This week, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced a series of initiatives to strengthen the U.S. military’s employee benefits package to ensure that our military community members receive health and family benefits comparable to those found in the private sector. As the Department of Defense aims to provide high-quality health benefits, it should look to the Uniformed Services Family Health Plan as a model program that already leads the way in patient satisfaction, better health outcomes and cost effective health care.
The US Family Health Plan’s six regional nonprofit care providers are unique in TRICARE for their capitated care model and proactive approach to medicine focused on improved patient wellness, disease management and predictive modeling to ensure that the care received is the most appropriate to the patient’s medical condition. US Family Health Plan beneficiaries are among the country’s most satisfied patients with a 91.5-percent aggregate satisfaction rating, according to the 2015 Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) survey.
This rating, more than 25 percentage points higher than the national average for commercial health plans, is driven by a culture and value-based care model that helps patients live healthier lives and which, in turn, reduces the frequency of costly emergency room visits and inpatient care. As healthcare in the private sector becomes more innovative and patient-centric, the US Family Health Plan serves as a model for the Department of Defense in its pursuit of top-of-the-line care, higher patient satisfaction and cost effective care delivery.