The ever-growing Sentara Healthcare will acquire another independent hospital, announced Martha Jefferson Hospital on Wednesday. This marks Sentara's third merger with an independent hospital in less than two years, bringing its total to 10 hospitals, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
The 176-bed Martha Jefferson sought out Norfolk, Va.-based Sentara to improve its ability to provide high quality, comprehensive healthcare services to patients.
"We have determined we would be in a stronger position to continue delivering on our mission of improving the health status of our community by joining an integrated system," said Jim Haden, President and CEO of Martha Jefferson, in a statement. Hospital officials say the merger also will help Martha Jefferson adapt to the changing healthcare environment.
According to the Daily Progress, a rising number of independents have been joining larger systems to make care more efficient and cost-effective. "Healthcare reform has encouraged consolidation among healthcare providers leading to integrated systems being best positioned to render quality care effectively and economically in the future," said Sentara CEO David Bernd in a statement.
The Martha Jefferson Health Services Board voted unanimously for the consolidation, which will take about six months to complete. According to merger agreements, the hospital's medical staff will remain independent, and Martha Jefferson officials will continue to govern local issues, notes the Virginian-Pilot.