Section: News

Area Physicians Partner with Flagler Hospital to form PHO

Area Physicians Partner with Flagler Hospital to form PHO

Nearly 200 area physicians have partnered with St. Augustine, Florida's Flagler Hospital to form First Coast Health Alliance - a physician-hospital organization (PHO) aimed at fostering collaboration among independent physicians and Flagler Hospital in a way that will increase both the quality and efficiency of patient-centered care. The alliance, Northeast Florida's first of its kind, gives physicians the ability to maintain independence while also achieving the following goals in collaboration with the hospital:

• improved clinical outcomes for all patients

• adoption of evidence-based standardized care protocols

• reduction of health care costs for patients employers and health plans

• enhanced coordination of care between all care providers across the continuum of care

• assuring delivery of the right care at the right time in the right setting

• improved reimbursement through demonstration of quality and efficiency

"After many months of research, education and collaboration among area physicians and members of the Flagler Hospital leadership team, we determined that forming this PHO would best serve our patients, our community and local employers, as our nation moves from a fee-for-service health care system to a more population health-based model," commented First Coast Health Alliance President, Miguel Machado, MD. "Members of our physician community agree that it is important for us to maintain our independence, while also establishing a formalized structure to best monitor the quality and value we are bringing to our patients at every point of care - both inside and outside the hospital walls."

Machado was elected President of the organization in May and brings significant leadership experience to the organization, having recently served as the President of the Florida Medical Association.

"Clinical Integration was identified as a key initiative in Flagler Hospital's strategic planning process," added Flagler Hospital Executive Vice President of Clinical Integration & Strategy, Jason Barrett. "With support of our board of directors and leadership from members of the physician community, we evaluated a number of options to achieve the triple aim of clinical integration – and landed here, with the First Coast Health Alliance. We are extremely pleased with the number of physicians who have joined so early in the process and look forward to expanding our network even further."

Currently, participating physicians are continuing to negotiate their own contracts with insurers. It is anticipated that existing patients will benefit from the network's quality and value initiatives but will not experience any immediate changes in the way they interact with their physicians practice on a day-to-day basis.

About First Coast Health Alliance:

First Coast Health Alliance is a physician-hospital organization established in May 2013 to serve St. Johns County and surrounding communities. Its 185 members include independent primary care physicians and specialists and Flagler Hospital. The mission of First Coast Health Alliance is to achieve the best in quality and efficiency for all patients at every point of care. The organization's vision is to serve as a national model for collaboration among independent physicians, health care providers and the communities they serve, and to achieve the best possible population at the best value. More information, including a full listing of alliance members, the board of directors and leadership team, can be found at

About Flagler Hospital:

Flagler Hospital is a 335 bed, acute care hospital that has been ranked among the top 5% of all hospitals in the nation for both clinical excellence and patient safety for the past eight consecutive years. The hospital has operated as a not-for-profit healthcare institution in St. Augustine, Florida since its founding in 1889. The hospital has earned accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, is a nationally accredited chest pain center, a Joint Commission Primary Stroke Care Center, national accreditation for its total hip and total knee replacement programs, and Center of Excellence Designation for its Bariatric Surgery Center. For more information, log on to