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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 871-03
November 19, 2003

GAO Upholds Tricare Contract Award

The Department of Defense announced today the affirmation of its July 2003 Tricare Dual-Eligible Fiscal Intermediary Contract (TDEFIC) contract award to Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corp. (WPS) of Madison, Wis.  The department received notice that the General Accounting Office denied the protest of PGBA LLC against the initial award.  This contract replaces current arrangements under which Medicare-eligible Tricare beneficiaries’ claims are processed and paid.

“We are pleased with the decision by the GAO, and believe their decision validates the integrity of the process we conducted to award this contract based on best value to our beneficiaries.  The Department of Defense has taken appropriate action to have the suspension lifted so that we can proceed with the contract transition,” said Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs.  “I would like to assure our Medicare-eligible beneficiaries that their Tricare claims will continue to be processed in a timely manner.”

On July 25, 2003, the TDEFIC contract was originally awarded to WPS.  The TDEFIC contract is a single, separate vehicle for claims processing, customer service and administrative services for an estimated 1.7 million Medicare-eligible Tricare beneficiaries.  The transition to WPS is scheduled to take effect April 1, 2004.