10 U.S. Code § 1077a. Access to military medical treatment facilities and other facilities

(a)Urgent Care.—
(1)
The Secretary of Defense shall ensure that military medical treatment facilities, at locations the Secretary determines appropriate, provide urgent care services for members of the armed forces and covered beneficiaries until 11:00 p.m. each day.
(2)
With respect to areas in which a military medical treatment facility covered by paragraph (1) is not located, the Secretary shall ensure that members of the armed forces and covered beneficiaries may access urgent care clinics through the health care provider network under the TRICARE program.
(3)
A covered beneficiary may access urgent care services without the need for preauthorization for such services.
(4) The Secretary shall—
(A) publish information about changes in access to urgent care under the TRICARE program
(i)
on the primary publicly available Internet website of the Department; and
(ii)
on the primary publicly available Internet website of each military medical treatment facility; and
(B)
ensure that such information is made available on the publicly available Internet website of each current managed care support contractor that has established a health care provider network under the TRICARE program.
(b)Nurse Advice Line.—
The Secretary shall ensure that the nurse advice line of the Department directs covered beneficiaries seeking access to care to the source of the most appropriate level of health care required to treat the medical conditions of the beneficiaries, including urgent care services described in subsection (a).
(c)Primary Care Clinics.—
(1)
The Secretary shall ensure that primary care clinics at military medical treatment facilities are available for members of the armed forces and covered beneficiaries between the hours determined appropriate under paragraph (2), including with respect to expanded hours described in subparagraph (B) of such paragraph.
(2)
(A) The Secretary shall determine the hours that each primary care clinic at a military medical treatment facility is available for members of the armed forces and covered beneficiaries based on—
(i)
the needs of the military medical treatment facility to meet the access standards under the TRICARE Prime program; and
(ii)
the primary care utilization patterns of members and covered beneficiaries at such military medical treatment facility.
(B)
The primary care clinic hours at a military medical treatment facility determined under subparagraph (A) shall include expanded hours beyond regular business hours during weekdays and the weekend if the Secretary determines under such subparagraph that sufficient demand exists at the military medical treatment facility for such expanded primary care clinic hours.
(Added Pub. L. 114–328, div. A, title VII, § 704(a), Dec. 23, 2016, 130 Stat. 2200.)
Implementation

Pub. L. 114–328, div. A, title VII, § 704(c), Dec. 23, 2016, 130 Stat. 2201, provided that:

“The Secretary of Defense shall implement—
“(1)
subsection (a) of section 1077a of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a) of this section, by not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 23, 2016]; and
“(2)
subsection (c) of such section by not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.”