The merger of Einstein Healthcare Network and Jefferson Health is a matter of survival for Einstein’s flagship hospital, the two Philadelphia systems argued in a federal court filing this week, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The health systems are attempting to overcome opposition to their merger from the Pennsylvania attorney general and the Federal Trade Commission.
A Sept. 14 hearing is slated on the FTC’s preliminary injunction request.
A court filing from the two health systems argued that Einstein, which has only had annual operating profits twice since 2012, is on a path to financial failure and needs $500 million to invest in key capital projects and deferred maintenance.
Without the infusion, Jefferson and Einstein said Einstein will continue to weaken “as it is forced to cut services or close facilities,” the Inquirer reported.
“Einstein was unable to identify any alternative buyer to Jefferson that possessed the financial strength and scale necessary to address Einstein’s financial problems,” the filing read, according to the Inquirer. “No other potential strategic partners were willing and able to commit to keep EMCP [Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia] open with its current set of services.”
The FTC announced in February its intent to sue to block the merger, arguing that combining the two systems would reduce competition in Philadelphia and Montgomery County.
“Jefferson and Einstein have a history of competing against each other to improve quality and service,” the FTC said in the February announcement. “The proposed merger would eliminate the robust competition between Jefferson and Einstein for inclusion in health insurance companies’ hospital networks to the detriment of patients.”
The FTC said that with a combination, the two parties would own at least 60 percent of the inpatient general acute care service market around Philadelphia and at least 45 percent of that same market in Montgomery County.