Adventist Health and Community Medical Centers collaborate in new network

Adventist Health and Community Medical Centers are collaborating to form a new healthcare network for Medi-Cal patients in Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties, the two healthcare systems announced recently.

Adventist and Community reached agreement on a joint-venture health plan which, subject to state approval, should be ready for the four-county market by next fall. Within two years of launch, officials estimate, the health plan could deliver coordinated, clinically integrated care to as many as 200,000 managed Medi-Cal patients.

Adventist Health and Community have similar healthcare goals for the Central Valley, and complementary strengths to better manage the health of entire families.  Adventist Health’s Central Valley Network has an extensive system of clinics, specialty outpatient facilities and rural-delivery expertise second to none.  Community offers the region’s highest level of acute, inpatient services, including the only burn and Level 1 trauma centers from the Bay Area to LA.

“The collaborative venture will deliver more comprehensive, efficient, lower-cost and high-quality healthcare to a population in need,” said Tim Joslin, president and CEO of Community Medical Centers.  “Clearly we’re building on the strengths of both organizations.”

Subject to approval by the California Department of Managed Health Care, Adventist Health and Community will build upon the managed Medi-Cal enrollment with Adventist Health Plan that begins in Kings County on January 1.  The two will remain independent organizations, but the joint-venture health plan will be equally financed, jointly owned and operated collaboratively. 

“The focus of this relationship and others throughout our region is improving the health of our communities,” said Wayne Ferch, president and CEO of Adventist Health / Central Valley Network, which operates four hospitals, 32 Community Care clinics and other services in Central California.  “Our patients benefit when we work together.”

Adventist Health’s corporate board approved the joint venture on Dec. 15, said Jeff Conklin, Adventist Health Plan president / CEO. “When we began building our health plan in 2014, we envisioned joining with other health systems and physicians that share a commitment to using population health tools to improve community health, and we’re deeply grateful for Community’s partnership.”

The joint venture is the result of more than six months of discussions between two of central California’s largest healthcare organizations and is consistent with the goals of the federal Affordable Care Act.

“Adventist Health and Community are responding to the needs of the still-expanding Medi-Cal patient population in this region,” said Aldo De La Torre, Community’s senior vice president of managed care and strategic alliances. “We’re committed to developing a network of healthcare resources to ensure access and coordinated care for the Medi-Cal patients we currently serve and the thousands of additional members expected over the next couple of years.”

Among the next steps are to determine a name and staffing model for the joint-venture health plan.  

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