Mergers are nothing new for Lehigh Valley Health Network and Jefferson

SALISBURY TWP., Pa. — The hospital network that announced a week ago that it hopes to merge with Lehigh Valley Health Network has a recent history of growing through mergers.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals announced Dec. 18 that it plans to merge with LVHN.

The merger can take up to a year. The next step is for LVHN and Jefferson to reach a formal agreement.

The documents will then be presented to the Federal Trade Commission, the Pennsylvania Attorney General and the governor.

Many questions about what will happen to the consolidated health network.

But a merger is nothing new for Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health.

Over the past 25 years, Jefferson has teamed up with at least a half-dozen local hospitals in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“Combining Jefferson and LVHN’s resources and shared growth strategy will allow us to respond to the ever-changing needs of our communities faster, more efficiently and more effectively.”

Irene Contreras Reyes, Jefferson Health’s senior director of news and media relations

“The healthcare landscape and the needs of our communities are changing, requiring leading systems to invest in the future of care and wellness,” said Irene Contreras Reyes, Jefferson Health’s senior director of news and media relations.

“Combining Jefferson and LVHN’s resources and shared growth strategy would allow us to respond to the ever-changing needs of our communities faster, more efficiently and more effectively,” Reyes said.

Just the latest of many mergers

The deal, which has yet to be finalized and submitted to the Federal Trade Commission, is the latest merger involving the fast-growing Jefferson University Hospitals.

The Health Care Company was established in 1825, but a significant merger did not come until more than 100 years later.

In its first merger, Jefferson merged in 1996 with South Philadelphia-based Methodist Hospital.

History of Jefferson Health

In 1996, Jefferson merged with South Philadelphia-based Methodist Hospital.

Nearly a decade later, it would continue to expand from its then status as a three-hospital system.

It formed Jefferson Health Abington by merging with Abington Health. The Montgomery County-based system includes an established hospital with more than 600 beds.

Since then, Jefferson has been working on the merger fast track.

It merged with Aria Health in 2016 to form Jefferson Health Northeast, which has sites in the Frankford area of ​​Philadelphia; Torresdale and Bucks County.

The following year, more than 30 Kennedy Health Alliance medical practices in New Jersey’s Camden, Burlington, Gloucester and Atlantic counties were added to Jefferson’s list.

The growing healthcare giant then in 2018 merged with Magee Rehabilitation, which was based in Center City, Philadelphia. The two already had a previous clinical partnership.

Hard merge, then to LVHN

One of the recent mergers proved difficult for the company.

A legal battle with the Federal Trade Commission ensued when Jefferson tried to merge with Einstein Healthcare Network.

The deal ultimately went through, and Einstein joined Jefferson Health in 2021. Einstein has locations in Philadelphia and Montgomery County.

Now the greater Lehigh Valley is at the sites of the Philadelphia-based system.

“This combination will allow us to provide a quality-focused care model with the ability to expertly manage population health and reduce the cost of care, with 700+ care locations in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, including inpatient, outpatient and post-acute services.”

Irene Contreras Reyes, Jefferson Health’s senior director of news and media relations

If the deal with Lehigh Valley Health Network is approved, the two health systems would form a partnership that would result in a regional provider that would control 30 hospitals and more than 700 outpatient locations.

“This combination will allow us to provide a quality-focused care model with the ability to expertly manage population health and reduce the cost of care, with 700+ care locations in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, including inpatient, outpatient and post-acute services,” Contreras Reyes said.

“As well as a robust primary care base to address health care disparities, particularly for patients who have historically faced barriers to high-quality specialty care such as oncology, neurology, orthopedics, cardiovascular services and solid organ transplant,” she said.

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