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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 5 years ago

Hospital to offer insurance as a way of localizing health care

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Florida Hospital Volusia-Flagler will begin offering health insurance for residents, in 2014, as a way of grappling with health reform.

BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER

Florida Hospital Volusia-Flagler announced Jan. 3 that it will begin offering health insurance plans to residents next year.

Its plans will be made possible through a partnership with Health First Health Plans of Brevard County, which will manage the operational responsibilities through the hospital's provider network.

“Health care is local, yet providers and patients often face mandates from insurance companies who are not local," said Florida Hospital Volusia-Flagler CEO Daryl Tol. “This initiative will help us keep health care decisions in our community.”

The Florida Division of the Adventist Health System, which includes Florida Hospital Volusia-Flagler, began offering commercial health insurance in 2010, with the help of Concert Health Plan, in an effort to adapt to the changing market, according to Lindsay Rew, regional spokeswoman.

This initiative, led by Concert Health Plan President Dr. Peter Weiss, is being done in order further localize care.

“Through payment changes, the (Affordable Healthcare Act) is creating incentives for provider systems to manage the entire process of care,” Weiss said. “This is easier when the provider system is also the insurer and can align the incentives of all parties around the health of the member.”

According to the hospital, its new health insurance option is only now in its initial planning stages, but it is expected to be available January 2014, after the necessary paperwork is in and a physician network is established.

The exact type of documentation required of the health care provider varies depending on the type of plan -- individual, group or Medicare -- and the hospital is working to meet the various standards and deadlines required by the Affordable Healthcare Act.

The hospital hasn’t said which exact plans will be offered, but officials say it will work with Health First Health Plans to meet the specific demands of the area.

Health First Health Plans, which was founded in 1996, currently covers more than 60,000 residents in Brevard and Indian River county.

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