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Larger Scope Delivers Opportunities to Expand US Family Health Plan (USFHP) Membership & Services

Published July 14, 2014

One of the Transition Committee’s specific work areas is to find and optimize opportunities to expand existing programs. One area where gains are being made is through the expansion of US Family Health Plan (USFHP).

USFHP is a special Department of Defense–sponsored health plan for eligible military beneficiaries. Available in only six areas across the country, USFHP is administered by PacMed in the Northwest region. PacMed has held the DoD contract for 30 years. The plan is open to family members of active duty personnel, military retirees and their families, and eligible survivors.

Through our combined efforts, we have the potential to increase USFHP membership locally. The USFHP Expansion Committee (co-chaired by Linda Marzano, Chief Operating Officer, PacMed; Harvey Smith, CEO, PacMed; Joel Gilbertson, Senior Vice President, Community Partnerships/External Affairs, Providence; and Jack Friedman, Senior Vice President, Accountable Care/Payor Relations, Providence) has met with both the Providence Medical Group (PMG) Northwest and Southwest regions to research opportunities to grow the USFHP patient base within the PMG system. The committee is actively researching how many existing Providence patients are currently covered by TRICARE (the umbrella insurance group of the Military Health System) but have not chosen this excellent plan. The hope is to transfer those patients to USFHP coverage. In addition, meetings with Providence staff to educate them about the benefits patients receive when using USFHP as compared to TRICARE will also occur in the future.

Year after year, USFHP achieves member satisfaction ratings that are among the highest in the country. Some of the benefits that USFHP members particularly appreciate:

  • Free or very low monthly enrollment fees
  • Coordinated, patient-focused care from board certified, civilian providers
  • A dedicated personal primary care provider and seamless specialty referrals
  • Nurse case managers and local USFHP Customer Service team
  • Disease management programs (including NCQA-recognized diabetes and heart/stroke care)
  • Deep discounts on health services and products not covered by the Military Health System or Medicare—such as naturopathic care, massage therapy, fitness club memberships and more.

Over the past year or so, USFHP has grown its Puget Sound area network to six medical groups and most recently expanded to the Kitsap Peninsula and north Mason, Clallam and Jefferson counties. This means more military beneficiaries can choose USFHP and count on excellent care that’s close to home.

The efforts of the USFHP management team to drive positive outcomes for its members support this affiliation’s overall strategy to improve the way healthcare is organized, paid for and delivered. We are already making headway with US Family Health Plan, which has topped the 14,000 member count, an impressive benchmark.

Efforts thus far have focused on a local expansion strategy. In the months to come, the committee will begin shaping a national expansion strategy.