VA and TRICARE are major health systems in which PTs and PTAs play a major role.
Currently serving and former members of the U.S. armed services are offered health care through an extensive system in which PTs and PTAs play a major role. That's why it's important to understand the two main providers.
The Department of Veterans Affairs oversees the Veterans Health Administration, which covers only veterans—those who once served in the military and no longer are in active duty or who are retired veterans who also meet certain eligibility and health criteria.
TRICARE is a civilian network administered by the U.S. Department of Defense that provides health care benefits to active-duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members, and their families when services cannot be provided at a military treatment facility. When service members leave active duty, they're eligible for either VA or TRICARE coverage, depending on how they separated from military duty. TRICARE covers physical therapy when furnished by a PT, or PTA performing under the supervision of a TRICARE-authorized PT.
PTAs were recognized as TRICARE-authorized providers as of April 16, 2020. See TRICARE's website for a description of covered services and providers.
Jun 30, 2020 / News
Apr 1, 2020 / Article
May 29, 2020 / News
Aug 16, 2019 / Article
Additional Veterans Affairs and TRICARE Content
Jul 22, 2022 / Podcast
APTA staff experts provide insight on what's happening, and what's to come.
Feb 3, 2021 / News
APTA pressed for updated descriptions of PTA qualifications and skills. The change led to a raise in pay ranges.
Nov 10, 2020 / Review
The rule is intended to ensure consistent care and ease VA providers' fears about retribution from state licensing boards.
Oct 28, 2020 / News
The updated information includes a list of accepted ICD-10 codes. APTA has resources to help you optimize participation.
Sep 27, 2020 / Column
Important information for PTs and PTAs serving service members, veterans, and their families.
Sep 28, 2020 / Open Access
TRICARE is waiving cost-sharing for PT visits for patients with LBP. Let's show them why that's a good idea.
May 11, 2020 / Review
An interim rule that allows for the use of audio-only remote services for office visit.
Apr 22, 2020 / News
TRICARE has officially revised its policy manual to recognize PTAs as authorized providers.
Mar 6, 2020 / News
TRICARE calls TENS "no more effective than placebo" and labels dry needling for LBP "unproven."
Dec 1, 2019 / Column
Use the information and resources here to get the details you need on regulatory compliance and related legal issues.