Service members and their families who live on the west side of the Narrows bridges no doubt would prefer to use the brand-new St. Anthony Hospital, in the event they need a hospital at all.
Unfortunately, they’d be ill advised to go the Gig Harbor hospital right now, except in case of an emergency.
St. Anthony is the newest member of the Franciscan Health System. The system’s other facilities are in the military’s TRICARE health-care network. But St. Anthony is not a member and probably will not be until the end of April, at least, according to a spokesman.
Until then, TRICARE beneficiaries who use St. Anthony for non-emergencies are responsible for paying their own expenses.
“St. Anthony is in the process of becoming a TRICARE network provider,” Gale Robinette, a Franciscan spokesman, told me Tuesday. “There’s a lot of paperwork associated with that, and right now we’re in the middle of it.”
Patients still have several alternatives for receiving non-emergency urgent care in-network: Bremerton Naval Hospital, Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis, St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma, and Tacoma General Hospital.
Tri-West Health Alliance also keeps listings of a civilian network of more than 1,300 healthcare providers in the Puget Sound area. Go to the Website and select the "Find a Provider" tab.