JAXUSA Partnership hosted its Third Quarter Luncheon featuring remarks and Q&A from Pat Geraghty, President and CEO of Florida Blue. Geraghty provided perspective on COVID-19’s impact on insurance and health care to the region’s business, government and community leadership.
JAXUSA President Aundra Wallace asked Geraghty several questions as it relates to innovation and it was clear that Florida Blue has been continuously innovating on behalf of their customers and employees, particularly in light of the pandemic. Geraghty was asked to be part of a committee to advise Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on best practices for COVID-19 testing and served on a task force regarding the need for wearing masks to prevent the spread of the virus. “Wearing masks keeps businesses open. It’s a simple and straightforward solution,” said Geraghty. Florida Blue has also reduced expenses for COVID-19 testing and will continue to work on ways to make testing accessible.
Florida Blue has continued to make improvements to their telehealth systems by waiving co-pays and encouraging members to meet with doctors remotely. When asked about patients “putting off a visit to the doctor,” Geraghty not only pointed out the increased optionality for telehealth visits but also shared that many providers have made meaningful strides in making adjustments to ensure patient safety within their office and clinic spaces.
Among the issues Geraghty touched on during his comments was the idea of remote work. Top of mind for the Florida Blue CEO, one of the largest employers in the Jacksonville region, was his need to keep his employees safe in order to meet patient and provider needs. And while no concrete plans have been announced regarding remote work, Geraghty said that he “happen(s) to be of the opinion that we’re not going to be remaining completely remote and we’re not going back to where we were just prior to this pandemic.” Geraghty said he sees some employees working a hybrid schedule, with some days in the office and the rest working from home while others would have the option to work fully remotely.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed the way we interact or do business with one another and the way health care is accessed and provided. There are real steps being taken in Northeast Florida to continue innovation and ensure that the region not only remains open for business but also can continue to safely grow in the future.
To view Geraghty’s remarks, please click here.