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House Armed Services Committee Report Acknowledges “important role” of US Family Health Plans

A powerful congressional committee has formally recognized the contributions that the US Family Health Plans (“USFHP”) have made to the health of military families.

In a report accompanying the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, the House Armed Services Committee acknowledged the USFHP’s high quality of health care and customer satisfaction.

The congressional committee went one step further and encouraged the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission to consider the US Family Health Plans as the commission formulates its recommendations about how best to shape the future military health benefit.

“On behalf of the US Family Health Plan Alliance and its member plans, we are extremely gratified that the House Armed Services Committee has formally recognized the value of the US Family Health Plan program to the beneficiaries and the Military Health System,” said David Howes, President and Chief Executive Officer of Martin’s Point Health Care.  “We are equally pleased that the Committee has encouraged the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission to evaluate the US Family Health Plan program as it deliberates about the best way to improve the Military Health System,” said Howes.

The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission was established by Congress in the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. Its mission is to review military pay and benefits, and recommend how to modernize the systems so that the United States can maintain a strong, all-volunteer force, in both peacetime and wartime, and the systems are fiscally sustainable. The commission has been soliciting information from military members, retirees and others. It will submit its recommendations to the President next year.

In the House Armed Services Committee report on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (H.R. 4435), the committee wrote:

“The committee is aware of the important role of the US Family Health Plans in providing quality health care, which consistently exceeds customer satisfaction expectations, to military beneficiaries. The committee notes that the Department of Defense strives to provide quality health care to its beneficiary population, which has grown significantly over the last decade. Given the budget challenges the Department is facing, it is important that all segments of the military health system make every effort to ensure that they are providing the most cost-effective quality services available. The committee recognizes the contributions provided by the US Family Health Plans to the health of service members and their families, particularly retirees. Therefore, the committee encourages the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission to address the role of the US Family Health Plan during deliberations regarding the future military health benefit.”

The US Family Health Plans provide high quality, managed care that utilizes the patient-centered medical home model. The plans place a strong focus on wellness and prevention, and also offer a full-range of specialty care. US Family Health Plans’ patient satisfaction rates are the highest in TRICARE, and patient satisfaction rates are far higher than the national average of commercial plans. In 2013, the plans achieved an overall patient satisfaction rating of 92.5 percent.