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.
Apr 01, 2020 / Article
May 29, 2020 / News
Aug 16, 2019 / Article
Additional Veterans Affairs and TRICARE Content
Mar 06, 2020 / News
TRICARE calls TENS "no more effective than placebo" and labels dry needling for LBP "unproven."
Dec 01, 2019 / Column
Use the information and resources here to get the details you need on regulatory compliance and related legal issues.
Nov 01, 2019 / Column
Here's what PTs need to know about recent changes and how to sign up.
Jun 07, 2019 / News
The VA released final rules related to a completely retooled program that allows veterans more choice in health care providers.
Jun 01, 2019 / Feature
Participation in sports holds many benefits for individuals with disabilities. PTs, PTAs, and students have important roles to play.
Dec 20, 2018 / News
Nearly a year after being signed into law, a proposed rule to include PTAs as authorized providers under TRICARE has been issued by the US Department of Defense.
May 11, 2018 / News
The VA is following through on a proposal to dramatically expand the use of telehealth services across state lines for VA beneficiaries.
Dec 12, 2017 / News
PTAs are on their way to officially joining the TRICARE payment program used throughout the Department of Defense health care system.
Nov 17, 2017 / News
"This is a significant win for PTAs, but an even bigger win for patients in the TRICARE program."
Sep 01, 2017 / Column
Or is twice sometimes nice?