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March 21, 2012 | Terry Howell
Reprinted by Southern Utah Vets Aid
In April of 2011, the TRICARE Management Activity announced that due to a protest filed by UnitedHealth Military & Veterans Services they had chosen reevaluated their decision to award the TRICARE West Region contract to TriWest Healthcare Alliance Corp. and allow the original 2009 competitors to submit new proposals.

On March 16, TMA officials announced that the TMA procurement team had chosen a different “best value selection.” Essentially voiding the TRICARE West Region contract with Triwest and awarding it to UnitedHealth Military & Veterans Services.  According to DoD the instant obligation on the award is $10,000,000 and the total potential contract value is estimated at $20,462,202,594.

Note: The TRICARE West Region includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, western Texas, Washington and Wyoming.


As to be expected, TriWest was unhappy about the news that the multi-million dollar contract had been taken from them.  TriWest’s President and CEO, David J. McIntyre Jr. , wrote, “We are extremely disappointed that the Department of Defense chose to reverse their decision. For the past 16 years, we have worked tirelessly and with the highest levels of respect to meet the healthcare needs of West Region military families who have very much become our family,” said.

McIntyre said that TriWest will ensure that military families in the West Region will continue to receive the “exemplary customer service they have become accustomed to over the last several years.” Adding that, “TriWest will continue to deliver on the promise of TRICARE throughout this challenging transition period.”

Obviously, the change in contractors is due to cost reduction or level of service – likely both. Based on this, it can be assumed that the new contractor plans to make some significant changes which may directly affect TRICARE beneficiaries in some way.

For the many who have become accustomed to having the level service in the West Region over the last 16 years, the question is, what are the changes? and how will they affect the current level of service?

Stay tuned, we will continue to keep our readers updated as more information becomes available.

NOTE FROM SUVA:  Many of us here in Southern Utah and the Saint George neighborhood are very familiar with Tri West and the excellent job they’ve done over the years.  We have received outstanding service and most of us are sad to see that they have lost their contract with DoD.  We hope and pray that United Health can provide the same level of great customer relations that Tri West did.  As we get more information here at SUVA on this issue we will pass it along.  Feel free to drop us a line about your feelings on this change, or simply click on the title of this article and head to the ‘comments’ box to say your piece.  Thank you!

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