Rep. Walz Demands Answers from UnitedHealth on Contract Issues

Updated: 05/04/2013 5:30 PM By: Cassie Hart

The Pentagon says UnitedHealth Group dropped the ball on a $20-billion contract, which caused military families to experience long delays getting medical-care referrals.

The Pentagon said the backlogs occurred almost as soon as Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group took over the contract on April 1.

On Friday, Rep. Walz sent a letter to UnitedHealth CEO Stephen J. Hemsley, asking for answers after hearing reports of challenges with TRICARE implementation since UnitedHealth was awarded the contract.

“The award of the Department of Defense’s contract to provide health care for our service members, veterans and their families comes with the incredible responsibility to provide excellent customer service to those who paid for their health care by serving our nation in uniform,” Rep. Walz said in the letter.

“Our veterans deserve the best health care in the world and it is absolutely critical that UnitedHealth is able to provide it to them.”

UnitedHealth Group is getting additional staff to help process the increased number of requests and hopes to have it resolved in a month, according to officials.