Two hospital systems in South Jersey have merged, their CEOs announced Monday, in what is the latest in the decade-long movement toward health care consolidation across the Garden State.
Virtua Health, which owns three hospitals in Burlington County, acquired Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden and Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, according to the announcement.
The new health system consists of 280 practices and outpatient care facilities, 100-plus buildings and a workforce of 13,000 people.
Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County has been renamed Virtua Willingboro Hospital. Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center is now called Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.
“Today is the culmination of many months of planning and preparation, and now we can begin the process of building a better, healthier future for the people of South Jersey,” said Dennis W. Pullin, president and CEO of Virtua. “The best interest of the community has been the driving force behind this process and it will be our cornerstone moving forward.”
Virtua acquired the two Catholic hospitals from the Pennsylvania-based Maxis Health System, a subsidiary of Trinity Health, a year after Virtua and Maxis announced they were exploring a merger in June 2018. The deal includes the physician network Lourdes Medical Associates and Lourdes Cardiology Services.
The deal continues a decade-long pattern of mergers and acquisitions, in New Jersey and across the country, driven in part by the Affordable Care Act’s emphasis on hospitals and doctors curbing long hospital stays.
Mergers also give cover to smaller hospitals, shoring up their negotiating power with insurance companies and giving them access to money to make building and other capital improvements.
Lourdes brings an expertise in heart care and geriatric services. Virtua’s hospitals dominate obstetrics care in the region, delivering 8,000 babies a year.