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Laser Treatment Therapy for Pseudofolliculitis Barbae of Face and Neck: Active Duty Now Eligible for Care by Civilian Dermatologists

Thursday, February 20, 2020

To help ensure the medical readiness of our active duty service members (ADSMs), TRICARE now allows for civilian dermatologists to perform laser treatment therapy on ADSMs diagnosed with pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) of the face and neck, when recommended by the ADSM’s military hospital or clinic. The ADSM must meet the coverage criteria outlined below, which includes first consulting with a military dermatologist who can determine the appropriateness of referring the care outside of the military facility. The consultation and referral requirement applies to all ADSMs, including those enrolled in TRICARE Prime Remote. 

Dermatologists may see an increase in requests for this specific treatment. All referrals for laser treatment of PFB for ADSMs must come from military hospitals or clinics. The military facility must attest the TRICARE requirements for this benefit have been met before we can authorize the care.

Per TRICARE Operations Manual, Chapter 17, Section 3, ADSMs must meet the following criteria to be eligible to receive laser treatment of PFB outside of a military hospital or clinic:

  • There is a safety risk in operational, maintenance and training environments where the wearing of breathing protection may be required.
  • The ADSM has been diagnosed with PFB of the face and neck and has failed conservative therapy.
  • The ADSM’s primary care manager has referred the case to a military dermatologist for an in-person, telephone or telehealth consultation.
  • The military dermatologist has recommended laser therapy and the laser therapy is not available at the military hospital or clinic.
  • The military dermatologist concurs to the appropriateness of the referral to the civilian sector in lieu of being able to render laser therapy at the military hospital or clinic and concurs the referred care is consistent with any service-specific polices on PFB.