Belleville is home to a new multiservice Sanitas Medical Center. The center is the second of three new facilities expected to be opened in New Jersey resulting from phase one of the collaboration between Sanitas and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon). The first center opened in Union City in December 2017 and the third will open later this summer in Jersey City. The medical centers are independently owned and operated by Sanitas and are a critical component of Horizon BCBSNJ’s effort to improve access to healthcare.
The 10,000-square-foot Belleville medical center is located at 1 Clara Maass Drive and is within the Clara Maas Medical Center (part of the RWJ Barnabas network).
The Sanitas Medical Center, which began serving patients on May 1, but had its official ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 18, provides primary care, urgent care, laboratory, diagnostic imaging services, and wellness and disease management programs. The facility employs approximately 25 professionals.
Sanitas entered the US market in November 2015 and today has 14 facilities nationwide, serving more than 200,000 patients. Globally, the healthcare company serves more than 3 million people with a presence in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil and the Philippines.
According to Dr. Tom Graf, chief medical officer of Horizon, the health insurer always tries to find new primary care access points for all of its members, including the Hispanic community. “About a year ago, we heard about one of our sister Blue plans in Florida that had a relationship with Sanitas and was raving about their results, the quality of care provided, the patient experience and the impact of the total cost of care,” Graf recalls.
“We went down to talk and work with Sanitas executives and soon found a relationship that was simpatico around the understanding that if we put patients first and provide quality care, most often, that would result in lower costs,” Graf continued. “Sanitas said they would love to partner with Horizon, so we looked across the state and starting finding pockets of between 60,000 to 100,000 Horizon members who didn’t have an ongoing relationship with a primary care physician. We then talked Sanitas into opening sites in Union City, Belleville and Jersey City.
“A big piece of this is the Hispanic community, which does not have a lot of goods choices in terms of places to go. It doesn’t have culturally sensitive and culturally specific options, and the Sanitas model solves both of those challenges,” Graf explains.
“Sanitas’ difference comes from a deep understanding of the unique needs of each patient’s healthcare journey and our proven ability to deliver a care experience that helps patients get healthier,” said Dr. Fernando Fonseca, Sanitas CEO. “This center is much more than building with modern medical equipment. Our diverse and educated healthcare team … will bring life and soul to community.
“We’re excited to work together with Horizon to tailor our primary care model to the needs of their members and integrate our services and programs to deliver a simpler and better healthcare experience.”
The Sanitas Medical Center is open during the evenings and on weekends to ensure that patients have convenient access to care.
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