First Choice Health: Working Together to Improve Insurance and Care

At Virginia Mason, we believe doctors, employers, and insurance providers should work together to improve health care — and we’re getting key support from First Choice Health, a Seattle-based health benefits company and a longstanding Virginia Mason donor, to make this a reality.

“In the past, we donated to a lot of different types of organizations,” says Jaja Okigwe, First Choice Health’s President and CEO. “But then we tried to think about how to make a more significant impact, and we decided to focus our donations on organizations — like Virginia Mason — that are more directly aligned with our goal of providing affordable, high-quality health care for people throughout our community.”

This commitment to community has driven First Choice to help local organizations do everything from improve early education for neglected children, to pursue better ways to treat multiple sclerosis. Here at Virginia Mason, the company’s philanthropy has helped us continue delivering world-class care.

And First Choice has taken their commitment to Virginia Mason to an even higher level, by partnering with us to design better health insurance options.

For example, we teamed up to create a high-quality care network called the Puget Sound High Value Network, which helps employers offer high-quality care while keeping costs low by eliminating extra features that most people don’t use.

“Basically, we want to make it simpler for people to get better care, at a reasonable cost,” says Jaja.

First Choice is also collaborating with Virginia Mason on another ambitious goal: prediction and prevention of serious health issues. For example, the company has provided Virginia Mason with data on how many employees take both sedatives and opioids, and are therefore at a higher risk of severe complications. In the near future, First Choice Health case managers will be able to reach out to Virginia Mason employees, their dependents and their doctors with tips on how to safely manage their medications.

“One of the great benefits of being in Seattle is that we get to come into contact with organizations like Virginia Mason that, like us, are on a mission to increase access to high quality care,” Jaja says. “We’ll do everything we can to support that, whether it’s through philanthropy or business initiatives, because we want everyone in our community to live the happiest, healthiest lives possible.”

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