Cooper University Health Care in Camden will acquire Cape Regional Health System next year, improving medical services in southern New Jersey.
Cooper’s second huge announcement in three months. In September, Camden Healthcare announced a $2 billion expansion that will add three clinical care and education facilities and 100 patient rooms.
Cooper’s $2 billion not-for-profit operation includes a 635-bed, children’s, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Rowan University’s Cooper Medical School. The two hospitals will share 10,000 staff, 900 doctors in three physician groups, and 900 beds with Cape Regional Health System in Cape May.
Garry Gilbert, chairman of the Cape Regional Health System Board of Trustees, said a community hospital like Cape Regional needs it to survive.
“Since it becomes more difficult for smaller health systems to function independently, combining with Cooper made the most sense as we share the same dedication to the communities we serve and to providing the finest quality care to our patients,” Gilbert said.
“Cape Regional and Cooper have had a strong working relationship for many years as Cooper has staffed our Intensive Care Unit with fellowship-trained Intensivist physicians and provided tele-ICU, tele-stroke, and tele-neurology services that have truly enhanced the quality of care for our community,” said Joanne Carrocino, President & CEO of Cape Regional Health System.
New Jersey hospitals have been merging for over a decade, expanding their market reach as more patients seek outpatient operations and boosting their bargaining positions with insurance providers.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission denied two merger and acquisition proposals that would have raised treatment costs and limited consumer choice.
RWJBarnabas Health wanted to buy New Brunswick’s Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, and Hackensack Meridian Health withdrew intentions to buy Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.
Capital Health in Mercer County acquired and closed St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton last week, keeping the emergency department and some outpatient services available.
Cooper planned and then abandoned a deal to buy Maxis’ Our Lady of Lourdes medical centers in Camden, Burlington, and Trenton. Philadelphia’s proximity makes south Jersey’s healthcare sector competitive.
The release says state and federal regulators must approve the combination, which may take until 2024.
“For more than 135 years, Cooper has continued to expand its reach to provide superior health care to the residents of South Jersey,” said Cooper University Health Care Board of Trustees chairman George E. Norcross, III.
“This merging of two trusted health care organizations will benefit tens of thousands of Cape May County residents and visitors and strengthen the South Jersey health care system.”