A federal judge has ruled in favor of TriWest Healthcare Alliance in a contract dispute over health services under the next generation of Tricare contracts, paving the way for the health care company to take over management of the Tricare West Region by the end of the year.
In a decision handed down Jan. 31, Judge Ryan Holte of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled against Health Net Federal Services, the current Tricare regional manager, in a lawsuit filed in August by the company against the Defense Department for awarding the next-generation contract, worth up to $65 billion over nine years, to TriWest.
The decision brings a close to a fight that lasted more than 13 months and affects 4.5 million military health care beneficiaries, including active-duty personnel, their families and retirees who use Tricare Prime or Tricare Select in 26 states.
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A timeline for completion of the turnover has not been published. A spokeswoman for Health Net Federal Services said the company expects to provide care and services to Tricare beneficiaries through the end of the year.
When TriWest was awarded the contract in December 2022 for the next iteration of Tricare, known as T-5, Health Net filed several protests against the decision, arguing that TriWest did not have an existing Tricare network in place and would face technical…