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VIDEO: Supporting Military Medical Readiness through Quality Health Care

The US Family Health Plan Alliance knows how important family readiness is as a component of the military’s overall medical readiness. A key part of our mission is to give those serving on active duty overseas peace of mind, knowing their loved ones are being taken care of back home.

Dr. David Howes, president and CEO of Martin’s Point Health Care in Maine, explains how the US Family Health Plan provides the best health care possible to those who make sacrifices by serving or supporting those who serve our country.

“This is a group of people who has earned this benefit, that has served in places where they put their life at risk. Understanding that these people deserve our respect and our appreciation – and taking the time to explain to them what we believe their needs are and how they can work with us to make their health as good as it could be – is the best way to serve them from a cultural perspective.”

As part of the Military Health System, the US Family Health Plan offers the TRICARE Prime benefit to nearly 150,000 military retirees and family members across the country. Dr. Howes talks about how the US Family Health Plan helps manage the important issues facing the Military Health System.

“One thing that we can do,” Howes says, “is offload some of those responsibilities [health care delivered within the Military Health System]. Other things we can do as a USFHP – and some of our plans are doing – is to help with training and development for clinicians and to build more intimate relationships with military treatment facilities so we are working collaboratively rather than competitively.”

Increasing collaboration between uniformed medical professionals and the private sector medical community in support of military medical readiness remains a core tenet of the US Family Health Plan’s commitments to partner with the military’s medical leadership and to provide quality health care for plan members.

“The US Family Health Plan’s approach to working with patients is a huge piece of our mission and privilege to care for these people who have served our country so well,” Howes says.

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Congress Learns about Military’s Only Capitated Healthcare model

Members of Congress have been looking for solutions to curb the rising cost of military healthcare, and on Nov. 3 representatives of US Family Health Plan briefed congressional officials about key features of the only fixed price, value-based capitated care program in the Military Health System.

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Washington), Ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, introduces US Family Health Plan executives Linda Marzano (left) and David Chicoine (right) at a Nov. 3 Capitol Hill briefing on population health management.

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Washington), Ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, introduces US Family Health Plan executives Linda Marzano (left) and David Chicoine (right) at a Nov. 3 Capitol Hill briefing on population health management.

“The US Family Health Plan is the alternative model of care that the country is striving for,” said Linda Marzano, chair of the US Family Health Plan Alliance’s board of directors and CEO of Pacific Medical Centers, located in Seattle. “We have high quality, high patient satisfaction and a lower cost of care. We are achieving what the entire country is trying to move toward.”

Patient-Centered Healthcare Leads to Member Satisfaction

Marzano’s remarks on Capitol Hill come after the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) survey confirmed that US Family Health Plan patients are some of the most satisfied in the country. The CAHPS report this year showed that the US Family Health Plan’s aggregate member satisfaction rating in 2014 was 91.5 percent—more than 25 points higher on a 100-point scale than the national average for commercial health plans.

(Left to right) US Family Health Plan executives Linda Marzano (Pacific Medical Centers), David Chicoine (Brighton Marine Health Center) and David Howes (Martin’s Point Healthcare) discuss the high-quality, patient-centered healthcare that has been provided to military families for more than 30 years.

(Left to right) US Family Health Plan executives Linda Marzano (Pacific Medical Centers), David Chicoine (Brighton Marine Health Center) and David Howes (Martin’s Point Healthcare) discuss the high-quality, patient-centered healthcare that has been provided to military families for more than 30 years.

The six designated provider organizations that make up the US Family Health Plan operate a capitated-care model in which they are reimbursed at a fixed rate for the cost all patient services, and they are at risk if the cost of care exceeds that rate. This arrangement incentivizes investment in population health and disease management programs that help people live healthier lives and avoid expensive episodes of inpatient care.

“Each year, we’ve been able to offer great care at an affordable cost,” explained Dr. David Howes, president and CEO of Martin’s Point HealthCare. “Because people enroll with us, we know the people for whom we are responsible. We establish their preventive care needs, risks and chronic diseases, so we can help them to optimize their care, minimize hospitalizations and complications and remain healthy for as long as possible.”

David Chicoine, senior vice president and plan CEO for Brighton Marine Health Center, explained that each US Family Health Plan enrollee has an assigned primary care provider to coordinate care based on population models, health screenings and the patient’s previous medical history.

“Delivering very patient-specific healthcare is critical to achieving the high patient outcomes that we do,” Chicoine said.

“The Level of Care is Extraordinary”

Two US Family Health Plan members, retired Navy Rear Adm. Bill Center and retired Air

US Family Health Plan members—retired Navy Rear Adm. Bill Center (second from right) and retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Michael Tedford (far right) explain why the US Family Health Plan is the best option for their families’ healthcare.

US Family Health Plan members—retired Navy Rear Adm. Bill Center (second from right) and retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Michael Tedford (far right) explain why the US Family Health Plan is the best option for their families’ healthcare.

Force Chief Master Sergeant Michael Tedford, explained why they chose the US Family Health Plan from among the TRICARE choices for health care. Tedford discussed how, after retiring from the U.S. Air Force, he and his family moved between various health providers before settling on the US Family Health Plan, and noted how the preventive care approach helped catch a significant illness at a very early stage.

“The plan’s focus on preventive care is high, and I think it’s really instituted in the culture of all the care providers,” Tedford explained. “It sort of mimics that old cliché—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I’ve had nothing but good things to say about [the US Family Health Plan], and I plan on staying in it until I’m kicked out.”

Rear Admiral Center, who served the U.S. Navy for 35 years, noted the high quality care and personal respect he and his wife receive through the US Family Health Plan at Pacific Medical Center, which he touted as a model for future of the Military Healthcare System.

“The quality of care we’ve received is extraordinary,” he said. “I’m grateful we have this plan, and if it were up to me, I would want a plan like this for all military retirees. Our medical benefit is the most important of all of our retirement benefits, and when I talk to other retirees I get the same sentiment, especially as we grow older. [The US Family Health Plan’s] model lends itself to a true partnership between the military and retiree healthcare providers, and I think a seamless partnership is really important as we go forward in the future.”

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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).