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More New Jersey hospitals considering acquisitions

As this blog has mentioned in the past, healthcare mergers and acquisitions are big business in New Jersey. At a time when big healthcare changes are occurring at both the federal and state level these complex business transactions have become front page news. Recently, new rumors have circulated about potential acquisition of another health system.

According to these reports, nationally renowned Prime Healthcare is among the companies bidding for the right to acquire the St. Clare’s Health System which operates three hospitals in Morris County. This is significant because Prime Healthcare is already in the process of acquiring two other New Jersey hospitals — located in Passaic and Newark.

Both of those hospitals have been said to be on the verge of bankruptcy. Without the influx of capital and resources that Prime Healthcare has promised to provide, the hospitals may have had to close taking more than 1,400 jobs with it.

Prime Healthcare claims that these acquisitions will improve the quality of patient care, cut costs and allow more patients to be seen — especially once more people purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

However, these acquisitions are still subject to approval by the state, and the applications are being reviewed by the department of health and New Jersey’s attorney general. This approval is not guaranteed as many question the move. Opponents of the acquisition fear that quality of care will suffer over the bottom line if larger healthcare providers are allowed to purchase the smaller community hospitals.

As can been seen here, an acquisition can save a struggling business from its financial woes. It can provide the change needed to help those businesses considering bankruptcy while helping more successful businesses expand.

Source: The Star-Ledger, “Seeing healthy profits from ailing hospitals, 2 groups have big plans for N.J.,” Dan Goldberg, April 21, 2013

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