care to Airmen and their families.

“Transferring to a network Primary Care provider can have several advantages,” states Lt. Col. Theodosia Hill, the 72nd MDG Administrator. “Patients offered this opportunity may be able to select a Primary Care provider that is closer to their home, cutting down on travel time.  We also know how hard it is to establish long-term relationships with military providers who are continuously tasked with deployments and changes in duty assignments. Being assigned to an off-base provider can help alleviate some of those concerns.”

Any member that elects to be seen off-base will still have access to the 72nd Medical Group’s Pharmacy, Laboratory and Radiology departments at no additional cost.  

However, retirees and retiree family members that elect to enroll in the network will be required to incur a co-payment of $20 to $30 per visit to their primary care provider. Military dependents who are reassigned to a network provider off base will not have a co-payment.            

Letters will be mailed to all eligible enrollees with instructions on how to make the change in the next couple of weeks.

If you have any questions, please contact the Group Practice Manager, Capt. Saxon Hanwacker at (405) 582-6486.