West Region Experiencing High Call Volume
FALLS CHURCH, Va. – On April 1, 2013, UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans took over health care delivery in the 21-state TRICARE West Region. Since then, UnitedHealthcare experienced a very high volume of phone calls to its customer service lines, and high use of its new web portal by both beneficiaries and providers.
Many of the questions have dealt with how the contract transition affects beneficiaries, or sought information about health care benefits. Remember, even though there is a new regional health care contractor, the TRICARE benefit remains unchanged. A few additional things to remember about referrals, authorizations and transition:
- TriWest Healthcare Alliance authorizations are good until the end date or May 30, 2013, whichever comes first
- TriWest maternity care authorizations are good for 312 days after the start date; the May 30, 2013 end date doesn’t apply
If a beneficiary needs care beyond May 30, they should ask their provider to submit a new referral for an authorization review and determination. And remember, in an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
UnitedHealthcare appreciates beneficiaries’ patience in accessing these services during this busy initial period, and wait times are continuing to decrease each day. TRICARE and UnitedHealthcare hope beneficiaries and providers will continue to check back through UnitedHealthcare’s extended call center hours of service from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. across all West Region time zones.