CLAY — WellNow Urgent Care announced it has added TriWest — which administers health plans for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) — to its network of accepted insurance plans.
TriWest Healthcare Alliance is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, per its website.
Through this partnership, WellNow Urgent Care has been named a VA-authorized urgent-care provider where veterans can receive treatment for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses, per a Sept. 5 WellNow news release.
WellNow, which has locations across upstate New York, describes itself as “one of New York State’s fastest-growing urgent care providers.” It was formerly known as Five Star Urgent Care.
The VA had decided to allow urgent-care visits for some veterans who had VA insurance, says Dr. John Radford, president of WellNow Urgent Care.
WellNow Urgent Care learned about the development through the Urgent Care Association, he recalled. Warrenville, Illinois–based Urgent Care Association is a trade group for urgent-care workers.
“Prior to this, [veterans] were only able to go to a VA hospital [for treatments] and they are allowing them …up to four walk-in visits a year that the VA would reimburse for folks that just had VA insurance,” says Radford, who spoke with CNYBJ on Sept. 10.
The Trump Administration this year finalized rules that increase veterans’ access to private doctors and health-care facilities, using their government-funded benefits.
WellNow began pursuing TriWest as an insurance carrier in July, according to Radford.
TriWest Healthcare Alliance was founded in 1996 to provide active duty service members, retirees and their families access to health care under the U.S. Department of Defense TRICARE program, per the TriWest website. TriWest no longer administers the TRICARE program, the website says.
Under their agreement, veterans can walk into any WellNow Urgent Care facility with no appointment or prior authorization needed for treatment. WellNow will facilitate all coverage confirmation and billing logistics with the VA, WellNow said.
To be eligible, veterans must be enrolled in the VA health-care system and have received care through the VA or a community provider in the past 24 months. To confirm eligibility, veterans can contact their local VA medical facility.
All WellNow facilities provide treatment for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses, such as sprains, strains, colds and the flu, while also providing on-site X-rays, lab testing and physicals.
In addition to TriWest, WellNow accepts most insurance, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Fidelis, the company said.