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Published on October 06, 2015

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Aria Health and Jefferson Sign Letter of Intent

Aria, Jefferson to team up to provide seamless care experience, continue transformation of healthcare for patients across southeast Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Oct. 6, 2015 – Aria Health System and Jefferson have entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) to allow discussions toward integrating Aria into Jefferson Health.

Both health organizations expect the discussions will lead to a Definitive Agreement setting out the terms of Aria Health’s integration with Jefferson Health, the combined clinical entity formed by the merger of Abington and Jefferson in May.

After a two-year strategic planning and partnership exploration process, the Aria Health board of directors voted unanimously to authorize the signing of the LOI to pursue integration with Jefferson. The Thomas Jefferson University board also voted unanimously to authorize the LOI.

“The Aria Health board selected Jefferson because we share the vision of what Aria and Jefferson can accomplish together,” said Robert Truitt, chair of the Aria Health board. “Together, we can grow services, enhance what Aria Health has built and ensure access to affordable, high-quality healthcare in northeast Philadelphia and Bucks County, and across the region, for years to come.”

“Integrating with Aria Health is another bold step forward for reimagining healthcare for patients and their families in our communities,” said Stephen Klasko, M.D., MBA, president and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “Aria Health brings critical capabilities as a high-quality, cost-efficient community health system.”

“Aria Health’s extensive, deliberate process left no doubt that joining Jefferson would enable Aria Health to do the most to enhance the care and service we deliver to patients and their families,” said Kathleen Kinslow, president and CEO of Aria Health.

“Jefferson’s culture and our shared vision for what we can achieve best reflect the criteria the Aria board of directors developed for evaluating whether to join forces with another health system,” Kinslow said. “With the addition of Aria Health, Jefferson will continue to drive the transformation of healthcare in southeast Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.”

Aria Health’s exploration

The Aria Health board of directors initiated a strategic planning process at the outset of 2014. The conclusion of that process was that many changes in the healthcare landscape point toward the need to be part of an organization prepared to care for patients and their families in the communities we serve, including:

  • To make continued significant investments in information technology, outpatient services and physician alignment;
  • To improve the ability to participate in risk-bearing payment models; and
  • To be better equipped to simultaneously optimize patient experience (including quality and satisfaction), improve the health of populations and lower the per-person cost of healthcare – the Triple Aim that is at the center of efforts to reform healthcare.

Earlier this year, Aria Health started an exploration process to determine whether joining forces with another hospital or health system was in the best long-term interests of our patients, our health system, and our employees and physicians. The selection process involved a thoughtful, multidisciplinary approach led by the Aria Health board, a steering committee task force, a physician committee comprised of Aria Health practice leaders and others.

As a high-quality health system, Aria Health considered a number of strong proposals from potential suitors. The Aria Health constituents involved in the confidential selection process unanimously found in Jefferson the opportunity to have an impact on transforming healthcare and the best fit, with a similar philosophy and culture in terms of service, quality and commitment to patients, physicians and employees.

Next steps

With the signing of the non-binding, 90-day Letter of Intent, Aria Health and Jefferson begin a process of due diligence that will enable each organization to learn more about the other. During the due diligence, both organizations will work toward signing a Definitive Agreement. Once the organizations have completed the Definitive Agreement, Aria and Jefferson will seek all necessary regulatory approvals. We anticipate the transaction to be complete in late spring 2016.

In the meantime, nothing changes for patients and their families, employees and physicians at either organization, both of which will continue to focus on delivering excellent, safe, efficient care to our patients, every day. To learn more, visit AriaForward.org.

About Aria Health System

Aria Health is the leading healthcare provider in Northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County. Aria's three acute care hospitals and growing network of outpatient centers and physicians uphold a long-standing tradition of providing advanced medicine and personal care to the region. With 485
licensed beds, Aria employs nearly 4,000 and has a medical staff membership of more than 1,000. To learn more, please visit us at ARIAHEALTH.org or call 1-877-808-ARIA (2742).

About Jefferson — Health is all we do.

Our newly formed organization, Jefferson, encompasses Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, representing our academic and clinical entities. Together, the people of Jefferson, 19,000 strong, provide the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educate the health professionals of tomorrow, and discover new treatments and therapies that will define the future of health care.

Jefferson Health comprises five hospitals, 13 outpatient and urgent care centers, as well as physician practices and everywhere we deliver care throughout the city and suburbs across Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks Counties in Pa., and Camden County in New Jersey. Together, these facilities serve more than 78,000 inpatients, 238,000 emergency patients and 1.7 million outpatient visits annually. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is the largest freestanding academic medical center in Philadelphia. Abington Hospital is the largest community teaching hospital in Montgomery or Bucks counties. Other hospitals include Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience in Center City Philadelphia; Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia; and Abington – Lansdale Hospital in Hatfield Township.

Thomas Jefferson University enrolls more than 3,900 future physicians, scientists, nurses and healthcare professionals in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC), Jefferson Colleges of Biomedical Sciences, Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy, Population Health and is home of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

For more information and a complete listing of Jefferson services and locations, visit www.jefferson.edu.

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