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Patient-Centered Care Leads to 91.5% Member Satisfaction Rate for US Family Health Plan

Arlington, VA — While America continues to seek solutions to the need for low-cost, high-quality healthcare, the US Family Health Plan—a Department of Defense program with history of delivering high quality, patient-centered care to uniformed services families— has again garnered exemplary member satisfaction ratings, according to the final report of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Survey.  The US Family Health Plan, the only fixed price, value-based capitated care program in the Military Health System, has achieved a 2015 aggregate member satisfaction rating of 91.5 percent:  over 25 points higher on a 100-point scale than the national average for satisfaction with commercial health plans.  That’s when compared to the 201 plans documented in the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) 2015 Quality Compass Report.

Based on the report, 66.1 percent of health plan members nationally report high satisfaction with their plans (rating them an 8, 9 or 10 on a scale of 1-10). By contrast, a whopping 91.5 percent of US Family Health Plan members report high satisfaction with their plan.  The overall objective of the CAHPS® study is to capture accurate and complete information about consumer-reported experiences with health care.

The independent CAHPS® assessment of 4,782 US Family Health Plan members employed the most widely used set of performance metrics in the managed care industry to measure performance on important dimensions of care and service.   It assesses member satisfaction in areas such as claims processing, customer service and getting needed care quickly.

“The US Family Health Plan’s national member satisfaction scores once again exceed the benchmark in all rating areas for the core population, including survey respondents of all ages,” said Debbie Vereb, Executive Vice President, Operations at SPH Analytics, an NCQA-certified HEDIS survey vendor that administered the study of the health plan members.  “US Family Health Plan members report significantly higher satisfaction with customer service, getting needed care, getting care quickly, coordination of care, and how well their doctors communicate with them.”

The US Family Health Plan, a comprehensive healthcare plan, offers the full TRICARE Prime benefit to more than 145,000 military beneficiaries, including active-duty family members, activated National Guard and Reserve family members, and military retirees and their family members.

Linda Marzano, Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Medical Centers and chairman of the US Family Health Plan Alliance board of directors, said, “We are committed to delivering high value to military beneficiaries and to the Department of Defense by focusing on the needs of our members and engaging them in programs to keep them healthy.  Through the use of population health and disease management programs, our goal is to help our members to live healthy lifestyles and minimize their chances of developing chronic conditions.  Our fixed price contracts ensure that DOD and the taxpayers pay no more than any other source of care while beneficiaries are protected from high co-pays and deductibles though medical management.  For us, it’s about the people. We believe our military families deserve the best care we can provide — it’s that simple.”

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About the US Family Health Plan:

An integral part of health care provided to uniformed services dependents and retirees since 1981, the US Family Health Plan program is part of the Military Health System, offering the TRICARE Prime benefit in 16 states and the District of Columbia.  The US Family Health Plan was the first and remains the only true population health/value-based care model in the Military Health System.   The six fully accredited, community-based health care systems, known as designated providers, include Brighton Marine Health Center, CHRISTUS Health, Johns Hopkins Health Care, Martin’s Point Health Care, Pacific Medical Centers, and St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers.

Note to Editors:  CAHPS® is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Compensation Commission cites US Family Health Plan as Important Example of Population Health Management for DOD

Arlington, VA – The Final Report of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission calls the U.S. Family Health Plan (“USFHP”) “An important example” of how to use “nonprice tools to manage patient care.” The commission recommends the US Family Health Plan continue to be among the health care choices available to military families in a new OPM-administered program.

“The Commission has reaffirmed USFHP as a provider of high quality care that improves health and keeps people out of the hospital,” said Jim Schweiter, Chief Executive Officer for US Family Health Plan Alliance. “The Commission’s recognition of USFHP as an example of care management practices that the rest of TRICARE should emulate is very gratifying.”

“Population health management is the direction of future medical care in the United States. We are pleased that the Commission recognized this trend as it considered the future of the TRICARE health benefit,” said David Howes, president of Martin’s Point Health Care, a US Family Health Plan member and chair of the Alliance’s board of directors. “The Commission also recognized the value of the US Family Health Plan in using tools to avoid inpatient admissions, prevent readmissions and shorten hospital stays. The US Family Health Plan is renowned for providing high quality health care to beneficiaries. As everyone familiar with this plan knows, patient satisfaction among its members has long been among the highest in the Department of Defense health care system.”

In its report, the Commission recognized the USFHP program for its use of “population health” managed care techniques which include “disease management, wellness, and better coordination of care.” The commission report notes that compared to TRICARE Prime, USFHP participants, have 33 percent fewer inpatient days and 28 percent fewer emergency room visits than other TRICARE Prime enrollees.

The commission commended USFHP for “identifying high-risk patients, managing complex cases, keeping chronic diseases under control, and promoting wellness and preventative services.” As a result of the success of the USFHP program’s managed care techniques, the Commission recommended that the program continue in the new system of care proposed in its report.

About the US Family Health Plan

The US Family Health Plan is among the health care choices for eligible beneficiaries of the Department of Defense’s TRICARE Prime program. Health care is provided to active-duty family members, including activated National Guard and Reserve family members, and retirees and their family members. Care is provided through large, local civilian health care networks of primary care physicians, hospitals and affiliated specialists. Patients choose a primary physician who provides and coordinates care and referrals to specialists and hospitals. The US Family Health Plan Alliance is the association that represents the collective interests of the regional USFHP networks in interactions with Congress, the Department of Defense, and the private sector.

Contact: Jim Schweiter,

US Family Health Plan Alliance
Jim.Schweiter@usfhp.com

The Pentagon lost the first battle in its effort to replace the current TRICARE system with a single consolidated health plan.

The Pentagon lost the first battle in its effort to replace the current TRICARE system with a single consolidated health plan.

The Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee this week presented its version of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4435). In doing so, the subcommittee rejected DoD’s plans “that would have increased out-of-pocket costs for military families, including the elimination of most TRICARE plans … ”

This is only a first step in a lengthy, fluid process. The proposed defense authorization act is subject to numerous changes in Congress that will take place over the coming months.

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The U.S. Strategic Command’s honor guard posts the colors prior to leading Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., members and tenant units in the 2011 Veterans Day parade in Bellevue, Neb., Nov. 5, 2011.  Hundreds of military members start the annual parade during which people gather to pay their respects to those who serve in the armed forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

FY 2015 DOD Budget Request

Statement from US Family Health Plan Alliance Chief Executive Officer Henry J. “Jim” Schweiter, and David Howes, President and Chief Executive Officer of Martin’s Point Health Care and chairman of the Alliance Board of Directors, regarding the recently released fiscal year 2015 defense budget request, as it relates to military health care.

“Yesterday the Department of Defense proposed a budget that would combine several TRICARE plans, including TRICARE Prime, into a new Consolidated Health Plan.  We look forward to learning the details of the plan in the coming weeks and to working in partnership with the Department of Defense as it moves to shape the future of the Defense Health System.  Although on the surface it would seem that efficiencies could be gained from this proposal, we have several significant concerns, including potentially higher out of pocket expenses for beneficiaries, less focus on wellness and preventive medicine, and reduced access to care.  The US Family Health Plans have provided cost effective and accessible high quality health care and continuity of care for more than 30 years to military families, and we want to continue to serve in the years ahead.”

“Although DOD’s goal of recapturing patients at its military treatment facilities is laudable, unfortunately deployments and other systemic limitations are likely to reduce the prospects for success of this effort,” said David Howes.  “We encourage the Department to work collaboratively with industry on a plan that could work for everyone in controlling costs while beneficiaries receive high quality care.”

“Service members and their families already make tremendous sacrifices for our country,” noted Schweiter.  “We owe it to them to do everything we can to ensure they continue to receive the best health care the Defense Health System can provide. I look forward to working with Congress and officials in the Pentagon to make sure the TRICARE benefit is not degraded,” Schweiter said.

About the US Family Health Plan

The US Family Health Plan (www.usfhp.com) is among the health care choices for eligible beneficiaries of the Department of Defense’s TRICARE Prime program. Health care is provided to active-duty family members, including activated National Guard and Reserve family members, and retirees and their family members. Care is provided through large, local civilian health care networks of primary care physicians, hospitals and affiliated specialists. Patients choose a primary physician who provides and coordinates care and referrals to specialists and hospitals. The US Family Health Plan Alliance is the association that represents the collective interests of the regional USFHP networks in interactions with Congress, the Department of Defense, and the private sector.

USFHP

Military Beneficiaries Rate Satisfaction with US Family Health Plan in 99th Percentile

ARLINGTON, Va. (October 31, 2013) – Amid the ongoing national conversation regarding access to high-quality, affordable health care, military family members have validated that they are highly satisfied with the Department of Defense-sponsored health care option known as the US Family Health Plan (usfhp.com). The plan, for eligible military beneficiaries in six regions of the United States, has achieved a 2013 overall member satisfaction rating of 92.5 percent, far surpassing the satisfaction rates of other managed care plans for 19 consecutive years.

The national benchmark for member satisfaction with their health plan is 65.2 percent, as calculated by The Myers Group (of Duluth, Ga.) – a National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) certified survey vendor – and based on 203 Commercial Audit Survey results which were submitted to the NCQA in 2013. Compared with those 203 health plans, the US Family Health Plan is in the 99th percentile for overall member satisfaction. Customer service and the ability to get needed care have been substantiated as among the key drivers of the US Family Health Plan’s consistently high member satisfaction rating.

“Our large, local health care networks of primary care physicians, hospitals and affiliated specialists are leading the way with DoD in providing patient-centered care to military family members,” said David Howes, chair of the board of the US Family Health Plan Alliance, which represents the collective interests of the plan’s regional networks in interactions with Congress, DoD and the private sector. “Our initiatives continue to align well with DoD’s Quadruple Aim Strategy to enhance family readiness, support population health, create positive care experiences, and responsibly manage health care costs.”

Henry J. “Jim” Schweiter, chief executive officer of the US Family Health Plan Alliance, said, “As a former active-duty officer and current dependent, I can assure you that we remain committed to facilitating the best health care that the Defense Health Agency can provide. Current budget pressures notwithstanding, we must ensure that military family members receive the top-notch health care that they deserve.”

The US Family Health Plan, a TRICARE Prime option, serves active-duty family members, including activated National Guard and Reserve family members, and retirees and their family members. The local health care networks through which members receive care include Brighton Marine Health Center (serving Massachusetts, Rhode Island and northern Connecticut), CHRISTUS Health (serving southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana), Johns Hopkins Medicine (serving Maryland, Washington D.C. and parts of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware and West Virginia), Martin’s Point Health Care (serving Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, upstate and western New York, and the northern tier of Pennsylvania), Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed Clinics, serving the Puget Sound area of Washington State), and St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers (serving New York City, Long Island, southern Connecticut, New Jersey, and Philadelphia and area suburbs).

The independent assessment of 5,106 US Family Health Plan members was conducted by The Myers Group utilizing the most widely used set of metrics in the managed care industry, the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) 5.0H Survey, to measure performance on key dimensions of care and service.

CAHPS® is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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US Family Health Plan Earns 92.6% Satisfaction Rating from Military Beneficiaries

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 13, 2012) – The US Family Health Plan, a Department of Defense (DoD) healthcare option for military family members in six areas of the country, has achieved a 2012 overall member satisfaction rating of 92.6 percent, far exceeding the satisfaction rates of other managed care plans for 18 consecutive years. Compared to the 202 plans documented in the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) 2012 Quality Compass Report, the US Family Health Plan rating is at the 99th percentile for overall satisfaction. Ratings for customer service, access to care, claims processing, how well physicians communicate, and satisfaction with personal doctors and specialists are also at the top of industry standards.

“Our initiatives to ensure convenient, high-quality care for military family members have helped the US Family Health Plan consistently surpass national member satisfaction benchmarks,” said Dan Wasneechak, chair of the US Family Health Plan Alliance. “What’s more, our comprehensive range of care – from prevention and wellness programs to intensive disease management services for members with chronic and multiple conditions – aligns perfectly with the Military Health System’s Quadruple Aim strategy, promoting family readiness, supporting population health, creating positive care experiences, and responsibly managing healthcare costs.”

He added, “As leaders in healthcare innovation, US Family Health Plan organizations have achieved NCQA recognition for Patient Centered Medical Homes and have established transitional care programs designed to ensure continuity between levels of care and decrease hospital readmissions. The US Family Health Plan is truly leading the way with DoD in providing patient-centered care.”

Dr. Chester Schmidt, chief medical officer of Johns Hopkins HealthCare LLC, stated, “US Family Health Plan provides patient-focused, integrated care. It’s a privilege to serve the plan’s military families and retired service members, and our providers develop strong, continuous relationships with the patients. The close collaboration among the plan, medical providers and patients helps achieve optimal clinical outcomes and keep our heroes on the home front healthy.”

The independent assessment of 4,083 US Family Health Plan members was conducted by The Myers Group (of Duluth, Ga.), an NCQA-certified survey vendor. The assessment utilized the most widely used set of metrics in the managed care industry, the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) 4.0H Survey, to measure performance on key dimensions of care and service. The 2012 Public Report benchmark for member satisfaction with their health plan, derived by The Myers Group from the Quality Compass Report, was 66.1% compared to the US Family Health Plan’s 92.6% aggregate rating.

The US Family Health Plan has served military families as a TRICARE Prime option for more than 30 years, a testament to its viability throughout an ever-changing healthcare landscape. For more information, visit www.usfamilyhealthplan.org.

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Note to Editors: CAHPS® is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Jim Schweiter, US Family Health Plan CEO

Henry J. “Jim” Schweiter joins US Family Health Plan Alliance as Chief Executive Officer

ARLINGTON, Va. (July 9, 2013) – The US Family Health Plan (USFHP) Alliance today announced that Henry J. “Jim” Schweiter has joined the Alliance as chief executive officer. He is based at the Alliance’s Arlington, Va., office.

Jim Schweiter, US Family Health Plan CEO

Jim Schweiter, US Family Health Plan CEO

Schweiter will provide strategic direction, government contract compliance advice, procurement advocacy, and public policy and government relations guidance for the health care systems that comprise the US Family Health Plan networks. He will support the Alliance in its interactions with Congress and the Executive Branch, as well as private-sector organizations.

Schweiter most recently worked as a partner and team leader in the government contracts and government relations departments of McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP, an international law firm. He previously served for 15 years in several senior positions on the staff of the House Armed Services Committee, including counsel, general counsel and minority staff director. Schweiter also served as deputy assistant secretary of defense and was general counsel for the congressional Commission on the National Guard and Reserves. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio, and has done graduate work in federal procurement law.

“We’re delighted to have Jim join the Alliance as CEO,” said David Howes, president of Martin’s Point Health Care, a US Family Health Plan member and chair of the Alliance’s board of directors. “Jim brings extensive government, legal and public policy experience that will be invaluable to the Alliance in its mission to support the US Family Health Plan in delivering high-quality, accessible health care to uniformed services family members and retirees, while continuing to maintain alignment with the Military Health System’s Quadruple Aim strategy.”

“I’m thrilled to join the US Family Health Plan Alliance,” said Schweiter. “As a former active-duty officer and current dependent, I am acutely sensitive to the needs of military beneficiaries, and I am personally committed to working to ensure that the service members and families who sacrifice so much for our country continue to receive the best health care that the Defense Health System can provide.”

He added, “The US Family Health Plan and the Alliance are renowned for facilitating excellent health care to beneficiaries. As everyone familiar with this plan knows, patient satisfaction among its members has long been among the highest in the Department of Defense health care system. Despite current budget pressures, we must ensure that beneficiaries receive the first-class health care that they deserve.”

About the US Family Health Plan

The US Family Health Plan (www.usfhp.com) is among the health care choices for eligible beneficiaries of the Department of Defense’s TRICARE Prime program. Health care is provided to active-duty family members, including activated National Guard and Reserve family members, and retirees and their family members. Care is provided through large, local civilian health care networks of primary care physicians, hospitals and affiliated specialists. Patients choose a primary physician who provides and coordinates care and referrals to specialists and hospitals. The US Family Health Plan Alliance is the association that represents the collective interests of the regional USFHP networks in interactions with Congress, the Department of Defense, and the private sector.