Two of New Jersey’s leading health care organizations officially joined forces to expand access to high-quality care for the residents of central New Jersey. Surrounded by physicians, nurses and other health care heroes, leaders from CentraState Healthcare System and Atlantic Health System put pen to paper at a December 9 signing ceremony at CentraState, to complete their newly expanded partnership, creating a unique model for health system co-ownership.
The co-membership agreement makes Atlantic Health the majority corporate member in CentraState and CentraState officially joins the Atlantic Health System network of care. The partnership will deliver immediate benefits to patients, physicians and caregivers in CentraState’s communities by strengthening its integrated clinical services, physician network and infrastructure through a capital investment of $135 million, outlined in a five-year plan endorsed by both systems’ boards.
The new model for partnership will provide CentraState with significant resources to support its longstanding community focus while advancing Atlantic Health’s mission to touch more lives in New Jersey through collaborations for high-quality, value-based care. The CentraState board and leadership team will continue to oversee system operations at CentraState and ensure the continued advancement of its mission to enhance health and well-being in its local community through the compassionate delivery of quality health care.
“Together, we will continue to build upon our programs and services for the health of the community,” said John Gribbin, President and CEO, CentraState Healthcare System.
The partners are already making exciting progress in creating new technical and clinical advancements in care. Within the first few months of 2022, CentraState will implement the Epic electronic health record (EHR) platform across its system. Epic will improve efficiency and safety, by providing physicians with a patient’s full and up-to-date medical record. Once complete, CentraState Medical Center and the system’s other sites of care will join Atlantic Health System on Epic, ensuring that no matter where a patient receives care, their medical information will seamlessly travel with them through the MyChart patient portal.
Physicians in the CentraState network have already joined Atlantic Medical Group, one of New Jersey’s largest physician groups. Effective June of 2021, nearly 50 CentraState physicians and health care professionals gained access to Atlantic Health’s nationally recognized services and programs including risk-based contracting initiatives, which have already delivered better results for patients and proven savings.
“Our partnership with CentraState has always been about our shared commitment to keeping patients at the center of every decision as we work together to make care more accessible and convenient for every patient,” said Brian Gragnolati, President and CEO, Atlantic Health System.
CentraState patients will immediately benefit from cutting-edge data analytics capabilities. Based on the clinical experiences from Atlantic Health System’s interactions with nearly one million unique individuals over the last year, these data tools allow caregivers to make more efficient, informed decisions that improve outcomes and reduce costs, as evidenced by the success of the Atlantic accountable care organizations (ACOs). These resources will also accelerate CentraState’s journey from a fee-for-service model of contracting to value-based care.
The co-membership arrangement paves the way for future joint venture opportunities, including ambulatory services and other population health strategies, which will make care more accessible, affordable and convenient for residents in the communities served by CentraState.
The signing was preceded by a favorable CHAPA ruling by a New Jersey Superior Court judge, the last regulatory step in a process that began in early 2020 with the signing of a Letter of Intent and continued with last October’s announcement that the two systems had entered into a Definitive Agreement. That work builds upon an already successful clinical affiliation in oncology and neuroscience and existing relationship in the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, designed to provide more affordable health insurance to healthcare system employees across New Jersey.
This latest venture between two of the state’s leading health systems is a clear reflection of their shared mission and values. Both are grounded by strong ties to their local communities, along with longstanding commitments to clinical excellence, engaged physician leadership, and value-based strategies to improve access to high-quality, affordable health care. Both systems also take great pride in their exceptional workplace cultures that value the contributions of every team member while promoting award-winning innovation and compassionate care.
The new partnership is effective on January 1, 2022.