Press Press Releases & Media Coverage about First Choice Health

Entering 2021 with focus on direct-to-employer and new states amid continued expansion

Monday, December 28, 2020

Through a difficult year for all in the health care industry, First Choice Health (FCH) continued to expand its member base and unveil a number of new partnerships with clinically integrated networks (CINs) aimed at making healthcare more accessible and affordable for individuals in a growing number of states. 

Through its partnership with health systems in Northwest, Mountain West and the Great Plains, the 100% provider-owned FCH has shown that its focus on flexible healthcare administration suiting employers' unique healthcare needs has succeeded in setting the company apart in the eyes of members and healthcare leaders throughout the country. 

"We believe the future of healthcare is in minimizing the friction between a patient and provider," said FCH CEO Jaja Okigwe. "Helping employers rediscover the excellent care available to them locally is a great way for FCH to have an impact on the health of our communities."

Leading the Market with Direct Contracting Solutions for Employers

As it enters 2021, FCH has honed in on the delivery of exceptional healthcare products to the employer market, centered on serving members and patients with enhanced access and unparalleled customer support.

Having already established itself as the market leader in forging successful partnerships with hospitals and health systems to deliver provider-led products to commercial populations, FCH will keep its sights set on high value and improved health outcomes for members through new, unique partnerships.

With years of experience partnering with health systems on high-touch and high-tech direct-to-employer products as well as a group of strategic new hires and promotions joining its team of medical and healthcare business experts, FCH will continue to leverage its market relationships and deploy these products across the states in which it operates.

"FCH's founding by providers was built on the promise that a provider-centric model is a better alternative to the fragmented care delivery approach of large national insurers," said Clyde Walker, FCH Board Chair. "We know - and members know - that tighter relationships between providers and employers reduce costs and improve outcomes, and as we transition from 2020 into 2021, FCH is developing new partnerships and products built around this concept."

Keeping Care Accessible and Valuable During a Pandemic

Amid the tragic COVID-19 pandemic, FCH simplified the care experience for members any way that it could, including expanded access to virtual care. Following the integration of 98point6, an on-demand primary care service that delivers personalized consultation, diagnosis and treatment to patients, FCH announced that it would cover the cost of telehealth services for its self-funded employer customers during the crisis.

FCH also announced a strategic partnership with health and benefit navigation company Rightway Healthcare, giving FCH members direct access to Rightway's innovative technology platform and team of healthcare navigators. This integration follows FCH's identification of navigation as a major barrier in healthcare access

"It's been an enormously challenging year for hospitals, health systems and all providers, and in addition to our work ensuring that every member could get the care they needed - regardless of whether they left their home or not - we are proud to have kept growing as an organization," Okigwe said. "Between our key new hires, efforts to improve access and navigation, new direct-to-employer products and expansion into several new states, we are thrilled at the prospect of providing this care to even more members in more parts of the country in the year ahead."

Other highlights and notable areas of 2020 growth include:

  • Thirty-five percent net growth rate for FCH's employee assistance program, meaning 55,000 new employees covered
  • Promotion of Anisha Sood to chief financial and strategy officer, and key hires including Shruti Singal, M.D., as vice president of medical management
  • New direct-to-employer partnerships with CINs including Embright, Eastside Health Network, St. Charles Health System, and more
  • Expansion into new states including Nebraska, along with continued growth throughout Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota - making FCH the largest independent network west of the Mississippi
  • FCH maintains more than 123,000 practitioners, facilities and hospitals in its PPO network, across 12 states and processes the claims for more than 800,000