Five Massachusetts hospitals and health systems have signed a definitive agreement to merge.
The agreement was signed by two Boston-based organizations — Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and New England Baptist Hospital — as well as Burlington, Mass.-based Lahey Health, Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass., and Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, Mass.
Under the agreement, the hospitals will operate under a parent organization but retain their names, licenses and independent boards.
The deal, which requires regulatory approval, would create the second largest health system in Massachusetts, according to the Boston Business Journal.
This is the first time Beth Israel and Lahey have signed a definitive agreement, but it marks the fourth time they’ve tried to merge.
In addition to the 13 hospitals, the new system would include 800 primary care physicians and more than 3,500 specialists.
The boards of trustees of Edison, N.J.-based JFK Health and Hackensack Meridian Health, also in Edison, signed a definitive agreement to merge the two health systems following five months of due diligence.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval. If the merger is successful, the combined entity will consist of a total of 15 hospitals and academic medical centers, along with a network of physician practices, ambulatory surgery centers, assisted living facilities and outpatient centers, among other health facilities. The merged entity will employ a staff of more than 33,000 individuals and more than 7,000 physicians.
The organizations first revealed plans to affiliate in November 2016.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Choosing the right partner that provides the highest-quality care and value to the communities we serve is essential. We are thrilled JFK wants to be part of Hackensack Meridian Health. We believe JFK Health will be a great addition to our network,” said Robert Garrett, co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “We will continue to improve the well-being of communities with more cost-effective care that delivers quality, safe outcomes, clinical excellence and a superior experience.”
“In a rapidly changing healthcare environment that stresses the efficient delivery of care, this merger strengthens and aligns our two organizations to maximize our population health initiatives and increase access for everyone,” said Raymond Fredericks, president and CEO of JFK Health. “Hackensack Meridian Health’s culture of caring is one that matches our values and principles sustained during JFK’s 50-year history.”