RWJBarnabas, Saint Peter’s Healthcare to explore merger

Taken from NJBiz

December 16, 2019

By: Anthony Vecchione

Saint Peter’s Healthcare System and RWJBarnabas Health announced on Dec. 16 that they have signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore a potential partnership.

In a joint news release the two health systems said that the move puts the institutions on a path toward reaching a definitive agreement, expected within the coming months.

Saint Peter’s said in October 2018 that it was considering a strategic partner. The hospital’s process has involved a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the organization, its  Catholic mission, the competitive market and broader industry trends.

The LOI is the first step in the process of evaluating and designing a new relationship. The structure of the relationship has not yet been decided.

RWJBarnabas Health serves nine counties that are home to five million people. The system includes 11 acute care hospitals, three acute care children’s hospitals, and a renowned pediatric rehabilitation hospital, among many other facilities. RWJBH also has a partnership with Rutgers University.

Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, is the flagship of Saint Peters Healthcare System that also includes the Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s.

Saint Peter’s is one of a few independent Catholic hospitals in the country sponsored by a Roman Catholic diocese.

Under the terms of the LOI, the role of Saint Peter’s as a full-service provider of acute health care services for the greater Middlesex County community would be enhanced.

RWJBH would make significant investments in Saint Peter’s and expand the network of outpatient services currently provided by Saint Peter’s, the partners said. Saint Peter’s would remain a Catholic institution and continue to abide by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.

The parties have been in discussions for some time and said they share a common perspective and culture regarding providing high quality, cost-effective services to their communities consistent with their respective missions and the need to move in the direction of population health management.

Leslie Hirsch, president and chief executive officer of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System said in a statement: “The rapid consolidation of hospitals in New Jersey and need for greater scale, as well as ongoing changes in health care delivery made it vital for us to identify a dynamic and strong strategic partner that would allow Saint Peter’s to retain its Catholic mission and identity, remain competitive, and yield the best possible outcome for our patients, employees, medical staff and the communities we serve. Working in partnership with RWJBarnabas Health would give us an opportunity to enhance the unique strengths of both organizations.”

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