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By Mrs. Michelle A. Gauvin-Panos, ND Cares Executive Director

Military retirees and active service members have increased access to behavioral health services for themselves and their Families. As of February 2020, the N.D. Department of Human Services’ regional human service centers are now in-state TRICARE providers. This eliminates the need for individuals to get prior authorization before receiving vital behavioral health services at the centers or one of their four satellite clinics or 33 outreach sites in the state. Why is this important? According to North Dakota military data from 2014 through 2018, on average, 669 veterans or individuals who served in the military were treated at the human service centers. Of those, 60% received behavioral health services and either needed prior authorizations, used other insurance or paid out-of-pocket for services.

TRICARE coverage has always been accepted at our human service centers, but prior authorization was needed because the human service centers were considered out-of-network providers, now, individuals with TRICARE coverage are able to receive services sooner without going through the prior authorization process.” - Jeff Stenseth - Department’s field services operations officer

The Regional Human Service Centers are located in Bismarck, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Minot and Williston with satellite clinics in Graton, Rolla, Valley City and the Off Main location in Fargo. Each offers behavioral health services focused on chronic disease management and behavioral health crises and primarily serve individuals with chronic, serious mental illness and substance use disorders, including pregnant women and others who use intravenous drugs. The centers also offer walk-in behavioral health assessments and triage services during open access hours and crisis walk-in support is always welcome during business hours. Individuals can also access confidential crisis phone lines answered 24-7.

Recently, tele-health services have expanded to better serve people where they live. In 2018 ND Cares, the N.D. National Guard and the N.D. Department of Human Services collaborated with TRICARE to establish the human service centers as in-network TRICARE providers. Since March 1, 2019, the human service centers provided billed services to 97 individuals with TRICARE coverage. To find services within North Dakota, visit the Regional Human Service Centers. More information about mental health and substance use disorder care can be found on covered treatments on the TRICARE website.


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