CarePoint Health made it official Thursday morning, announcing the appointment of Dennis Kelly as chief executive officer.
The appointment was first reported by NJBIZ earlier this week.
Kelly, formerly the chief strategy officer of CarePoint Health, will now oversee Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital, Hoboken University Medical Center, CarePoint Health Medical Group, CarePoint Health Research Institute and its affiliated subsidiaries.
“I am extremely honored to assume this role for one of the most innovative health care systems in the country,” Kelly said. “I am proud to be a part of an organization that is committed to developing a new care management model for urban populations that puts patients and their community above all else.”
Dan Kane, chairman of CarePoint Health, said Kelly is the perfect person for the job.
“We are excited to have Dennis assume this important role,” he said. “He has the experience, the commitment and the leadership qualities to continue to move us forward. During his time as an advisor and as the chief strategy officer of CarePoint, he has demonstrated clear strategic vision and the ability to implement this new model of care.
“We believe that, under Dennis’ leadership, the CarePoint Health System will set a new, higher standard for the entire health care industry.”
Kelly outlined his goals for CarePoint Health in an exclusive interview with NJBIZ earlier this week.
“The goal is a care management model where you are keeping the patient healthy,” he said. “You avoid expensive interventions through wellness initiatives and making sure that it’s the right care at the right time in the right setting. That takes a lot of work, and a major investment in technology so that you can identify those who are at risk and make sure that where appropriate you are getting preventive care to them early — so that you can avoid an ER visit or a hospitalization.”
CarePoint is part of an emerging trend by health systems to offer health insurance plans to the communities it serves, alongside medical care. CarePoint launched a Medicare Advantage plan two years ago in Hudson County, and now has about 3,000 members. It will expand into five more counties — Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Somerset and Union — when Medicare open enrollment begins Oct. 15. Medicare beneficiaries do not pay a premium to enroll in CarePoint’s Medicare Advantage plan, which provides access to a network of hospitals and doctors throughout the six-county service region.
CarePoint also plans to enter the state’s Medicaid market.
New Jersey contracts with several managed health care companies to administer the state/federal Medicaid program, and Kelly said CarePoint has applied to the state to become a Medicaid provider.
Kelly said CarePoint faces the challenges inherent to its market.
“We are in very much an urban marketplace with a large population of patients in Hudson County that have poor access to primary care and poor access to specialized care,” he said.
For patients in CarePoint’s Medicare Advantage members, Kelly said CarePoint has a financial incentive to deliver efficient care that avoids, when possible, an admission to the hospital or visit to the ER. And Medicare is leading a national drive to get hospitals to deliver more efficient care: Medicare imposes financial penalties on hospitals that have excessive patient readmissions.
But Kelly pointed out that all health plans are moving toward the same goal: making more efficient use of the resources of the health care system, in order to get some control over the nation’s rising cost of health care.
To that end, Kelly intends to keep CarePoint focused on care management.
“It’s all about reducing the cost of being a (health care) provider and providing good care, but also increasing the access and quality of the care,” Kelly said.
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