Hoeven Statement on VA Seeking New Third-Party Administrator for the Veterans Choice Program

Senator’s Initiative Allowed Veterans to Bypass Health Net for Scheduling & Empowered Fargo VA to Help Resolve Provider Payments

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ending its contract with Health Net, the third-party administrator for the eastern region of the Veterans Choice Program. The VA will solicit a new contract over the next several months, with Health Net’s current contract expiring in September 2018.

“Our veterans deserve timely appointments and their health care providers need to know they will be reimbursed for their services,” Hoeven said. “Health Net did not deliver on these priorities, which is why we put the Veterans Care Coordination initiative in place. The Fargo VA does a great job, and it makes sense to bypass Health Net and allow veterans to work directly with local VA staff when seeking appointments under the Veterans Choice Program. Further, we’ve worked diligently with the Fargo VA to hold Health Net accountable and resolve the payments they owe to our local providers. We look forward to supporting the VA’s efforts to get a new contractor in place and will work with the new administrator to ensure our initiative at the Fargo VA will continue and the needs of our veterans and health care providers are met.”

The announcement dovetails with Hoeven’s ongoing work with the VA to design the next phase of the Veterans Choice Program and build on the success on the Veterans Care Coordination initiative at the Fargo VA Health Center. Hoeven worked with federal and local officials to secure and implement the initiative in 2016 after a series of meetings he held with veterans around North Dakota. The initiative allows veterans seeking care through the Veterans Choice Program to coordinate all of their health care needs through the Fargo VA Medical Center rather than Health Net. 

In addition, the initiative arranged for a Health Net representative to be located at the Fargo VA to work with the local VA staff and health care providers to improve provider reimbursements and reduce denial of veterans’ claims. Hoeven’s staff has worked directly with the Fargo VA and providers since the implementation of the Veterans Choice Program to resolve outstanding payments by Health Net.