FHCP setting the standard with integrated model of care

By: Sonya Ferris, Enterprise Communications

They’ve been around for a while—and they couldn’t be more proud of that fact.

Offering both high-quality, integrated care and a wide range of affordable health insurance options for individuals, families and groups, Florida Health Care Plans (FHCP) has been serving the communities of Central Florida since 1974. In fact, they’re the second oldest HMO in the nation!

But don’t let their age fool you. Now part of GuideWell Health after first being acquired by Florida Blue in 2009, FHCP offers innovative care plans, coupled with cutting-edge health delivery.

Their all-in-one facilities provide state-of-the-art treatment and advanced technology with labs, pharmacies, primary care physician offices, radiology, and extended hours care centers under one roof.

They’re designed to improve the patient experience by eliminating the hassle of traveling to one facility to see a doctor, then heading to another for lab work and then going to yet another location to pick up a prescription.

“The ‘secret sauce’ that has long made FHCP so successful is our integrated model of care,” said Dave Schandel, CEO and president. “We’re addressing the whole person and all of their needs.”

A key component is that all services are tied together with electronic health records. If a primary care physician makes a referral to a specialist, the specialist already has the record. FHCP also has a very active case management team that helps members with more complex needs coordinate their care and makes sure they understand and comply with their care plans. That, in turn, improves health outcomes and reduces hospital readmission rates.

With about 1,400 employees serving approximately 90,000 members, the company has addressed the challenges of COVID-19 head-on. When the pandemic hit, FHCP quickly mobilized to convert seven of their 13 clinics for testing and treating patients with the virus. If a patient suspected to have COVID arrived at the other facilities, special rooms were available to minimize exposure for patients and staff.

Other creative solutions have included setting up canopies in parking lots to provide drive up testing and offering virtual care options. FHCP’s primary care physicians had already been training to use Zoom—but when COVID hit, they quickly ramped up their efforts and actively contacted members to set up virtual visits where appropriate. Much of FHCP’s large over-65 population has continued to receive care virtually.

The team has also leveraged their in-house pharmacies to further reduce the risk of exposure for patients. Starting with their oldest members and working their way down, they’ve contacted patients proactively to get prescriptions transferred to mail-order.

The huge effort has paid off. The safety precautions have proven to be very effective and the new options have been well received by members.

“I am incredibly proud of our entire organization,” Schandel said. “The dedication of our staff to rally and meet the challenges of COVID-19 over the past eight months has been absolutely remarkable.”

So what’s next? The company is expanding with a new medical hub coming soon in Palm Bay. The facility will include primary care and visiting specialists along with pharmacy, x-ray, ultrasound and infusion services. In addition, another primary care office will be opening by the end of year in Titusville, located next to one of FHCP’s stand-alone pharmacies.

You can count on FHCP to maintain their focus on high-quality care every step of the way as they grow. It’s the same outstanding service they’ve been providing Central Florida residents for 46 years.