Diabetes: Know the Warning Signs

World Diabetes Day is dedicated to increasing awareness and education about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. Knowing the warning signs and risk factors associated with diabetes is important in preventing this disease which affects more than 380 million people worldwide.

Early detection and ongoing disease management can make a real difference for a patient’s quality of life.  That’s why US Family Health Plan (USFHP) is committed to providing our members with the resources and information they need to maintain healthy lifestyles and help prevent the development of costly chronic diseases like diabetes.

USFHP offers a comprehensive network of health education and care management programs, as well as chronic disease programs that can help members manage and improve their health. For instance, Diabetes at Work—a National Diabetes Education Program created by the Department of Health and Human Services—is a customized five-week program that helps patients develop a better understanding of what diabetes is, while teaching them how to stay healthy through physical activity and proper nutrition. USFHP members can also take advantage of the Diabetes Conversation Mapping Program, a four-week interactive course designed to engage small groups of people with diabetes in an open discussion about their condition.

USFHP member Linda Gallentine believed she could manage her diabetes without the help of a doctor. But when a physical exam and blood test revealed that Gallentine’s blood sugar had spiked, and she also had high cholesterol, she started on medication and enrolled in a diabetes education class that would change her life.  Today, Gallentine has fully embraced the lessons taught in her diabetes education classes at Johns Hopkins Community Physicians.  By changing her family’s diet and exercise habits, she has lost about 50 pounds and lowered her blood sugar significantly.

“Dr. Feeser keeps me accountable,” said Gallentine. “Without him keeping such good track of my care, I would not have been as successful.”

USFHP is proud to offer America’s military families the best doctors, many of whom are recognized by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) for Excellence in Diabetes Care.  By working collaboratively with our members and providing leading programs, we are committed to preventing and reducing episodes of expensive chronic care.  Click here to learn more about the network of wellness programs available to our beneficiaries.

Veterans Day Message from the US Family Health Plan

On this Veterans Day, the US Family Health Plan salutes the millions of men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. America’s current service men and women, and our veterans embody the ideals of selfless service and patriotism upon which America was founded more than 230 years ago.

The 22 million veterans alive today have served in all branches of the uniformed services and in conflicts large and small around the globe. Our veterans have shown the selflessness, made personal and family sacrifices, and have consistently displayed the kind courage and commitment that have kept our nation free and allowed the United States to become the greatest country in the world. America’s veterans have fought our wars, stood ready during peacetime and responded to disasters at home and abroad when called upon. While we can never truly repay the debt we owe these heroes, the least we should do for them is ensure that they have full access to the services and benefits they have earned, including health care.

The member organizations and staff of the US Family Health Plan program are truly grateful for the service and sacrifice of America’s service members, veterans and their families. Today, and every day, we are committed to honoring their service through the delivery of the highest quality health care in support of our men and women in uniform, their families, and retirees and their families.

Happy Birthday to the U.S. Marine Corps! USFHP Thanks You for Your Service


Happy Birthday to the U.S. Marine Corps! USFHP Thanks You for Your Service

As the U.S. Marine Corps celebrates its 240th anniversary, we want to emphasize how thankful we are to all of the brave men and women who have served our country, including US Family Health Plan member Salvatore Falletti.

USFHP has been a trusted partner of the Military Healthcare System for more than 30 years and we look forward to many more years of providing quality care to military families nationwide.

US Family Health Plan Supports the 2015 Warrior-Family Symposium

U.S. military personnel are facing mental health challenges on and off the battlefield.  According to the Army’s Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Service Members (the Army STARRS Report), almost 25 percent of nearly 5,500 active-duty, non-deployed Army soldiers who were surveyed reported that they are facing a mental health challenge.  Service member mental health challenges also inevitably impact military families.

For the fourth straight year the US Family Health Plan Alliance helped sponsor the 2015 Warrior-Family Symposium.  The 2015 Warrior-Family Symposium was conducted jointly by the Military Officers Association of America and Wounded Warrior Project. Participants discussed government and nongovernment organizations aligning and acting to improve the overall mental wellness of the nation’s service members, veterans and their families—specifically looking at our individual and collective responsibilities and commitments to taking care of our own, as citizens and as the nation at-large.  The event brought together government leaders, caregivers and supporting organizations to discuss mental wellness programs and treatment options available to our nation’s service members and their families.

The US Family Health Plan participating organizations welcome opportunities to increase awareness and discover new ways to support the mental wellness of our nation’s service members, veterans and their families.  As a trusted partner in the Military Healthcare System for more than 30 years, we are committed to providing comprehensive care that supports the long-term wellness of all military family members, include mental wellness.



Care Shouldn’t Start in the Emergency Room

An emergency room is too often the first choice for medical care, even when alternative care options are available. According to a 2015 survey by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), 75 percent of ER doctors reported an increase in patient visits since January 2014, with nearly 90 percent reporting either stagnation or worsening in their patients’ conditions. However, this is not an irreversible trend. There are steps healthcare providers can take to reduce the number of emergency room visits and, in turn, lower healthcare costs.

One of the most effective approaches is population health management because it improves patients’ overall health and wellbeing and provides tools so that they can take greater control of their healthcare. The numbers prove population health management is making a difference for US Family Health Plan members. Our beneficiaries under age 65 make 40 percent fewer trips to the emergency room than non-USHFP beneficiaries while spending 50 percent fewer nights in the hospital, according to the consulting firm Milliman. Care for our patients does not start in the emergency room—it starts at home. USFHP members are encouraged and empowered to invest in their own health through wellness initiatives. Programs like health literacy training, flu outreach reminders and weight management and smoking cessation programs help our members get healthy and stay healthy. When they do need medical attention, USFHP members enjoy an integrated care network in which providers share patient information seamlessly.

Another key USFHP approach that helps reduce ER visits is making sure patients have access to care. A 24-hour nurse help line, the use of a primary care manager, the availability of urgent care centers for immediate but non-emergency care, and in-home patient monitoring are quality alternatives to the emergency room. Improved wellness combined with quality, coordinated care results in healthier patients who, in the long term, save money by avoiding hospital visits and receiving less frequent medical attention. They are also proving to remain highly satisfied with their care: nearly 93 percent of USFHP beneficiaries rate their health plan above-average according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance, compared to only 66 percent for similar plans.

We’re glad to see our patients happy and healthy, not in the emergency room.

USFHP Programs That Are Heading Off Expensive Chronic Care


US Family Health Plan features more than 40 disease management programs and a variety of complex care management programs.

Chronic disease comes at a high cost. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 86 percent of all healthcare spending in 2010 was due to one or more chronic medical conditions. For example, $314 billion is spent every year in the U.S. to combat heart disease and stroke. However, early detection and ongoing management of such cardiovascular conditions can make a real difference for a patient’s quality of life while helping save money. Similarly, according to the National Institutes of Health, being overweight significantly increases the risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, gallstones and certain cancers.

To improve overall health, US Family Health Plan features more than 40 disease management programs and a variety of complex care management programs. USFHP was also one of the first plans to implement a patient-centered medical home concept, with benefits like 24-hour nurse helplines and in-home patient monitoring. The results? USFHP beneficiaries are experiencing improved health and wellness and require fewer emergency room visits or hospitalizations.

USFHP health plans have developed and adopted a number of health education and care management programs in an effort to help prevent the development of costly chronic diseases. For instance, Heart to Heart—a 4-day class that raises awareness and educates patients about heart disease, stroke and its related health conditions—teaches patients how to manage their risk factors through assessment tools. The weight management program MOVE!—originally designed by the Department of Veterans Affairs—is uniquely tailored to each participant and emphasizes behavioral and lifestyle changes like regular exercise and healthy eating to help patients manage their weight.

We’re proud to offer America’s military families industry leading programs to prevent expensive chronic care. Click here to learn more about the many wellness programs available to our beneficiaries.

Quality Healthcare Driven by Innovation

We are continually inspired by our beneficiaries and the innovation of the branches they served.


Mike represents why US Family Health Plan is proud and committed to delivering comprehensive, innovative healthcare to retirees and their families.

Take Mike, a retiree and longtime USFHP member. He has been with USFHP for more than seven years after a career of service in the U.S. Air Force. Mike and his wife live on a pension and, with rising healthcare costs affecting families across the country, deserve the benefit of the latest medical infrastructure and technology to ensure quality and keep costs down.

Mike represents why US Family Health Plan is proud and committed to delivering comprehensive, innovative healthcare to retirees and their families. We are leaders in preventive health techniques that reduce the risk of common health issues and the development of new technologies that improve patient outcomes in a number of ways.


  • US Family Health Plan was the first TRICARE provider to emphasize virtual care support through a 24-hour telephone health hotline, giving patients around-the-clock access to nurses and primary care doctors who can offer general health information, self-care instructions, assistance scheduling next-day clinic appointments and advice on whether to use emergency services immediately.
  • Population wellness programs—including flu outreach reminders, weight management programs, smoking cessation programs, health literacy training, osteoporosis screenings, substance abuse treatment, stress management programs and other preventative care services—helping keep members healthy and out of the hospital while also allowing them to invest in their own care.
  • Disease management programs help prevent and manage diseases for treatment while reducing hospital readmissions for care of chronic conditions. Examples include cholesterol management for patients with cardiovascular conditions and blood pressure control and heart monitoring systems for diabetes patients. While emergency room visits are up across the country, USHFP members make fewer visits to the ER than other TRICARE Prime beneficiaries, a testament to the disease management programs, telemedicine and other initiatives used to streamline care.
  • Electronic health records allow care providers to monitor patient vitals electronically. We’re continuing to expand our ability to share patient data and make advances in telemedicine to allow care providers to keep tabs on high risk members and trigger alerts in emergencies—thus making the process of health data sharing across care providers more efficient.

At US Family Health Plan, we will continue to honor the dedication and service to our country that Mike and many of our members have shown by serving as a model for military healthcare providers, staying on top of trends and providing only the best benefits possible. Easy access to high-quality, affordable healthcare ensures members and their families can rest easy, and we look forward to providing Mike, his family and all in the US Family Health Plan fold with continued quality care and a strong physician-patient relationship, driven by innovation.

DOD warns of Tricare mail scam

The Defense Health Agency is warning Tricare beneficiaries of an elaborate mail scam designed to steal money from their banks.

According to the DHA Office of Program Integrity, some Tricare beneficiaries have received letters from a bogus company called Tricare Survey Inc., offering them the chance to work as “secret shoppers.”

The mailings instruct recipients to cash enclosed checks for $3,775 at their banks, keep a percentage of the money for themselves and use the rest to buy six $500 shopping cards to be used at retailers for “secret shopping” excursions.

But when recipients report the card numbers to the company, as instructed in the letters, the fraudsters use the numbers to transfer the amount to their own accounts.

In the alert, issued by the Defense Department on Sunday, August 30, Tricare officials advised beneficiaries not to participate in the scheme, saying they may be held accountable by their banks for the money.

Tricare will identify the checks as counterfeit and return them to the bank in which they were drawn from as non-cashable. Potential exists for the beneficiary to be personally liable for the entire $3775.00, the notification stated.

Companies and individuals target military personnel and families with scams with such frequency that in 2012, federal and state law enforcement agencies created a database of offenders, called the Repeat Offenders Against Military database.

Defense health Agency officials urge anyone who received a secret shopper letter to submit a report to the DHA Program Integrity Office. They can do so online on the office’s web page by clicking the “Report Health Care Fraud” button.

US Family Health Plan Members Join in Memorial Day Events

[layerslider id=”5″]

On Saturday May, 23rd representatives from US Family Health Plan member St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers participated in a Memorial Day Event at the BG William C. Doyle Cemetery in Wrightstown, NJ. This event was sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Veterans and Military Affairs and included participation by the New Jersey National Guard Adjutant General, Brigadier General Michael L. Cunniff and New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno in the parade. All organizations of the US Family Health Plan program honor and remember those who perished in our country’s wars and other conflicts, including the more than 6,800 American service members who gave their lives since Sept. 11, 2001.


US Family Health Plan Support’s Army’s Operation Recruit Enlist Dinner

US Family Health Plan members support our military in many ways.  On May 12, 2015, US Family Health Plan member Pacific Medical Centers sponsored the Army’s Operation Recruit Enlist Dinner at Saint Martin’s University in Olympia, WA. As the pictures shows, new recruits and continuing service members were treated to dinner in conjunction with their taking the enlistment oath.