Defense Health Agency stays with TriWest for $65.1B Tricare contract

The Defense Health Agency reaffirmed its decision to award a $65.1 billion contract to TriWest Healthcare Alliance to manage its Tricare West Region contract. 

TriWest Healthcare Alliance was awarded the contract in December. Health Net Federal Services, a Centene subsidiary, challenged the department's decision in mid-January to the Government Accountability Office. Health Net had managed the region since 2018. The GAO will make a decision by April 27. 

In an April 20 news release, the Defense Health Agency said after receiving HealthNet's protest, it discovered information potentially impacting one area of the evaluation. As a result, the agency conducted an examination of the source selection record and the protest was dismissed. 

The Defense Health Agency said it is constrained in discussing specifics about the protest allegation because it remains under a protective order at the GAO. 

The agency said if there is additional protest, it will be required to suspend any performance. The GAO resolves protests within 100 days of filing. 

"There also remains the possibility of a separate legal challenge at the United States Court of Federal Claims instead of protest at GAO or after a GAO decision," the agency said in the release. "Assuming GAO denies or dismisses all protest allegations and there is no subsequent litigation, DHA may proceed with contract performance, including a one-year transition period from the current T-2017 contract to the T-5 contract. Start of healthcare delivery would then begin in August 2024."

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