Jefferson, Aria Sign Definitive Merger Agreement

The combined organization would have 22,900 employees and give Jefferson a presence in Northeast Philly.


Aria Health System and Jefferson signed a definitive agreement to merge.

The deal is expected to be complete in spring 2016. Before then, both organizations will attempt to get state and federal regulatory approval.

The deal has been in the works since October, when both sides signed a letter of intent to merge. The combined organization would have 22,983 employees, 4,999 physicians and practitioners, and 2,231 inpatient beds. It will also mean that three hospitals: Aria Health Frankford, Aria Health Torresdale, and Aria Health Bucks County would join Jefferson’s roster of hospitals.

Like most of Jefferson’s recent merger deals, it comes with a quick turnaround time — it’s been just three months since the letter of intent was signed. Perhaps Jefferson’s willingness to provide board seats has something to do with that. After this deal is completed, Aria, Abington and Jefferson will have the same number of board members.

The Aria deal is yet another play by Jefferson to expand its “Netflix model” of health care where it hopes to bring care to people — rather than bolstering its locations in Center City. Merging with Aria gives Jefferson a presence in Northeast Philly and Bucks County.

“Integrating Abington and now Aria, Jefferson is building a unique model combining a preeminent health system and a comprehensive university,” said Dr. Stephen Klasko, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “Together, we are reimagining healthcare delivery, higher education and medical research in the Philadelphia region and beyond.”

Kathleen Kinslow, president and CEO of Aria Health, said: “As we get to know our counterparts at Jefferson, we see more clearly every day that Aria and Jefferson are a great fit, with similar cultures in terms of service, quality and commitment to patients, physicians and employees. Our goal is to transform healthcare across the region for the benefit of patients, delivering the right care at the right time in the right place.”

Jefferson has been in merger-mode lately. In May, Jefferson merged with Abington Health in one of the largest health care deals the region has ever seen. Then in December it announced a merger with Philadelphia University.

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