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Health First Network & Physicians' Care Network Create a New, Powerful Venture: Patient Care First Network.

January 30, 2008

Pensacola, FL - Health First Network and Gainesville-based Physicians' Care Network, both independent physician associations, recently formed a new joint venture, Patient Care First Network, which will provide as many as 33,000 members access to managed care Medicaid products for the first time.

It's a win-win for the two companies because by coming together they are able to reach an audience that neither could have reached on their own. Health First Network contributes extensive expertise and experience, as well as financial resources. Physicians' Care Network brings to the table a reputable network of physicians and geography.

"This venture marks a strategic opportunity for us to join with another large, successful IPA and stretch our presence and impact across most of the northern tier of Florida," said Robin Herr, President and CEO of Health First Network.

The new company, Patient Care First Network, will offer managed care Medicare and Medicaid products to about 10 additional counties under the WellCare umbrella. Again, tens of thousands of people stand to gain because of increased choice and enhanced quality of care.

"We are excited about this partnership for many reasons, but first and foremost because it makes sense for patients," said Kim Kauffman, Executive Director of Physicians' Care Network. "Managed care emphasizes prevention, incorporates predictive modeling and disease management, and simply considers what's in the best interest of each patient as a whole. It's a proven, team-oriented, and cost-effective approach to health care," she added.

In addition to continuing to serve in their current roles, Charles Brewer, Executive Director of Health First Network and Kauffman will serve as president and secretary, respectively, of Patient Care First Network.

Health First Network and Physicians' Care Network are each made up of about 550 physicians and are both governed by a medical board of directors. Together, their history spans more than three decades. In forming Patient Care First Network, both organizations hold steadfast to improving the health care experience and quality of life of people throughout the counties they serve across north Florida.

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