Two New Jersey health systems Meridian Health and Hackensack University Health Network announced in a news release Oct. 16 they reached an agreement to begin discussions about a merger into one integrated system.
Leadership from both systems said the announcement is the first of many milestones on what chairman of Meridian Healths board of trustees, Gordon Litwin, called an exciting and thoughtful journey to move from a good idea to a great and formal relationship.
The signing of a memorandum of understanding now enters a period of due diligence that could take up to four months before the signing of a definitive agreement, according to the release.
After due diligence and regulatory approval, the newly formed organization, which would be known as Hackensack Meridian Health, will share a corporate board comprised of an equal number of trustees from each system.
First and foremost, this is about delivering value to the patients we serve, which means the highest quality at the most appropriate cost, Robert C. Garrett, president and CEO of Hackensack University Health Network, said in the release. Our combined organization would serve a much broader geography, expanding access to services and developing a vast array of new nonhospital services to conveniently serve area communities.
John K. Lloyd, president and CEO of Meridian Health, said, In addition to achieving financial, clinical and cultural integration, the leadership of our organizations are committed to implementing innovative models of care, advancing education and research and transforming healthcare delivery to thrive in the evolving environment.
The new system would have co-presidents and CEOs Garrett and Lloyd for a period of 2 1/2 years, after which Garrett would become president and CEO, according to the release.
The Hackensack network is the New Jersey-based parent company of HackensackUMC, the HackensackUMC Foundation and Hackensack University Medical Groups.
Meridian Health, based in Neptune, N.J., comprises Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel and Meridian Partner Companies that include home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, fitness and wellness centers and outpatient centers.