Wake Forest Baptist Completes Purchase of Cornerstone Health Care

May 3, 2016

Cornerstone to Operate as a Wholly Owned Subsidiary

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center announced today it has completed the purchase of Cornerstone Health Care (Cornerstone) following a three-month due diligence period. The terms of the deal remain confidential, but the acquisition will allow Cornerstone – a 275+ provider, multi-specialty practice – to continue to operate as a separate business unit and maintain its leadership position as one of the top performing Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) in the country.

“We are committed to the continued development and growth of Cornerstone,” said John D. McConnell, M.D., CEO, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “Through our combined strengths and collaboration, we will advance the region’s population health efforts, create a highly coordinated network that improves health, and provide greater value to the communities we serve.”

Cornerstone’s network of more than 50 practices across 12 counties complements Wake Forest Baptist’s network of community physicians, specialty practices and multiple hospital campuses. Roughly half of Cornerstone’s providers (physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners) practice primary care.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Cornerstone to deepen its long-standing relationship with Wake Forest Baptist,” said James Anderson, M.D., chairman of the Cornerstone board of directors. “We have successfully worked together for more than two years through our partnership in our clinically integrated network company, Cornerstone Health Enablement Strategic Solutions, L.L.C. (CHESS).”

Today’s announcement unites a top-tier academic medical center with a high performing medical practice and a population health enablement company that is poised to be successful, offering a broader range of services focused on high quality, affordable care to patients across the entire region. Wake Forest Baptist’s investment in Cornerstone sends a powerful message that this world-class academic medical center has embraced value-based care and that a number of care models, pioneered by Cornerstone, are here to stay.

Cornerstone will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and as such, it will operate as an independent business unit with Elisabeth Stambaugh, M.D., remaining as its chief medical officer, and Doug Mathis returning to Cornerstone to be its chief administrative officer. Mathis started with Cornerstone in 1995 and served as chief operating officer from 2000-2013 during a period of rapid growth and success for the medical group. Their leadership, in partnership with Wake Forest Baptist leaders, will chart Cornerstone’s success for the future.

Grace Terrell, M.D., will transition to a role as founder and strategist of CHESS. In addition, she will continue her work nationally to promote alternative payment models and population-based health care for all patients through integrated clinical and IT infrastructure. Her roles on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC), the Board of Directors of the American Medical Group Association, the American Medical Association’s Integrated Physician section, and the Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Center’s Leadership Alliance will allow her to continue to influence the advancement of health care models that improve quality and reduce costs.

Recent Medicare quality and cost performance outcomes show Cornerstone and CHESS together ranked sixth in the nation in quality among ACOs. As ACO pioneers, Cornerstone and CHESS are innovators in value-based care delivery, providing exceptional health care quality while reducing costs.

Over the next few months, Wake Forest Baptist and Cornerstone will define and implement transition plans for a highly effective, coordinated care network.

Media Relations

Paula Faria: pfaria@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-1279

Mac Ingraham: mingraha@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-3487