Four Tampa Behavioral Health Groups To Merge
By: Katie Parsons
on Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Four Tampa-area mental health providers have made the decision to merge. The new company called Gracepoint will consist of the former companies Tri-County Human Services Inc., Agency for Community Treatment Services Inc., Mental Health Care Inc. and Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services Inc.
Each of these organizations is an accredited behavioral health group, specializing in alcohol and drug treatment options. Mental Health established Gracepoint in January as a response to the need in the community. That location at 2740 Windguard Circle in Tampa has just 10 on staff. Gracepoint will now expand its outreach programs with news of the merger.
The merging process has begun and if it is successful, the new agency will be official in the fall. An estimated 1,369 people will be employed by the new group. Collectively, the organizations have 69 locations in seven Florida counties. In 2011, the agencies helped 44,000 people.
The point of the merger, according to representatives from the companies, is to improve efficiency in administration and other operational costs. The larger the behavioral health group, the better the chance that HMOs, managed care companies and other care organizations will want to partner. Many hospitals no longer employe behavioral health staff in-house, so a large group like the soon-to-be Gracepoint is attractive.
The CEO of Mental Health Care Inc. is Joseph F. Rutherford and he is set to be the CEO of Gracepoint. The CEOs from the three other units will act as chiefs of their units. An operating board is planned to form with representatives from each company.
Executives say that there are no plans to reduce jobs. Since much of the work relies on programs, the current staff will still be necessary for successful operations. The executives also say that the job market will benefit from the merger because of the programs they plan to put in place.
Where the companies plan to save the most money is through vendor costs on things like office supplies and fleet management. Having the ability to combine those efforts will have a dramatic effect on operational expenses.