Over 30 years ago, six friends pledged to serve their community in East Los Angeles after graduating from medical school. Their pact became one of the largest private, community-based, Hispanic-led medical groups in California.
Now, the promise of providing high-quality care to often marginalized individuals, nurturing future doctors and fostering diversity in the healthcare industry has garnered attention to further develop this model.
Family Care Specialists Medical Group, founded in 1988 as a privately held, commercial practice operating in underserved Los Angeles areas, now has over 120 employees and an independent physician association of 340 primary care physicians. The group serves over 25,000 patients, mostly Hispanics and low-income people.
“We’ve learned a lot about healthcare, the economy, the community, the impact we have on the community, and the individual families that are represented among our employees,” said Dr. Hector Flores, Medical Director of Family Care Specialists. …
His nationally recognized Family Medicine Inclusive Practice and Residency Program has attracted the attention of the Altai Clinical Service, which aims to recruit family medicine specialists. Altai is channeling money and resources into independent medical practices, seeking to expand value-based care.
This will allow family care professionals to continue their mission of providing affordable patient-centered care, Flores said.
This will allow doctors to contact the family care team and patients, as well as access medical information, he said. Altais’ reporting and prescriptive analytics can also provide multidisciplinary clinicians with clearer clinical information.
“Their model of care based on communities and values is very important for Altai people,” Bayeth said. “This is a model that we would like to expand and present to other aspects of the stakeholders with whom we work.”
Altais was spun off from Blue Shield of California in 2019 and works with 2,700 multidisciplinary doctors in the Bay Area.
The family care professional programs, benefits, brand and management will remain, Flores said.
“We have gone to great lengths to create culturally competent employees,” he said. “Language, culture and life experiences are especially important in establishing contact with the patient.”
Family Care Specialists’ board of directors is made up of all Hispanic members, and 90% of the group’s total workforce is also Hispanic. Of the 29 clinicians, 85% are of color, Flores said, two-thirds of whom are Hispanic and another third from Asia and the Pacific. Eighty percent of the frontline staff are women, along with the group’s COO and the Director of the Residency Program.
This is especially impressive given that only 5.8% of active doctors were identified as Hispanic in 2019, despite accounting for 18.5% of the US population, according to an AAMC study.
He added that in order to compete with ever larger suppliers, businesses need to find ways to grow.
Altais will update the group’s electronic health record system and incorporate speech-to-text dictation to improve practice, said Dr. Jeff Bylett, president and CEO of the company.