CentraState to join Atlantic Health System in unique partnership

Atlantic, through $135M investment, will become co-owner of the Central Jersey medical center

Atlantic Health System and CentraState Healthcare System have reached a definitive agreement to expand their partnership, creating a unique model for health system co-ownership, the systems said in a joint announcement Wednesday.

Under terms of the agreement, Atlantic Health will become the majority corporate member in CentraState and CentraState will join the Atlantic Health System network of care upon receipt of state and federal regulatory approval.

The systems feel 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.

John Gribbin. (File photo)

The CentraState board and leadership team, led by CEO John Gribbin, 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.

Gribbin said CentraState is pleased with the partnership.

“We are excited to deliver our shared mission of advancing the health of our communities, and confident this innovative partnership positions both organizations for continued success and growth,” he said in a statement.

It’s the third major announcement between the health systems this year. In September, they announced that Atlantic would make a significant investment in CentraState, eventually becoming a co-owner. In February, they announced an expanded clinical partnership.

Brian Gragnolati. (File photo)

Atlantic CEO Brian Gragnolati said the pace of the partnership shows its connectivity.

“The swift progress we have made with CentraState on this latest partnership shows how effective we can be together in delivering innovative and high-quality care for New Jersey’s residents and families,” he said. “I am thrilled to see all that we can accomplish when we work together to put patients first.”

Officials said one of the first steps the two organizations will take will be investing in and implementing the Epic electronic health record platform across CentraState Healthcare System.

Beginning at CentraState physician practices before extending throughout the system, Epic will improve efficiency and safety in care delivery, by providing physicians with a patient’s full and up-to-date medical record. Once complete, CentraState will join Atlantic Health System on Epic, allowing physicians and patients the opportunity to share information throughout the network.

With this newly expanded partnership come new opportunities for physicians in the CentraState network. Atlantic Health System will provide CentraState physicians with the opportunity to participate in its affiliated physician group practices and programs, including risk-based contracting initiatives, which have already delivered better health care results for patients and proven savings.

CentraState patients will immediately benefit from cutting-edge data analytics capabilities. Based on the clinical experiences from Atlantic Health System’s interactions with nearly 1 million unique individuals over the last year, these data tools allow caregivers to make more efficient, informed decisions that result in improved outcomes and reduced cost, as evidenced by the success of the Atlantic accountable care organizations. These resources will also accelerate CentraState’s journey from a fee-for-service model of contracting to value-based care.

Focused on the future success of both organizations, the terms of the definitive agreement allow the two organizations to pursue 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.

Both organizations will continue working toward obtaining the necessary government approvals for the transaction.