FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8th, 2016
Three become one: CCCW, ContinuUs, and WWC to merge
(STEVENS POINT, WI) – Community Care Connections of Wisconsin (CCCW), ContinuUs, and Western Wisconsin Cares (WWC) intend to join forces as three MCOs become one. The planned merger of the three organizations will result in one organization that is strategically positioned to compete within the current long-term care system, as well as within any reformed system considered by the state of Wisconsin in the future. More importantly, this move allows the reach of one unified organization to support person-centered and community-focused efforts across the state.
A movement toward privatization of the market and increased competition within the long-term care industry boosted the opportunity to consider a merger of this magnitude. Given the changing landscape of Wisconsin’s long-term care industry, leaders from each of the organizations began discussions related to strategic opportunities to build on the collective experience, knowledge base, and expertise of each organization’s offering. Upon deeper exploration, it became clear the three organizations were aligned to become one.
“We are person-centered and values-driven. And when I say we, I am highlighting all three organizations! This isn’t a change in the work we do, this is a collective improvement in the work we do,” said Teri Buros, Chief Executive Officer of ContinuUs.
Having been the earliest entrants into the managed long-term care supports and services arena as Family Care Pilot counties dating back to 2000, the collective history, community roots, and values-based business practices of each organization made the merger a viable consideration toward collective impact across the state.
“We share similar values, missions, and approaches to delivering locally-based supports and services. Joining forces in our shared commitment to being the premier choice for members is just the start of our footprint on Wisconsin well into the future,” said Tim Garrity, Executive Director of WWC.
Careful planning and foundational support has grounded the process, including a Joint Business Proposal and allied Management Agreement which were adopted by each organization’s Board of Directors in late March. A joint Management Agreement was presented to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI). On May 19, 2016, OCI replied “in consultation with the Department of Health Services, [OCI] finds no reason to disapprove” of the management agreement, allowing the merger planning to move forward. Plans to form a joint Oversight Board, comprised of Board members from each of the organizations, will oversee the development of governance practices for the merged organization. In addition, a Management Leadership Team, made up of executive leaders of the three organizations, will guide organizational and operational decision-making necessary to complete the merger.
The merged organization will provide long-term care services and supports to nearly 15,000 Family Care members across 46 counties, and employ approximately 1,100 people.
“What makes this opportunity so exciting is its expansive impact. Our reach will span 46 counties, but more importantly, our support will enhance hundreds of neighborhoods and communities, and bring together thousands of citizens. Our work centers on the common good for all, and this merger grows that collective commitment substantially,” said Mark K. Hilliker, Chief Executive Officer of CCCW.
A merger date of January 1, 2017 is anticipated. “As single entities, we do great work. As joined partners, we will have even greater impact,” concluded the three leaders of this people-centered venture.