FirstChoice Cooperative (FCC) began in the summer of 1995 under the name East Texas Regional Cooperative with five hospitals. Due to interest from other healthcare providers beyond the East Texas region, municipalities, educational institutions and community businesses, FirstChoice expanded its reach across the nation. Members now include hospitals, healthcare facilities, MSO clinics, rural clinics, home health agencies, reference labs, emergency medical services, community businesses, municipalities and educational institutions. Due to this growth, we changed our name to FirstChoice Cooperative in 1997. FirstChoice Management Services was formed in November 1998 to manage the daily activities of the Cooperative.
July 1999: FCC entered into an exclusive endorsement with TORCH (Texas Organization for Rural and Community Hospitals)Management Services, which includes a membership of over 150 hospitals in the state of Texas. www.torchnet.org
June 2001: FCC developed a Non-Healthcare Division to market to cities, counties, school districts, educational institutions and community businesses. Combining our healthcare volumes with non-healthcare volumes has reduced costs for both divisions, as well as generated additional revenue through Patronage Dividends. The first city to join FirstChoice Cooperative was Tyler, Texas, which realized cost reductions of as much as 30 percent and created a new source of revenue through Patronage Dividends.
March 2003: FCC embraced technology and utilized the Internet to communicate instantly with our members and manufacturers via e-mails, a web-enabled contract database and file transfers.
January 2004: FCC continued to improve the co-op’s infrastructure by upgrading our co-op management system.
January 2005: In order to meet our objective of ensuring the best collection rate of earned dividends in the industry, FCC began the electronic capture of member purchases. This capability was part of the co-op management system upgrade.
Summer 2005: FCC implemented the Co-op Management System Sales Reporting Module, so the sales team could have immediate access to information as they visited each member. This information allowed each member to verify, on a monthly basis, all reported purchases and compliance.
Spring 2006: The FCC sales team expanded to include a Texas Panhandle-based representative, who also provided service to members in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas.
Spring 2008: FCC expanded into Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia. FCC was endorsed by the NRHA (National Rural Health Association), expanding its membership into all states.
March 2009: FCC became “Provider of Choice” in a marketing agreement with the Indiana Rural Health Association, bringing additional cost savings and value to their network members.
October 2010: Mississippi Rural Health Association signed an exclusive endorsement of FirstChoice Cooperative as its preferred partner for group purchasing services.
December 2010: FirstChoice Cooperative became the preferred partner for group purchasing services for the South Carolina Office of Rural Health.
April 2011: FCC updated its website to provide quicker access and better information for our members and business partners.