How the Central Florida Physician’s Alliance Serves Patients
Spending more time in the waiting room than with the doctor… not having questions fully answered… finding no help with medical insurance… these are just a few of the patient complaints that plague healthcare, and many of us have likely experienced similarly frustrating interactions at the doctor’s office. However, such complaints are much less likely to occur if you are a patient of a doctor in the Central Florida Physician’s Alliance. The Physicians Alliance was founded in 1987 to help doctors and healthcare providers have a profound impact on factors like the quality and cost of healthcare in Central Florida, keeping the alliance’s mission, “To promote high-quality, innovative, and patient focused healthcare,” always in sight.
“The Central Florida Physician’s Alliance is the largest independent physician network in Central Florida,” maintains CFPA director, Jorge Fonseca. Generally, doctors in the CFPA have been practicing in the area for many years, they maintain their own practices and— according to Fonseca— they treat 40 to 50 percent of the patient base of Polk County. But the CFPA isn’t just about seeing as many patients as possible; it’s about treating them— in every sense of the word: treating patient illnesses, treating patients with respect, and so on.
Doctors all over Central Florida— from Hillsborough to Osceola and from Lake to Hardee— pledge to serve all patients with dignity, concern, and compassion. When the Physician’s Alliance was started, says Fonseca, some “individual physicians were trying to come together to provide the community with better service and better healthcare because they believed the community needed a different option other than the bigger groups. They believed in customer service, in individual care for our patients. That’s what they still believe today.”
Patient testimonials certainly show, when it comes to a patient-centric approach to healthcare, the doctors in the CFPA’s walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Paul Pipken has been a patient of ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Lingamallu for 10 years for issues related to sinus infections and allergies. He has nothing but praise for Dr. Lingamallu and the entire office. “They discuss with you what your problem is, and they actually listen to you,” he explains, “which is much better than a lot of doctors.” Pipken shares that, in the past, other doctors had mainly treated the symptoms of his condition, not the underlying causes.
Dr. Lingamallu and her staff not only went after the underlying causes of Pipken’s health issues, they have also gone to bat for him. For instance, one procedure that Pipken is about to undergo— Sinuplasty— seemed too expensive as his insurance insisted it be performed in a hospital to the tune of over $6,000. However, the office’s surgery coordinator came to the rescue and convinced Pipkin’s insurance to approve the procedure in-office, for a total cost of under $2,000. “It was a whole lot less money, there’s a whole lot less risk of infection, and it’s easier on the patient,” Pipken explains; naming, in short, the list of what patients want most out of their healthcare.
“We believe in excellence in healthcare, in individual healthcare, and we believe in paying attention to what our patients are saying and what our communities say about what they need,” emphasizes director Fonseca. In short, it’s a win for both the patient and the community.
story by ERIKA ALDRICH