Referral. The act or an instance of referring a TRICARE beneficiary to another authorized provider to obtain necessary medical treatment. Generally, when a referral is required to qualify health care as a covered benefit, only a TRICARE-authorized physician may make such a referral unless this regulation specifically allows another category of TRICARE-authorized provider to make a referral as allowed within the scope of the provider's license. In addition to referrals which may be required for certain health care to be a covered TRICARE benefit, the TRICARE Prime program under 199.17 generally requires Prime enrollees to obtain a referral for care through a primary care manager (PCM) or other authorized care coordinator to avoid paying higher deductible and cost-sharing for otherwise covered TRICARE benefits.
32 CFR § 199.2
General. In an effort to be as specific as possible as to the word and intent of CHAMPUS, the following definitions have been developed. While many of the definitions are general and some assign meaning to relatively common terms within the health insurance environment, others are applicable only to CHAMPUS; however, they all appear in this part solely for the purpose of the Program. Except when otherwise specified, the definitions in this section apply generally throughout this part.