In interview with Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Cancer Specialists CEO says cancer care provider competition is ‘a good thing'


Brad Prechtl - Chief Executive Officer of Florida Cancer Specialists

Why Brad is a big deal: Florida Cancer Specialists is the largest private oncology practice in the United States. Its Tampa Bay footprint has 27 offices and nearly 90 doctors from Hernando to Sarasota counties. A nationally recognized health care executive with over 30 years of experience, Brad is the chief architect of FCS’s rapid growth to $1.1 billion in revenue last year and about 200 doctors in 100 offices across Florida. Brad began his career as a CPA, and says his love for numbers, organization and analytics plays a big role in his success. Since taking over as CEO in 2009, he has roughly tripled the size of the company.

Looking ahead, where are opportunities and challenges for FCS? These days there’s a lot of competition in the health care space, especially any community-based group and especially oncology. Over the last 10 years, a lot of hospital systems in almost every specialty, including medical oncology, they’ve hired a lot of physicians and medical oncologists. We view competition as a good thing because it makes everybody raise their game. Because we are in so many different markets, historically when I joined the company, we had 50 physicians and now we have 230. We’re in almost every market in Florida. We’re not in Miami and we have limited operations on the panhandle and in Tallahassee — we’re on the cusp of it. So our goal is to continue to go into markets where we’re not. We’re hoping to go into Miami in the future. We’re having ongoing discussions with some physicians in the panhandle — but more than anything, our continued focus is on patient care.

How does the business break down? We’re currently under four major contracts. One with Medicare called the “Oncology Care Model” and Medicare represents about 60 percent of our patient base. We also have what’s called “shared savings contracts” with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna and United. Those three carriers on top of Medicare and you are really talking about 90 percent of our patient base. Under these contracts we have to provide certain information that allows the carriers to hold us accountable for achieving certain quality standards. Oncology, since it is so expensive, is cheaper in a community-based setting than in a hospital for the same services. We’re hoping there will be parity some day down the road. We get reimbursed lower for the same level of service at a hospital. It’s a huge issue because it has allowed hospitals to go out and hire physicians at an unfair advantage compared to us. As opposed to talking about, “Do you provide quality services?” now there are consistent quality indicators we are being evaluated on. And they keep moving up the bar each year under that contract.

Are you surprised about your professional path? I always knew from a young age that I wanted to be on the finance side. Now I have an operational role but any operational role has a heavy amount of finance. That background comes into play with almost any decision I make.

Closer look
• Name, title:Brad Prechtl, CEO of Florida Cancer Specialists
• Lives; grew up: Lakewood Ranch; Ridgway, Pennsylvania
• Favorite dining haunt: Thai Spice & Sushi, Lakewood Ranch
• First paid job: Mowing grass in a cemetery
• Amount of tests FCS labs processes annually: 13 million
• Athletics as a kid: Wrestler from age 5 to a sophomore in college (two-time Pennsylvania state champ)
• Listens in his car: Sirius XM radio; mostly Fox News
• Movies/TV: Likes reality TV: “Cops,” “Live PD,” “Intervention,” “Married at First Sight.