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Home > Access To Care Definitions
ATC Standards & Definitions (MHS Guide Book)

Acute appointments are made within 24 hours
Definition: An urgent (acute) care appointment is reserved for nonemergent, urgent care that is typically delivered by an MTF or network Primary Care Manager (PCM). Acute care services for Active Duty and TRICARE Prime enrollees shall be scheduled no greater than 24 hours from the time the need for this appointment is determined.

Routine appointments are made within 7 calendar days
Definition: A routine care appointment is designated for patients who require a visit with their PCM for a new healthcare problem that is not considered urgent. Routine care for Active Duty and TRICARE Prime enrollees shall be scheduled within seven calendar days from the time the need for this appointment is determined.

Wellness appointments are made within 28 calendar days
Definition: A wellness care appointment is designated for patients who require a visit for a wellness/or preventive health concern or with their PCM for an initial visit. This wellness care for Active Duty and TRICARE Prime enrollees shall be scheduled within 28 calendar days from the time the need for this appointment is determined.

Specialty appointments are made within 28 calendar days
Definition: A specialty care appointment is designated for patients who require an initial consult, referral, or initial self-referral. Specialty care for Active Duty and TRICARE Prime enrollees shall be scheduled within 28 calendar days from the time the need for this appointment is determined. A specialty care appointment also includes procedures designated for patients in need of medical procedures.