U.S. Officials Detail Ruling in Favor of Health Net on Tricare Bid
On Tuesday, the federal Government Accountability Office posted a report on its Web site detailing problems in the Department of Defense's decision to award a regional Tricare contract to Aetna over Health Net, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Health Net has held the contract to administer benefits for military personnel, retirees and their dependents since 2004.Â The insurer's Rancho Cordova-based Health Net Federal Services unit handles the contract (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 11/18).
The contract could be worth almost $17 billion over nearly six years.
In July, the Pentagon announced that it would award the contract to Aetna, rather than Health Net, effective April 1, 2010.
Health Net appealed the decision, and GAO upheld Health Net's appeal on Nov. 4.
Details of the Report
GAO's report concluded that Aetna might have garnered access to proprietary information about Health Net's performance on the contract when Aetna hired a former high-level Tricare official.Â
That finding, in conjunction with five other problems with the procurement process, prompted GAO to recommend that Tricare not consider Aetna for the contract, leaving Health Net "as the only viable awardee."
Tricare spokesperson Austin Camacho said Tricare officials are reviewing GAO's recommendations and evaluating its options (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/17).The Pentagon must complete its review of the contract awarding process by early January (Sacramento Bee, 11/18). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.