Martin’s Point’s CEO testifies before Senate Committee on Aging

Innovative, Tailored Care Models for Maine’s Seniors

Washington, DC (October 3, 2018) – Martin’s Point Health Care, based in Portland, Maine, is implementing forward-thinking programs and care models to meet the health care needs of the state’s rapidly growing, mostly rural, and chronically ill senior population. That was the message Martin’s Point President and CEO, David Howes, MD, shared at an October 3 hearing of the Senate Committee on Aging, chaired by Maine Senator Susan Collins.

Maine health care providers, including Martin’s Point, are on the front line of tackling a collection of senior health care challenges other states will face in the years ahead. Maine’s average population age is rising faster than that of any state in the nation. Projections show that, by 2020, those over the age of 65 in Maine will outnumber those under 18—a statistic that is 15 years ahead of the national projected date of 2035. Adding to the complexity of this issue, 31 percent of Maine’s senior population lives below 200 percent of the poverty line and 51 percent lives in rural areas.

In describing their innovative approach to caring for a this progressively aging population, Dr. Howes highlighted the fact that Martin’s Point provides Maine seniors with both direct patient care and Medicare health plans. This unique combination of services allows the organization to leverage health care information to inform targeted and closely managed care, resulting in improved patient outcomes and experience and driving down costs.

 “I regard our [health plan] care management programs as some of our best innovation work at Martin’s Point,” said Dr. Howes. “They continue to illustrate to me that the little things can make a big difference.”

In his Senate testimony Dr. Howes described several programs that illustrate this strategic approach to delivering care, managing costs and helping seniors live independently. These programs feature a care model that emphasizes close care coordination and chronic disease management. Some of the programs included in the testimony include:

  • A home-based comprehensive care program tackling all factors that impact health, including physical, emotional, social and environmental. As part of the program, patients are screened for mental illness, addiction and depression. More than half of invited members in the home-care program are accepting nurses into their home for the first visit and then inviting them back.
  • A pilot program for patients with congestive heart failure, providing in-home assessments, education on symptoms and telemonitoring devices for participants. The effort led to significant improvements in members’ medication adherence, as well as decreased hospital admissions and a nearly 70 percent reduction in readmissions.

To read the full testimony from Dr. Howes, click here.

US Family Health Plan Founding Members Reunite after Nearly Four Decades

Nearly 40 years after its creation in 1981, the US Family Health Plan is still providing high-quality health care to some of its original members.

Martin’s Point Health Care – one of the six US Family Health Plan regional member organizations – hosted a recent seminar to educate members about plan benefits, pharmacy options, health coverage and the latest in military health care.  Excitingly, the seminar also reunited some of the inaugural members who have received health care through the plan since its founding.

Among those members in attendance were retired U.S. Army First Sergeant Gary Cadman and retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Roger Courtier, as well as Betty Perkins, who was married to an active-duty member of the U.S. Coast Guard.

When asked what has made them stay with the plan after nearly 40 years, all three members agreed that the US Family Health Plan’s patient-centered approach and reliable access to care have kept them enrolled and satisfied.

Sergeant Cadman served a combined 25 years in the Army and Army Reserves, during which he sailed the Arctic Ocean during active duty and worked on radar ships.  Upon retiring, he joined the US Family Health Plan, where he found his care team’s in-depth knowledge of military culture, values and idealsto be a critical asset in delivering the care and respect he believes military families and retirees deserve.

“I’m tickled to death with the care I’ve received, and I can’t thank them enough for what they do for the military,” Sergeant Cadman said.

Familiarity with military culture has also been an important factor for Senior Master Sergeant Courtier, who served from 1970 to 1971 as a French interpreter while stationed on a gunship in Cambodia and Vietnam.  He remains extremely pleased with the care he has received, including reliable access to doctors and nurses and the ease of scheduling appointments.  US Family Health Plan member organizations strive to ensure that members like Courtier receive care when they need it through timely appointments,in-home monitoring, a 24-hour nurse help line and other advanced approaches to care delivery.

“I drive 45 miles [to Martin’s Point for care], but I would rather do that than wait for the same amount of time in a doctor’s office.  I like the doctors and I like the service – if they schedule an appointment at 2 o’clock, I am seen at 2 o’clock.  Other places don’t have the same respect for time that Martin’s Point does,” Senior Master Sergeant Courtier said.

For Betty Perkins, the biggest relief that US Family Health Plan provided was during her husband’s illness.  She was grateful to never worry about billing and to instead focus fully being her husband’s in-home caregiver and supporter.  Today, Perkins still enjoys the US Family Health Plan’s personal touches. Her providers check up on her after her health care visits and genuinely care about her well-being.

“I don’t know what I would do without them. They make things affordable and easy. I get my friends to sign up, and everyone is absolutely over the moon,” she said.

Sergeant Cadman, Senior Master Sergeant Courtier and Ms. Perkins are among nearly 150,000 US Family Health Plan members nationwide who enjoy access to quality health care through the TRICARE Prime benefit, with top-rated patient satisfaction.

This story was originally published on the US Family Health Plan website.