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Fort Myers, Fla. - August 11, 2022

Infographic: Collaboration to Enhance Care & Manage Costs

A collaboration between Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, LLC (FCS) and Florida Blue, the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, is proving to enhance patient care and well-being while also keeping health care costs under control. 

A recent review of the collaboration found that Florida Blue members treated by FCS for some of the more common forms of cancer, including breast, colorectal, lung, lymphatic and leukemia, experienced:

  • More education and communication to support patients
  • Fewer visits to the emergency room and avoidable hospitalizations
  • Better collaboration between providers with reductions duplicative processes 
  • Increased use of biosimilar drugs and generic therapeutic 
  • Overall reduction health care expenses for treatment 

“Florida Blue has been a great partner in steering value-based care initiatives at FCS. This truly has been a collaborative effort for both parties, one where we have been able to evaluate the program’s progress with deliberate checkpoints throughout and make the necessary modifications to ensure benefits are recognized for payer, practice and most importantly, beneficiary,” remarked FCS Senior Director Value-Based Care TR Strickland.

“At Florida Blue, we are dedicated to providing our members with access to affordable, high quality health care solutions. That’s only possible through collaboration with health care leaders like Florida Cancer Specialists that share our commitment to finding innovative ways to provide comprehensive care to our members while improving health care costs,” said Phil Lee, Florida Blue Vice President, Strategic Provider Partnerships.  

The collaboration began in 2016 when Florida Blue and FCS signed an agreement focusing part of their financial relationship on providing enhanced care and support to Florida Blue members while reducing unnecessary expenses, referred to as “value-based care” in the health care industry. 

One of the key areas of patient care enhancement is better outpatient symptom management, which helps reduce hospital admissions and readmissions by addressing treatment earlier in the outpatient setting before symptoms become severe and require emergency room visit and, subsequently, hospitalization. 

To address this, FCS has enhanced patients’ experience by providing comprehensive care management that personally supports patients through their cancer journey, personalized education and 24/7 support to help patients better manage side effects and avoid unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations. 

FCS also pioneered the use of biosimilar drugs, which are clinical equivalents of brand-recognizable pharmaceuticals available at a lower cost, in addition to utilizing state-of-the-art technology to share information between providers, reduce delays and minimize wasteful duplicative processes. 

“FCS’s innovative, multi-faceted approach, using advanced analytics that provide real-time data, is designed to optimize each patient’s health status and quality of life,” said Michael Diaz, MD, FCS President & Managing Physician. 

In the first four years of the collaboration, approximately 12,000 Florida Blue members battling cancer have been treated by FCS as part of the program. The innovative approach resulted in a notable reduction in overall treatment costs when compared against other oncology programs. 

The fourth year has proven to be the most successful, where total cost of health care expenditures was 18% lower and emergency room visits declined 22.8%, compared to the market’s 5.4%. FCS surpassed additional thresholds for quality and clinical staging measures as well.  

FCS Chief Executive Officer Nathan H. Walcker said, “Our ultimate goal as a leading provider of oncology care and a trend-setter in value-based reimbursement is to continue to achieve and exceed quality measures to deliver the best possible experience and outcomes for patients. We are consistently demonstrating the effectiveness of our approach.” 

Florida Blue and FCS are continuing to work together to evolve the program through a continual focus on high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive care to provide positive experiences and favorable outcomes for patients.

“FCS will continue to invest in strategies and technologies to advance value-based care solutions to advance clinical quality and to address rising costs and other industry challenges,” Walcker said.   

Download the Case Study on this Collaboration 

About Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, LLC: (

Recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) with a national Clinical Trials Participation Award, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) offers patients access to more clinical trials than any private oncology practice in Florida. The majority of new cancer drugs recently approved for use in the U.S. were studied in clinical trials with Florida Cancer Specialists participation.* Trained in prestigious medical schools and research institutes, our physicians are consistently ranked nationally as Top Doctors by U.S. News & World Report.

Founded in 1984, Florida Cancer Specialists has built a national reputation for excellence that is reflected in exceptional and compassionate patient care, driven by innovative clinical research, cutting-edge technologies and advanced treatments, including targeted therapies, genomic-based treatment, and immunotherapy.  Our highest values are embodied by our outstanding team of highly trained and dedicated physicians, clinicians and staff.

*Prior to approval