TRICARE West Region Providers,
TriWest Healthcare Alliance (TriWest) has been on a mission to serve the health care needs of TRICARE West Region Service members and their families since 1996. It was the mission envisioned by our 18 non-profit owners and it's the mission we have been able to execute thanks to a solid partnership with more than 175,000 network providers just like you.
Your care and concern for military families living in densely populated cities and remote, rural areas across the 21-state TRICARE West Region is unparalleled. We consider it a sincere privilege to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you as you bring the best in care and service to the men and women of the armed forces.
Given the partnership we have enjoyed with you, we were extremely disappointed on March 16, 2012, to learn that the Department of Defense (DoD) selected another company--UnitedHealthcare--to administer the next TRICARE Contract starting on April 1, 2013.
This decision left us seeking answers to a number of questions. We attended a contract decision debriefing where the information shared led us to have concerns about the process and the ultimate decision to unseat our company and award the TRICARE West Region Contract to UnitedHealthcare.
First, we were lowest on price--at a time when the DoD is struggling to make ends meet. We felt this was our duty as taxpayers and worked hard to get there--without cutting corners.
Second, the DoD's analysis of the financial benefits of TriWest's long-standing provider relationships were not fully analyzed, which resulted in the government not awarding full credit to TriWest in this category.
Third, our entire past performance record was thoroughly evaluated--as should be the case--and we earned the highest rating. However, the only portion of UnitedHealthcare's past performance record that was evaluated came from information they provided the government. There was no review of information generally available in the public domain or from other government sources, which we have discovered is a rather lengthy list of items. We question whether such a review would have yielded a past performance rating at the high level UnitedHealthcare was assigned.
It is for these reasons, among others, that we decided to exercise our right to ask the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the process that led to UnitedHealthcare securing the contract we were first awarded in July 2009. This is a decision we do not take lightly and the facts as we know them left us with little choice but to file this protest.
The GAO has 100 days to review the process and render a decision regarding the protest we have filed. We anticipate their recommendation in early July.
Until then, our mission to serve remains the same today as it did when we opened our doors in 1996--partnering with quality providers to deliver exceptional care and customer service to our nation's military members, retirees and their families. It also means we remain 100-percent committed to meeting our current contract standards through March 31, 2013, providing the highest level of service and support to our providers, including processing referrals and paying claims with the same level of expediency, dedication and commitment as we have always done. We will continue this mission for as long as we have the privilege to do so.
David J. McIntyre, Jr.
President and CEO