Long-time QualCare Inc. client CentraState Healthcare System announced Tuesday it was acting on an opportunity to join the provider-owned managed care organization’s ownership group.
CentraState, which operates CentraState Medical Center, in Freehold, as well as several other medical and wellness centers, joins 14 other hospital systems and physician networks in the ownership group, a move President and CEO John Gribbin said will set CentraState up for the future of health care.
“With their help and redesign in our employee benefit programs over the years, we’ve had a much lower-than-average rate of inflation in our benefit costs,” Gribbin said of being QualCare client. “We’ve had a good experience with them over the years, and it validated my feeling that they are well positioned to deal with what’s down the road.”
“It’s largely a positioning strategy on our part to have access to the other services of QualCare that we may need in the coming years to deal with the uncertainties of health reform,” Gribbin added.
Confronting issues like reimbursement changes, accountable-care organizations and bundled care will require “the infrastructure and backup support and services to help us deal with those kinds of new arrangements,” Gribbin said.
“It’s always been important for us to have hospitals and physicians in leadership positions represented in our governance, and helping us to set strategy for the company and helping us to respond to the New Jersey marketplace,” said Annette Catino, president and CEO of QualCare.
Atlantic Health System announced in late November it had joined the QualCare ownership group and Catino said South Jersey Healthcare System will soon announce that it is the 16th system to join the ownership group.
Catino said the investment provided by CentraState and the other ownership members allows QualCare to reinvest in its infrastructure and back-end support.
“Having access to new capital with partners that are not only bringing capital to the table, but bringing business intelligence to the table about how to improve care locally is very valuable to us,” Catino said.