Jefferson, Aria hospitals planning spring union

     Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia has plans to unite with Aria Health hospitals in the city and Bucks County.(Andy Gradel/Wikimedia Commons)

    Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia has plans to unite with Aria Health hospitals in the city and Bucks County.(Andy Gradel/Wikimedia Commons)

    Two hospital heavyweights in Philadelphia have just announced plans for a spring union. Like many modern marriages, the new partners are keeping their own names — kind of.

    “We will be Aria at Jefferson Health,” said Aria Health president Kathleen Kinslow.

     

    The Aria name is relatively new to the region. Before 2009, Aria was known as Frankford Hospital.

    If the deal goes through, Aria’s two hospitals in Northeast Philadelphia and a third medical center in Bucks County will be under the Jefferson Health umbrella.

    Jefferson — a health research powerhouse in Center City Philadelphia — has been expanding its reach for some time.

    Suburban provider Abington Health completed a merger with Jefferson in May. But Kinslow said Aria’s deal is best described as a partnership.

    “So we are going to take all of our assets and combine them with theirs,” she said.

    Kinslow said her team would gain research, technology and expertise in innovation from Jefferson.  Aria’s strengths include caring for patients beyond the walls of the hospital after they are discharged, she said.

    Hospital procedures, such as knee replacement, used to require an expensive four- or five-day admission. That’s changed.

    “They go home that night, and we are able to send our home health care nurses and the rehab physical therapists into the patient’s home,” Kinslow said. “You are going to see more and more of that as health care changes.”

    Several academic medical centers across the region are courting suitors that will help them provide health care in the community.

    In 2014, Geisinger teamed up with AtlanticCare in New Jersey, and Lancaster General joined the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.