TRICARE Management Activity is temporarily waiving the requirement for authorization of care in order to expedite service in its West Region, served by UnitedHealthcare. The waiver applies to any referrals obtained, or care received, from April 1 to May 18, 2013.
Referrals are typically entered electronically, generating an authorization from the managed care support contractor. While UnitedHealthcare works to clear pending referrals, West Region enrollees who are referred to a network specialist for TRICARE covered services will not need an authorization. Beneficiaries should request a written copy of their referral or ask their care provider to fax a copy to the specialist. The waiver does not apply to beneficiaries using TRICARE Standard.
UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans began serving the TRICARE West Region April 1, 2013. Since then, the company has experienced referral and care authorization volumes that exceeded historical norms and related challenges processing them in a timely manner.
“UnitedHealthcare has committed the full resources of the company – at all levels and in all areas – to provide beneficiaries, care providers and Military Treatment Facilities with high-quality service and support,” said UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans CEO, Lori McDougal. “We understand issues have arisen that need immediate improvement, and we are taking aggressive actions to fix them. We sincerely apologize for any delay in services that TRICARE beneficiaries and care providers are experiencing as a result of these challenges.”
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and other care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.