Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center buys Cornerstone Health Care

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has purchased Cornerstone Health Care. The two health care providers made the announcement Tuesday after working together for more than two years.

"There is no change in their doctors, offices or practices," said Dr. Jim Anderson, chairman of the board of directors for Cornerstone. "Our cost of care in the country is rising at an incredible rate and by moving toward a value based health care and really taking care of the population the goal of that also is to decrease the rise in the cost."

Brought on by the Affordable Care Act, value-based health care is a change in the way medical providers will be paid. Instead of being paid based on how many patients receive care, it will be based on the quality of the care. The process of bringing together Wake Forest Baptist and Cornerstone, with its more than 50 practices in 12 counties, is something Anderson says is happening across the country to lower cost and improve quality.

Cornerstone will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and will operate as an independent business with its own board of directors.

"You are basically bringing the talent of both organizations to work on care models," said Terry Williams, executive vice president of strategy and administration for Wake Forest Baptist. "When you are very committed to population health, one of the tenants of success is that patients stay in local communities for care because it's convenient and lower cost.