Tester Holds Health Net CEO Accountable, Urges Him to Improve Performance and Transparency

Senator: ‘I need to see substantial improvements’

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today met with the CEO of Health Net, the third party administrator that runs the Choice Program in Montana, to discuss its performance in the state.

“Time and again, I hear from my constituents about the difficulty of getting someone from Health Net to follow through with setting up an appointment,” said Tester, the Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. “This isn’t the level and quality of care that our veterans deserve, from the VA or from Health Net. And I will continue calling for changes to this program so it better meets the needs and expectations of our veterans.”

Tester asked CEO Billy Maynard to focus on better communication with community providers and veterans across Montana, and for more transparency about the performance of the program, including comprehensive monthly reports detailing the type of care, and timeliness of reimbursement rates, among other metrics.

“There’s too much red tape for Montana providers to cut through,” said Tester. “We need to make sure that the doctors and hospitals providing care to our veterans are getting paid on time.”

Tester also questioned Maynard over the future of the Choice Program and the role of Health Net. Without an extension, the program is set to expire August 7, 2017.

“Before I can consider extending the Choice Program, I need to see substantial improvements to make the program work for veterans in Montana,” said Tester.

Tester questioned Maynard about the changes that would be needed to the Program in order to eliminate red tape for providers, veterans, and to allow Health Net to provide quicker service to veterans. Tester has long-committed to working with the VA, third party administrators and Veterans Service Organizations to improve the performance of the program. Last year, Tester introduced the Improving Veterans Access to Care in the Community Act, which would reform the Choice Program while streamlining and consolidating its community care programs.

Tester’s Improving Veterans Access to Care in the Community Act (S.2633) is available online HERE.