FirstCare Health Plans

FirstCare Health Plans

Insurance – Life & Health

Oracle Environment:
Oracle Databases

Benefits Achieved:

  • Enhance performance and configurations for 11+ Oracle Databases
  • Improve the management of applications, servers, and databases with Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control
  • Streamline routine database maintenance with the creation of standby production databases

Company Information:

FirstCare SHA, L.L.C., doing business as FirstCare Health Plans (FirstCare), is a state certified and federally qualified health maintenance organization (HMO), owned and operated by Covenant Health System in Lubbock, TX and Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene, TX. Established in 1985, FirstCare and its wholly subsidiary, Southwest Life &Health Insurance Company, are privately held and provide HMO health care benefits to over 130,000 group and individual members in West and Central Texas. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, FirstCare maintains regional offices in Abilene, Amarillo, Lubbock, and Waco, with a service area that covers 108 Texas counties. The FirstCare provider network consists of 2,460 participating physicians and over 80 contracted hospitals.

Client’s Needs:
FirstCare became a SmartDog DBA On Demand customer in fall 2012, and it depends on SmartDog experts to provide remote DBA support to manage 11+ Oracle Databases running Oracle Database Standard Edition. However, recent performance problems caused FirstCare IT leaders to look to SmartDog consultants for possible solutions to boost Oracle Database performance and efficiency.

The SmartDog Solution:
SmartDog experts assured Stoller IT decision makers they had the personnel and the expertise to implement the EBS 12.1.1 upgrade in
SmartDog team members conducted a performance analysis and determined that a majority of  performance issues were related to an in-house developed application.However, FirstCare is not in a position to replace this mission-critical application, so SmartDog experts suggested makings some changes to database configurations, and they also did some database performance-tuning.  In addition, they suggested that FirstCare IT leaders implement Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, a powerful tool from Oracle that streamlines the management of applications, servers, and databases all from the same console.  Finally, they suggested that FirstCare consider upgrading to Oracle Database Enterprise Edition to take advantage of features and functions, such as parallelism and improved performance capacity.
In a matter of months, SmartDog experts:
  • Conducted database performance tuning
  • Detailed and tested suggested database configuration changes
  • Helped implement and test Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control
  • Outlined the benefits of moving to Oracle Database Enterprise Edition
  • Created two stand-by product databases as back-ups to streamline database maintenance
Benefits Achieved:
FirstCare personnel run a lean IT department, but they know they can depend on the expert DBA support they receive from SmartDog consultants to maximize the performance of their 11+ Oracle Databases. FirstCare IT decision makers in the near future plan to schedule downtime to implement all the database configuration and performance changes suggested by SmartDog. They are confident the changes will yield positive results because of all the thorough testing done by SmartDog team members. In addition, FirstCare IT staff members can now take advantage of Cloud Control to streamline the management of applications, servers, and database since this new application has been thoroughly tested.  FirstCare IT decision makers are happy that recently the database maintenance process was more secure with the creation of two stand-by databases. And if budgets allow, they anticipate following the suggestion of  SmartDog consultants to upgrade to Oracle Database Enterprise Edition in 2014.