Penn Medicine forges new clinical care alliance
- Penn Medicine Health System has launched an alliance with Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania and St. Mary Medical Center.
- Mercy and St. Mary are members of Trinity Health, the country's second-largest Catholic healthcare system.
- The alliance will focus on addressing population health across the Greater Philadelphia region and developing joint clinical care programs for cancer care, cardiology and surgical services.
Penn Medicine's new alliance will seek to "develop innovative public health programs and initiatives that will offer patients continued access to high-quality care close to home," according to University of Pennsylvania Health System CEO Ralph Muller.
Penn Medicine continues to expand its reach in southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey after acquiring Princeton HealthCare System earlier this year. Philadelphia-based Penn is bordered by UPMC and Penn State/Highmark to the west and Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke's University Health Network to the North, with Geisinger facilities and partnerships scattered across the region.
Meanwhile, Jefferson Health and Einstein Healthcare Network signed a letter of intent to merge last month, a deal that would create an 18-hospital system and the region's largest residency program. That merger would be Jefferson's sixth since 2015.
Mercy Health System spans the region with three acute-care hospitals, a home health care agency and an in-home elderly care program, and St. Mary operates a number of facilities across Bucks County, outside of Philadelphia proper.
This partnership with Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania and St. Mary Medical Center will allow Penn Medicine to pool its resources with Trinity Health, which has been experimenting with ways to address social determinants through 93 community-based health facilities across the country.
Providers and payers are increasingly turning to population health programs in an effort to improve overall health outcomes for patients and communities. Health systems can partner with community groups like food banks to find people in need of assistance and medical care.
As healthcare M&A activity continues to surge, partnerships like Penn Medicine's and St. Luke's and Geisinger's may help health systems mitigate some of the downsides of consolidation, including challenges to patient care.