Nick Desien, president and CEO of Ministry Health Care, said the procedures for the buy-out were spelled out in the original 1995 joint operating agreement. He said Wheaton received an amount equal to its net investment in the system over the past 15 years, though he declined to release the exact amount, citing a confidentiality agreement in the transaction.
Daniel Neufelder, president and CEO of Affinity, said that under the deal Ministry will now control the Network Health Plan, which has 133,000 members in northwestern Wisconsin. Separate groups of employed physicians within the system will include a combined 650 doctors.
Desien said the move to sole-sponsorship of Affinity was motivated in part by changes included in the health reform law, including transitions to bundled payments and population-based healthcare, which favor efficiency and larger organizational structures.
“We think this gives us a broad geographic market to transform into an accountable care organization,” Desien said of the transaction.
Although Ministry healthcare is the direct sponsor of Affinity, Ministry itself is sponsored by a parent organization called Marian Health System, a 16-hospital system based in Tulsa, Okla. The Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother sponsor Marian Health System.