Arizona-based VA contractor collected 'tens of millions' in over payments, federal audit says
November 13, 2017
"Veterans Choice, which has already cost taxpayers more than $12 billion, was created as an emergency stopgap to serve patients who were waiting weeks or months to see doctors in a backlogged VA healthcare system."
A Phoenix-based company that oversees about half of the private medical care for America's veterans is looking to extend its contract even as documents reveal it overbilled the government by tens of millions of dollars.
In addition: It's the target of a federal grand jury investigation.
The company, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, has multi-billion-dollar contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs to administer private health-care appointments for ex-military personnel in Arizona and 27 other states.
The VA Office of Inspector General recently reported to Congress that TriWest and another company, Health Net Federal Services — which oversees private VA care for the remainder of the nation — collected at least $89 million more than they should have, sometimes by billing the government at improper rates or collecting twice for the same treatment.
That, lawmakers allege, means money that could have been spent on veterans' health care was instead taken by the two companies.
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