Penn Medicine Just Launched a New Alliance With Two Regional Health Systems

As local hospital networks look to merge, others are converging through unique partnerships. Penn wants to enhance care access for patients with this latest one.

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System is expanding its reach across the region with a new clinical care alliance. The health system announced on Thursday that it has teamed up with Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania and St. Mary Medical Center to develop joint clinical care programs and population health initiatives, with an eye towards improving health care throughout the Greater Philadelphia region, Penn said in a statement.

The alliance will target patients in Bucks, Delaware and Philadelphia counties. And Penn Medicine will serve as a tertiary and quaternary care hospital for Mercy and St. Mary patients. The joint clinical care programs coming out of the alliance will address cancer care, cardiology and surgical services in Bucks County and the surrounding areas.

With Mercy’s Hospital in West Philadelphia, and Penn’s presence there, the alliance will also explore population health initiatives to improve access to care for West Philly patients with high-risk and high-cost health conditions. And ultimately, the partnership’s initiatives could mean higher-quality care at lower costs for patients in the region.

University of Pennsylvania Health System president Ralph W. Muller says both Mercy and St. Mary share Penn Medicine’s dedication to high-quality care and community service.

“We are excited to work with these new partners to develop innovative public health programs and initiatives that will offer patients continued access to high-quality care close to home, as well as advanced care at Penn Medicine hospitals when needed,” he said.

Mercy and St. Mary are both part of Trinity Health, the country’s second largest Catholic health care system in the country.

Mercy is the largest Catholic health care system in the region with more than 6,5000 employees and three hospitals—Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Mercy Philadelphia Hospital in West Philadelphia, and Nazareth Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia.

St. Mary’s Langhorne-based system, with around 4,000 employees, offers advanced non-invasive treatments, adult and pediatric emergency services, inpatient medical and rehabilitation facilities and health and wellness classes, according to the organization.

The alliance is now one of a handful in the Philadelphia region that seek to improve health outcomes for whole communities, as mergers and outside health care disruptors begin to threaten the industry’s unyielding status quo.