Healthcare Business News
former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

WellStar buys Gingrich think tank

By Beth Kutscher
Posted: November 14, 2012 - 11:30 am ET

WellStar Health System, Marietta, Ga., has bought the Center for Health Transformation, the healthcare think tank established by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich that had filed for bankruptcy.

The purchase price was $20,000, according to WellStar President and CEO Reynold Jennings. The system plans to use the same name for the center, and has also bought its trademark and website.

Gingrich established the think tank in 2003, and its backers included several healthcare organizations. Among the creditors listed in the organization's April bankruptcy filing were WellStar, Intermountain Healthcare, Sutter Health, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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Jennings noted in an interview that WellStar plans to re-envision the organization as a southeast regional group, with little overlap with its former supporters. It plans to invite 20 noncompeting, not-for-profit systems to be the center's charter members, with a goal to collaborate on ideas to improve healthcare quality, increase access and lower costs.

Funding for the independent, nonpartisan group will come from its members, according to a news release.

Dr. Robin Wilson, the system's senior vice president for medical management and chief health innovation officer, will serve as the center's executive director.

The announcement comes just two days after the five-hospital system said it was entering into a nonownership agreement with Piedmont Healthcare, Atlanta, known as the Georgia Health Collaborative, which will also focus on sharing innovative ideas for healthcare delivery and controlling costs.

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