Wayne Provost, a retired Salt Lake dentist, has been named regional vice president for FHP Health Care's Utah operations replacing Elden R. Mitchell who has become regional vice president for FHP's Northern California region.
Provost takes over responsibility for the insurance products and health care facilities of FHP Utah's 1,982 employees and 138,000 patients - the largest health maintenance organization (HMO) in the state with seven health care centers along the Wasatch Front and a 117-bed hospital under construction in South Salt Lake. It also contracts with health care providers outside the FHP system.FHP, based in Fountain Valley, Calif., has logged solid growth in the five western states where it operates, said Provost. In Utah its patient base has gone from 90,000 to 138,000 in four years and from 62,000 to 135,000 in Arizona in only two years.
"This is one of the most competitive health care markets in the country," said Provost, adding that he likes the challenge. "I am confident we will continue to prosper in Utah."
Provost said the new FHP hospital scheduled to open next year is needed so that the company can control the increasing costs of health care. FHP initially tried to acquire a local hospital but, when unsuccessful, decided to build one. The facility will employ about 500 people.
Commenting on increasing discussion in Congress of a universal health insurance program, Provost said, "With the political environment we are now in, I think the HMOs are destined to do very well. It's what the government is trying to do. It's a hand-in-glove operation."
The increasing costs of malpractice insurance, as well as the difficulties of operating private practices, have made HMOs more attractive to doctors, as well, he said. "Today, private practitioners have to devote too much of their time to operating their business. Our physicians can focus on their individual practice."
Provost is former owner of Mountain States Professional Association. He is president of OMT Inc., a computer technology company and past president of SCP Investments, Addison Co., and Le Marquer. He has been involved with the local Jaycees, YWCA, YMCA, Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and other civic organizations.
He worked for FHP Utah from 1988-90 as a dentist and in various management positions. He also has served in executive capacities for FHP Arizona and most recently for FHP New Mexico.