PacifiCare Health Systems announced last week it will sell its staff-model network in Florida to PrimeCare International, a physician practice management company.
The network, Pasteur Delivery Systems, has nine clinics with 45 physicians. The sale price was not disclosed. PacifiCare acquired the clinics with its purchase of Pasteur Health Plan, a Miami-based staff-model HMO, in 1994.
PacifiCare joins several HMOs that have sold or restructured their staff-model networks recently (See related story, p. 104).
PacifiCare has 55,000 commercial and Medicaid enrollees in the state, slightly more than 40,000 of whom are served by the clinics.
Selling the network will allow Cypress, Calif.-based PacifiCare to focus on its core objectives in Florida, said Jeff Folick, the company's chief operating officer.
Running physician practices is "not our priority business, frankly. In no other market do we fully own and operate clinics, and our objective in Florida is to focus on expansion into central Florida and into (Medicare)," he said.
PacifiCare operates network-model HMOs in its other markets, although it does have ownership stakes in management service organizations in the San Antonio area, Folick said.
Upon the transfer, effective June 1, PacifiCare will contract with PrimeCare to deliver services for its southern Florida enrollees, including those in its Secure Horizons Medicare HMO, expected to start this year.
PrimeCare delivers contracted medical services to members of PacifiCare's California subsidiary, and the two companies will continue to explore partnership opportunities.
PrimeCare, a privately held company based in Ontario, Calif., operates in Southern California, Oklahoma and the New York City area. The transaction marks its entry into the Florida market.