Atlantic Health System and CentraState Healthcare System cleared a key hurdle in their move to forge an expanded partnership on Dec. 1 when a judge accepted the state attorney general’s approval of the arrangement.
Superior Court Judge Joseph and acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck approved the co-membership transaction under the Community Health Care Assets Protection Act, the two health systems said in a statement. The action is the last regulatory clearance required.
Under the agreement, Morristown-based Atlantic Health will become the majority corporate member in CentraState, which will join Atlantic’s network. The partners said the arrangement will deliver immediate benefits to patients, physicians and caregivers in CentraState’s region by strengthening its integrated clinical services, physician network and infrastructure through a capital investment of $135 million. That investment is outlined in a five-year plan endorsed by both systems’ boards.
“We are very pleased to have reached this final step in the regulatory process, and looking forward to closing the transaction with Atlantic Health System so that together, we can continue to build upon our programs and services for the health of the community,” said John Gribbin, CentraState’s president and chief executive officer.
Early in 2022, Freehold-based CentraState will implement the Epic electronic health record platform across its system. Once complete, CentraState Medical Center and the system’s other facilities will join Atlantic Health on Epic, allowing medical information to move with them through the MyChart patient portal. In addition, physicians in the CentraState network have already joined Atlantic Medical Group.
“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,” said Atlantic Health President and CEO Brian Gragnolati.
Atlantic and CentraState began the process of forming the partnership in 2020 with the signing of a letter of intent. Last October, the pair entered into a definitive agreement. The two systems had already formed clinical affiliation in oncology and neuroscience and had an existing relationship in the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, designed to provide more affordable health insurance to health care employees across the state.