Temple, Jefferson cancel Fox Chase Cancer Center deal, citing coronavirus impact

Stephen K. Klasko, CEO of Jefferson Health, called the cancellation of the deal with Temple University “the latest casualty of COVID-19.”

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Google Maps)

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Google Maps)

The planned acquisition of Fox Chase Cancer Center by Jefferson is off because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thomas Jefferson University and the center’s current owner, Temple University, have agreed.

The deal, announced last winter after nearly a year of exclusive negotiations, would have given Temple capital to invest in critical health care services in North Philadelphia while adding to Jefferson Health’s expanding network of local hospitals. It had been set to conclude in spring of this year.

In a joint public statement with Temple University, Stephen K. Klasko, president of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health, called the deal “the latest casualty of COVID-19.”

“Because of the tremendous impact that the virus has had on our operations, Jefferson must focus entirely on providing patient care and safety, student education and safety, and the well-being of our dedicated employees,” Klasko said.

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The sale of the 100-bed, 2,000-employee specialty hospital would have included an affiliated bone marrow transplant program, as well as a share of the Health Partners Plans HMO.

In 2012, Temple bought Fox Chase for $84 million. The cancer treatment center, located in Northeast Philadelphia, generated $417.2 million in revenue and a net profit of $32.3 million at the end of the 2019 fiscal year, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.

Both Temple and Jefferson said the termination of the deal was amicable, and that they agreed on the reasoning behind the decision.

“There is no question that [but] for the catastrophic economic impact of the virus, both institutions were prepared to move forward to complete this transaction,” Temple president Richard M. Englert said in the joint statement. “We fully understand and accept this reality, and we look forward to identifying new ways for our institutions to work together in the future to better serve our community.”

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