UnitedHealth May Have to Reimburse Pentagon for Medical Care Delays

UnitedHealth Group may have to reimburse the federal government part of a $20.5 billion military contract due to delays in delivering medical care.

Bloomberg reports that the U.S. Defense Department says it may seek reimbursement under the six-year Tricare contract, which started April 1.

The contract includes “provisions for the recovery of costs due to poor performance,” Tricare spokesman Austin Camacho said in an email to Bloomberg.

Last week complaints about delays in delivering medical care to 2.9 million members of America’s military families in 21 states (including Minnesota) became public.

The Pentagon has started to waive certain rules, allowing plan members to see specialists without waiting for UnitedHealth authorization.

UnitedHealth says it hopes to have the situation figured out in about a month. It says the delays were caused by referral requests that “far exceeded the norms.”

Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH) waged a long, costly battle to win the military contract from TriWest.

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May 12th, 2013