Vet News: US Family Health Plan Enhances Service Areas, Facilities and Operations

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - US Family Health Plan announced the implementation of several strategies that improve the availability of health care options to military beneficiaries. The Plan finalized the augmentation of services in several geographic areas, instigated new operational improvements and completed key renovation efforts to answer the needs of active-duty personnel, retirees and their eligible family members.

"These improvements exemplify US Family Health Plan’s ongoing commitment to provide exceptional health care," said Marshall Bolyard, current chairperson for the US Family Health Plan Alliance. "We are dedicated to continually seek ways to improve and serve our military beneficiaries because our military families have earned this with their service."

Last year, each of the six US Family Health Plan programs received high member satisfaction ratings and experienced marked operational improvements. Of the six programs, five improved access to health care services to address the growing demands from beneficiaries.

At Martin’s Point Health Care, based in Portland, Maine, the Plan reach was extended to cover three new market-areas including Nashua, Keene and Lebanon, NH. In these areas, the Plan contracted with Dartmouth-Hitchcock to augment the physician and hospital networks offered by Martin’s Point to Plan members.

Brighton Marine Health Center, with headquarters in Boston, contracted with RiverBend Medical Group to provide local access to US Family Health Plan benefits for the thousands of military families and retirees in western Massachusetts near Westover Air Reserve and Barnes Air National Guard Bases. The RiverBend Medical Group has locations in Springfield, Chicopee, Westfield and Agawam, MA. US Family Health Plan eligibles in these areas will have access to TRICARE Prime benefits and special value-added benefits such as chiropractic care, massage therapy, and discounts on eyewear and fitness centers.

"US Family Health Plan is available through some of the Nation’s top health care systems. It is our goal to continue to augment our reach and offer our military families and retirees access to world-class care closer to home," said David Chicoine, the executive director of the Brighton Marine program.

Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) is also increasing members’ hospital choices with the completion of an agreement naming Virginia Mason the preferred hospital provider for Pacific Medical Centers. Virginia Mason Medical Center is an award winning hospital and recently received the 2004 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence, placing them among the top five percent of all acute-care hospitals in the nation.

The Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, serving New York, New Jersey southern Connecticut and eastern Pennsylvania, completed two key initiatives including the phase one renovation to its ambulatory care site at Mitchel Field and the expansion of its physician network to approximately 6500 providers. Renovations to the Mitchel Field ambulatory care site greatly improved the patient reception and administrative areas, allowing for greater patient privacy and more efficient use of space. A Maxor satellite pharmacy also moved into the building, giving US Family Health Plan members one-stop access to all of their medical services and prescriptions.

Recently, Johns Hopkins completed some important initiatives including: a renovation project at the Wyman Park practice; an expansion at the Odenton practice; and the phase II ground breaking of a new two-story multi-specialty and primary care practice in White Marsh, Maryland, which will double the practice’s existing space. At the Odenton facility, which is close to the Ft. Meade Army base, the pediatrics practice was enhanced to handle the demand from the active-duty families in the area. At Wyman Park, the former US Public Health Hospital, the internal medicine, OB/GYN and pediatrics areas were renovated and updated with new computer systems.

The new, conveniently located White Marsh practice will offer primary care from Johns Hopkins Community Physicians throughout the entire second floor of the new building. The White Marsh practice, to be completed by June, will feature a number of new services including access to specialists in geriatrics and orthopedics, as well as plastic and reconstructive surgery. US Family Health Plan members will have greater access to the world-renowned Wilmer Eye Institute at the White Marsh facility.

"At Johns Hopkins, we are very excited to see all of these new developments and operational milestones come to fruition for our US Family Health Plan members. With the addition of newly renovated facilities and improved services, our members have more convenient access to state-of-the-art medical care," said Mary Cooke, senior director at the Johns Hopkins Program.

About the US Family Health Plan:

US Family Health Plan is a TRICARE Prime option available to families of active duty military, retirees and their eligible family members, including those age 65 and over, through networks of community-based hospitals and physicians in six areas of the country. US Family Health Plan enrollment is offered through:

JOHNS HOPKINS COMMUNITY PHYSICIANS 1-800-808-7347
Serving central Maryland and parts of Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia

MARTIN’S POINT HEALTH CARE 1-888-241-4556
Serving Maine and New Hampshire

BRIGHTON MARINE HEALTH CENTER 1-888-815-5510
Serving central and eastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod, and Rhode Island

SAINT VINCENT CATHOLIC MEDICAL CENTERS 1-800-241-4848
Serving parts of New York, all of New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and southern Connecticut

CHRISTUS HEALTH 1-800-678-7347
Serving southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana

PACIFIC MEDICAL CENTERS (PacMed Clinics) 1-888-958-7347
Serving the Puget Sound area of Washington State

SOURCE: PR Newswire

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