Atlantic Health System, based in Morristown, N.J., and Hunterdon Healthcare System, Flemington, N.J., announced the signing of documents in June to create a jointly owned healthcare alliance, according to a news release. The MidJersey Health Alliance was formed to provide patients in Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Warren counties greater care coordination and expanded services.
While each system will retain its independence, the release said the alliance will create clinical and economic efficiencies to lower the cost of healthcare while providing quality services.
A letter of intent between Hunterdon and Atlantic was signed in October 2012.
“This strategic alliance with Atlantic Health System gives Hunterdon Healthcare a dynamic partner while maintaining our strong commitment to independence and local control,” Robert Wise, president and CEO of Hunterdon Healthcare System, said in the release. “Atlantic Health will enable us to participate in larger and broader healthcare improvement initiatives that would not be possible for Hunterdon Healthcare alone. We are truly pleased about what this means for the future of our community.”
Joseph A. Trunfio, president and CEO, Atlantic Health System, said, “In this changing healthcare landscape, we find ourselves talking to a wide range of potential partners, affiliates, and other systems, and we have charted a very specific course for our future. Atlantic Health System and Hunterdon Healthcare System are advancing shared objectives to work toward improving the health status of the communities we serve.”
According to the release, the alliance will enable the organizations to collaborate on several initiatives, including development of a joint physician recruitment plan to place key subspecialty physicians within the Hunterdon community; giving Hunterdon physicians access to technology and services in Atlantic Health System facilities, such as robotic surgery and cardiac electrophysiology; joint strategic planning initiatives to expand clinical offerings at both organizations; and implementation of healthcare cost reduction strategies, such as purchase of supplies, implants, pharmaceuticals and information technology.
Other potential initiatives include opportunities for quality sharing and implementation, performance improvement, patient safety and patient satisfaction strategies; improving the coordination of care for Hunterdon patients who require tertiary care at Atlantic Health System; and joint investments in outpatient facilities. •