Healthcare Business News

Florida Blue, First Coast Health Alliance partner on accountable care program

By Rachel Landen
Posted: January 17, 2014 - 12:00 pm ET

First Coast Health Alliance, a physician-hospital organization in Jacksonville, Fla., has teamed up with Florida Blue, the state's Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, to form an accountable care program to serve patients in St. Johns County, Fla.

Jan. 1 marked the first day of the three-year program, designed to improve the quality and coordination of patient care while also reducing healthcare costs. The arrangement's compensation structure calls for shared savings based on risk-adjusted per member, per month total cost of care targets that will be set annually, said Paul Kluding, a spokesman for Florida Blue.

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“Progressive organizations like First Coast Health Alliance realize the importance of moving away from the fee-for-service model to one that focuses on quality outcomes and reduces the cost burden for all stakeholders,” Andy Marino, vice president of delivery system for Florida Blue, said in a news release.

Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine, Fla., partnered with 188 community physicians in May 2013 to form First Coast Health Alliance. Its agreement with Florida Blue marks the ninth accountable care-based structure that the Blues plan has enacted in the state. Last year, Florida Blue announced agreements with Cleveland Clinic (Weston) Florida; Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla.; and Orlando Health.

“Together, our physician members and Flagler Hospital represent the largest constituency of healthcare providers in our county, so forming a relationship with our community's largest commercial insurer makes perfect sense,” First Coast Health Alliance President Dr. Miguel Machado said in the release.

The first year of the agreement includes all commercial fully insured and self-insured groups as well as federally employed members. There are plans to expand the program to include other products this year.

Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden

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