December 4, 2022

Floridian of the Year

Pat Geraghty, Florida Blue CEO, is Floridian of the Year

| 1/2/2014

In a third endeavor, Florida Blue provides direct care through its own doctors in a multispecialty practice in Largo, a clinic in Pensacola, a managedcare plan, called a staff-model HMO, in Daytona, and a mixed-model HMO in Tallahassee. “There is not one silver bullet,” Geraghty says.

As Geraghty leads Florida Blue into the new health care world, it helps that the company is strong financially. Ratings firm A.M. Best last year raised Florida Blue’s rating to A+. The company’s underwriting gains and investment income give it a capital position that could offer a competitive advantage and allow it to respond to changes in the market under Obamacare, according to A.M. Best.

The Blues stand to benefit from their experience dealing directly with consumers since the exchanges hold the potential of moving more people into the direct-purchase market. Additionally, says Raymond James health care analyst Michael Baker, Blues with the financial wherewithal are at an advantage as margins get squeezed and as the demand for more tech spending in the under-automated industry grows. The question is whether such large, traditional organizations can adjust as the government reshapes the market.

“There’s a lot of change coming at once,” Baker says. “There’s a much greater need to drive for efficiency, for innovation, and how you adjust to this changing backdrop. What was a steady ship will likely get into choppier seas so you need a captain who can look out and see where the next destination is, the path, if you will, to the future.”

Strategy and Tactics

CEO of Florida Blue since 2011, Pat Geraghty has continued initiatives that started before he arrived while positioning the company for more radical change.

Florida Blue has expanded its initiative to sell insurance in a retail setting. It now operates 18 retail centers in Florida that offer consumers basic wellness information, such as blood pressure readings and health care advice, but also sell insurance and serve as places to demonstrate products for sale.

Nationally, GuideWell, a forprofit venture begun in 2010, sells health-related products and services such as electronic sleepaid devices and gingko biloba. A small enterprise, it will have a “more prominent presence for the organization moving forward,” company spokesman Paul Kluding says. In-state, the online Florida Blue Health Shop peddles Sundown supplements, body fat analyzers, yoga mats and the like.

Florida Blue closed on an $8.6-million acquisition of a forprofit Medicare audit contractor shortly after Geraghty’s arrival. Because of the deal, Florida Blue now is the third-party administrator for Medicare Parts A and B in 12 states. Before the acquisition, Florida Blue, with only Florida, had 8% of the U.S. thirdparty administrative market. Now it has 32%.

Florida Blue paid $53 million to buy a for-profit multispecialty doctor practice in Largo. It opened a primary care clinic in Pensacola in 2012.

Florida Blue also has positioned itself to enter the Medicaid business through a joint venture with a Blue in Philadelphia and that joint venture’s investment in Prestige Health Choice, a health center-owned Medicaid provider.

Tags: Floridian of the Year, Trendsetters

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