Senator Seeks Review of TRICARE Contract

NGAUS Washington Report

(June 25, 2013) Problems have greeted the new provider of services in the TRICARE West Region and a Senate leader wants to know why.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who leads the Senate Budget Committee, wants a review of the contract awarded to UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans, which took over the service from TriWest Healthcare Alliance on April 1.

Since the transition, according to a report in Army Times, delays in customer care and problems with payments to providers have been reported. UnitedHealthcare addressed the problem by adding personnel and changing the top officer for the company in the region.

However, Murray wants the Government Accountability Office to determine whether the company was ready for the transition and did enough to inform patients and providers of the transition.

UnitedHealthcare was awarded the five-year contract worth $21 billion last year after a contested bid process. TriWest Healthcare Alliance had been the provider, but lost the bid to continue.