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

US Family Health Plan Reduces Need for Emergency Care and Hospitalization

The sponsoring organizations of the US Family Health Plan program, highly experienced providers of high quality health care in the Military Health System, have successfully reduced the need for care in two key and costly areas.

The US Family Health Plan is a TRICARE Prime option that focuses on keeping patients well by identifying disease risk early, taking the necessary interventions, and coordinating services through a primary care manager. This managed care approach ensures care is provided in the most clinically appropriate, least expensive, and safest setting.

“The managed care approach used by the US Family Health Plan gives patients the care they need when and where they need it so that they stay as healthy as possible. We do everything we can to optimize patient wellness and to achieve positive long term health outcomes,” said David Howes, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Martin’s Point Health Care, one of the six US Family Health Plans.

According to an independent actuarial analysis, when compared to the TRICARE Prime program as a whole, adult US Family Health Plan members under age 65 spent 33 percent less time in the hospital and visited the emergency room nearly 25 percent less often than other adult Prime members. Thus, US Family Health Plan members utilize inpatient and emergency care less frequently than other TRICARE Prime beneficiaries. Importantly, US Family Health Plan member patient satisfaction rates continue to be among the highest in the nation and among Department of Defense beneficiaries.

“The US Family Health Plan program continues to demonstrate that its innovations, high quality primary and specialty medical care, and attention to customer service add value to the Military Health System,” said Henry J. “Jim” Schweiter, chief executive officer of the US Family Health Plan Alliance. “It is a privilege for the Designated Providers of the US Family Health Plan to serve our uniformed services families. They have sacrificed a great deal for our country.”

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/managed 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.

Salute the Troops

The US Family Health Plan is deeply grateful for the service and sacrifice of the members of the uniformed services, and their families. For the past 10 years, US Family Health Plan at St. Vincents Catholic Medical Centers has been a proud corporate sponsor of the “Salute the Troops” Thanksgiving Day event, which is held on the Battleship New Jersey located on the Camden, NJ, Waterfront. Soldiers training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst who couldn’t be home with their families were treated to a home cooked Thanksgiving dinner aboard the WWII historic battleship.

“I’ve participated in this event each of the ten years we have sponsored it, ” said Jeffrey Bloom, Executive Director and Senior Vice President of the US Family Health Plan at St. Vincents. “The men and women of our uniformed services, and their families, never cease to inspire me. After all they do for our country, this dinner is one simple way to say thank you,” Jeff Bloom said.

Learn more about the event

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 veterans embody the ideals upon which America was founded more than 230 years ago.

The 22 million veterans alive today have served in all branches of the armed forces and in conflicts large and small. Our veterans have shown the selflessness, 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 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.

Mitchel Field Family Health Center promotes awareness with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

By MC2(AW/SW) Kristina Young

This story appeared in The Dolphin on Aug. 28, 2014

Photo by MC2(AW/SW) Kristina Young LONG ISLAND, NY

LONG ISLAND, NY. – Physicians, staff, and patrons of the Mitchel Field Family Health Center (MFFHC) celebrated their new branding and patron awareness campaign with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the medical center in Garden City, Long Island, NY, Aug. 12.

A former U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force base, Mitchel Field still maintains military public-private venture (PPV) housing, a commissary, an exchange, and a contracted health care facility to support military families and activities in the area.

Mitchel Field DoD activities are aligned under Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE) in Groton, Conn., for facility and infrastructure support and management.

MFFHC recently underwent renovations to improve aesthetics as well as the center’s atmosphere for their more than 1,200 patients of the military community. New paint, new carpeting, and other refurbishments were capped off with dramatic new outdoor signage including eleven 8 ft. by 8 ft. photographs of military members, family members, and military equipment.

“I look at these pictures and it reminds me of the dedication and the sacrifices that all of our military members have made, along with the sacrifices of their families,” said Jeffrey Bloom, Executive Director and Senior Vice President of U.S. Family Health Plan which directs the clinic’s operations. “I look at these pictures and I’m proud to be a part of this plan. I’m proud to be providing the service that we have been providing. And, I’m proud of all of you that’ve patronized this site for the last 24 years.”

The new signs reflect a branding effort to highlight the center’s service to its military patrons and its existence to the local community.

“It absolutely feels great to have the community come out to celebrate with us as we are here because of them; if it wasn’t for the military community around us, we wouldn’t be here,” said Norma Velez, lead clerk with MFFHC for more than 24 years. “We always try to make this center feel like home for our patients and they just love it.”

According to Velez, before the new branding signs were placed around the outside of the building, patients would have a hard time locating the center.

“When the idea of putting signs around the building came up, we all thought it would help our patients and people in the community find us easier,” said Velez. “Our building is so close to the [Mitchel Field] commissary, yet people were having a hard time trying to locate which building we were in exactly. The beautiful pictures on the signs definitely show everyone who we are and who we serve.”

The health center contracted with local Rockville Centre, Long Island, PRI Communications Inc. to develop the signs.

“They told me that they would like to make the building more beautiful,” said Angelo Puleo, president of PRI Communications Inc. “I felt it was a privilege and an honor to do it for military people who support all of us throughout our lifetimes. I made sure that we picked the right pictures; we diversified; and, had proper representation of military members. I’ve been working with [MFFHC] for more than eight years…and I appreciated the opportunity to be a part of the new brand.”

Some 50 health center patrons, staff, and U.S. Family Health Plan leadership celebrated the ribbon cutting with music, food, and reflections about the center’s history and impact.

“I love this place, I love my veterans and my active-duty service members; just being able to be there for them is where my passion for this place comes from,” said Joyce Arciuolo, nursing director at MFFHC.

MFFHC opened in its current location in October 1990; prior to that, staff worked out of three different apartment buildings in nearby Mitchel Manor.

“I began as a clerk in June 1989, and Marvin Mullens, who was in charge, decided to move us out of the apartments and into this building,” said Velez. “This building was utilized for multipurpose use before we took over. It wasn’t nearly as pleasant as it is today. The renovations and work that was put into it really shine and make this place like home.”

Dr. John Burkhart, Medical Director of U.S. Family Health Plan, and a retired Navy Capt. who once worked as medical administrator at SUBASE’s clinic, oversees the MFFHC staff. He praised patients and caregivers alike for the sense of home and family with which they imbue the facility.

Health center patrons echoed the sentiment.

“The center is really scrumptious and full of personality and history. And the medical care, all top-notch doctors; I can’t complain about any doctor that I’ve ever [received],” said MFFHC patient and retired Marine First Sgt. Michael Puglia, who served in the corps for 32 years. “The doctors here, whether they know you or not, are very outstanding, professionals, and always welcome you as a patient. The staff, when I come in there, they’re fabulous. They help me with any problem I [have], if I have a problem; or, if I don’t have a problem, I still get help. [MFFHC] is second to none.”

For more information about the DoD services and activities located at Mitchel Field, visit:

The US Family Health Plan Remembers 9-11

The US Family Health Plan Alliance and its member organizations are deeply grateful for the service and sacrifice of our uniformed services members and their families.

Thirteen years ago today marked the beginning of our nation’s longest war—the still ongoing war against terrorism. The nearly 3 million service members who have deployed in support of war operations – many of them multiple times — volunteered to serve our country and have served with great distinction, often in very difficult conditions overseas. Each of them has family members who have sacrificed in many different ways. They have assumed extra duties at home, taken extra jobs, assumed family burdens that would ordinarily be shared, and have worked hard to ensure a stable home and productive environment while the military member is away supporting the mission.

As we remember the 2,977 people who perished at the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., we are reminded of the continued selfless commitment and patriotism of all of our service members and their families. The US Family Health Plan Alliance and members are especially proud to collaborate with the National Military Family Association in honoring the memory of those who perished on 9-11, as well as the service members and families of our uniformed services who sacrifice every day for our great country. A brief tribute can be seen below.

Homes for Military Veterans

Two US Family Health Plans are helping to build homes for military veterans. In Texas, CHRISTUS Health and the US Family Health Plan Alliance helped fund a home for a retired wounded warrior. In Massachusetts, Brighton Marine Health Center, Inc., is in the early stages of a planned multi-family complex that will provide affordable rental units to veterans and their families.

Brighton Clinic Looks to Build Housing for Veterans
Wounded warrior welcomed to new Cypress-area home

What Parts of Your Compensation Package Do You Value the Most?

An independent, congressionally-appointed commission tasked with recommending ways to modernize military pay, benefits and retirement seeks input from current and retired service members, dependents, and other members of the public.

The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission over the next few months will survey active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members, as well as military retirees. The Commission wants to know which parts of their package of compensation benefits they value the most. But the Commission isn’t just relying on the survey. It is also encouraging other military members, retirees, dependents, the general public and other interested parties to share their opinions with the Commission. Those opinions can be submitted either online through the Commission’s website or by writing to the Commission directly. The Commission’s website address is: www.mcrmc.gov

The Commission is tasked with reviewing the full range of military compensation and retirement policies and making recommendations to Congress about which compensation benefits and policies should be reformed and how. Compensation benefits under review by the Commission include all active duty, reserve and retired pay and allowances, health care benefits and policies, and quality of life programs and activities such as commissary and exchange benefits and nonappropriated fund activities. The Commission’s recommendations are supposed to help ensure the country can maintain its all-volunteer force in a fiscally sustainable way, whether the nation is at peace, or at war. The Commission’s final report will be provided to Congress and the President by February 1, 2015.

The commission’s recommendations could significantly impact the array of future military compensation benefits, including health care benefits. Those interested in the US Family Health Plan program may wish to register their views about important compensation benefits like health care by contacting the Commission at www.mcrmc.gov or by writing to:

The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission
Post Office Box 13170
Arlington, Virginia 22209

Nurturing the Roots of Healthful Eating Habits

Nurturing the Roots of Healthful Eating Habits

Nurturing the Roots of Healthful Eating Habits

Children from the Youth Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, MA, and volunteers from the US Family Health Plan teamed up to plant a community vegetable garden at the Youth Center on May 28. The children tend the garden, and are permitted to harvest the vegetables for use at their homes, or for food preparation lessons at the Youth Center. This is the fourth year that the US Family Health Plan operated by Brighton Marine Health Center has sponsored the event and helped plant the garden. Brighton Marine Health Center is one of six US Family Health Plans that provide care to military families under Defense Department contracts.

Seven Seals Boss Lift eventSeven Seals Boss Lift event

Seven Seals Boss Lift event

Jeffrey Bloom, executive director, Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, participated in the New Jersey Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s annual Seven Seals Boss Lift event at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The event, held May 14 -15, provides civilian employers an up-close view of their employees’ military service. Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers is one of six US Family Health Plans that provide health care to military families under Defense Department contracts.