Why unique Atlantic Health-CentraState co-partnership will bring immediate benefits

CentraState will convert to Atlantic Health’s electronic health records systems, begin collaborating with Atlantic Health physicians.

For Atlantic Health and CentraState, the unique partnership they formally signed Wednesday – which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2022 – brings great benefits to both organizations. And does so quickly.

First, the terms.

Under the agreement, Atlantic Health becomes the majority corporate member in CentraState and CentraState will join the Atlantic Health System network of care. Both systems will maintain their current leaderships and boards in the process.

CentraState CEO John Gribbin said the new model for partnership will provide his system with significant resources – including a $135 million capital investment – to support its longstanding community focus.

Atlantic Health CEO Brian Gragnolati said the partnership will further advance his system’s mission to touch more lives in New Jersey through collaborations for high-quality, value-based care.

Brian Gragnolati. (File photo)

“Approval of our partnership with CentraState further supports what we have shown throughout our relationship, that we are committed to keeping patients at the center of every decision as we work together to make care more accessible and convenient for every patient,” Gragnolati said.

Of the many synergies and possibilities that come out of the unique partnership, two stand out:

· This is not an acquisition or a merger, one where one side has a significant edge over the over. This is a partnership.

· The impact will be felt immediately.

Here’s where that investment will be felt first.

On Feb. 1, CentraState will begin converting its electronic health benefits to the EPIC system used by Atlantic, enabling patients to seamlessly use any of CentraState or Atlantic facilities.

John Gribbin. (File photo)

“That’s a tremendous advantage to not only our workforce here, but also to our patients as we will be able to share information across platforms,” Gribbin said. “So, people in our service area, if they go to a different provider and then come to us, or vice versa, our physicians will be able to see that record and avoid unnecessary testing, get a better history and ultimately deliver better care.”

Physicians in the CentraState network have already joined Atlantic Medical Group, one of New Jersey’s largest physician groups.

Starting in June of this year, 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.

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.

Gragnolati said he has been thrilled the groups have shown the ability work together so quickly.

“Because we’ve been able to work on certain things together because of the clinical affiliation agreement, the speed in which we can bring things to market is very encouraging,” he said. “I think that both organizations have a very open culture. I think that we have developed a level of trust between our teams that’s pretty amazing right now.”

The co-membership arrangement paves the way for future joint venture opportunities, including ambulatory services and other population health strategies.

Gribbin said CentraState is eager to get going.

“Leading up to this, there were restraints and constraints on what we could do,” he said. “That’s why we’re excited now that this has become reality.”