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Centerstone announces Uspiritus merger

November 15, 2017
by Julie Miller, Editor in Chief
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Centerstone Kentucky has announced plans to merge with Uspiritus, provider of therapeutic treatment and counseling to children and youth. Uspiritus offers two residential centers as well as community-based services in the state.

Officials say the vision is to create a continuum of care and services that will reduce costs overall.

“In Kentucky, we know we have a large number of kids stuck at higher levels of care than they really need, whether it’s in the juvenile detention system, a long-term hospital placement, out of state residential placement or residential treatment placements that go on too long,” Tony Zipple, Centerstone Kentucky’s President and CEO, tells Behavioral Healthcare Executive. “Not only is it bad for kids to be in an institutional setting for a long period, it’s really expensive as well.”

Zipple says with state budget concerns, it only makes sense to optimize the level of care, which ultimately would allow more children to receive services. The merger also would build a comprehensive array of services—an attractive asset for payers that prefer a one-stop shop, he says.

“It’s about spending the money smart, which creates solutions for children and families,” says Uspiritus President and CEO Abbreial Drane.

Uspiritus, which serves more than 1,000 children each year, would change its name to Centerstone as part of the proposed deal. However, Zipple says the residential facilities in Louisville would retain their historic names and become Centerstone Bellewood and Centerstone Brooklawn.

“There are advantages to Centerstone as a national brand,” he says. “It increases recognition and gives us probably better leverage in negotiations with payers and recognition from payers.”

Nationally, Centerstone operates in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. With the addition of Uspiritus, Centerstone Kentucky will have 1,800 employees and serve 80 counties that provide services to nearly 36,000 people of all ages annually. The deal is expected to close in spring 2018.