?>

TRICARE West Contract Finally Settled in UnitedHealth’s Favor

by: Matthew Potter
July 6, 2012

Category: Business Line, Companies, Congress, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Events, Federal Budget Process, IT, logistics, medicine, Protest, Services, UnitedHealth | RSS 2.0

In 2009 the Department of Defense attempted to award new contracts to administer their primary healthcare program, TRICARE. These are regional contracts with the country divided up in groups of states as well as a contract to provide overseas services. The Western and Southern regions due to the density of military bases were the two largest and amount to several billion a year. As to be expected competition was fierce for these by different health insurance companies. It is just now, over three years later, that the government is finally resolving these contracts due to the amount of protests and reviews required.

The Western Region contract is worth about $21 billion over its predicted five year life. After a final round of awards and protests the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has upheld the award earlier this year to UnitedHealth (UNH). The GAO ruled in a protest by the incumbent, TriWest to the award in 2012.

TriWest has had the contract since 2003 and won the original re-compete in 2009. This decision was protested by UnitedHealth. In the last three years there have been new competitions, awards and protests. This final decision should stand and UnitedHealth will become the provider.

This is unfortunate for TriWest as their primary business is the TRICARE contract and the company may have to fold without it. There is a good chance that many of their employees could be absorbed by UnitedHealth as is often the case when a new company takes over an existing contract but that is not guaranteed.

The Defense Department faces growing pressure on their health spending which has increased dramatically over the last ten years due to the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not only has the size of the military grown with more dependents there are also more retirees and severely injured that require health care. TRICARE is the primary mechanism for this.

The Obama Administration has proposed raising the co-pays and annual payments that the military and retirees make but that was struck out of the 2013 defense budget by Congress loathe to pass those costs onto the military. Obama has threatened to veto the bill as it stands due to that provision but many times once the bill is complete it will be signed.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


| Give a Comment | trackback

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Like Us On Facebook

  • Search This Site

    Custom Search
  • Upcoming Events

  • FREE Business Downloads

  • Widget Area

    This is widget area, add your widget here from your widget on appereance on your admin panel

>