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Credit: Zach Sheldon

Penn Medicine officially merged with Princeton Healthcare System after first announcing the new partnership in July 2016, reported Jan. 9.

Penn Med Chief Executive Officer Ralph Muller told that the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania gets 25 to 30 percent of its patients from the New Jersey area through its partnerships with many health systems, including Virtua, Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, and Cape Regional Medical Center in Cape May Court House. 

Penn will also acquire $7 billion in annual revenue from the partnership with Princeton, Muller said.

This is a marker of a greater shift toward incorporating small hospitals into larger health systems in order to provide more specialized and efficient care, Penn experts told The Daily Pennsylvanian.

“If you look at the purchases that Penn Medicine has made in the last couple of years it’s really buying community hospitals, preparing a system for a world where they can take risk for a large population that they can manage now, as opposed to just sitting back and waiting for the most complex cases to just land on their door," Guy David, a professor of medical ethics and health policy at the Perelman School of Medicine, told the DP in March 2017.

PHCS currently employs 3,000 staff members and has approximately 1,100 active physicians, according to Penn Medicine News. PHCS also has Magnet status, the highest national recognition for excellence in nursing. The health care system officials decided to merge with Penn after evaluating 17 potential partners. 

Penn Med has been working to expand through the greater Philadelphia area in the past few years. Penn merged with Chester County Hospital in September 2013, and partnered with Lancaster General Hospital in August 2015, securing Penn Med as a five-hospital organization. 

According to Philadelphia Magazine, PHCS will now be known a Penn Medicine Princeton Health, and the hospital will be called Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center.

“We could not ask for a better partner than Penn Medicine," PHCS president and Chief Executive Officer Barry S. Rabner told the magazine. "Members of our community will continue to receive high-quality care right here, close to home. They also will benefit from easier access to the latest medical breakthroughs, clinical trials, cutting-edge technologies and specialized clinical expertise — both here and elsewhere in the Penn Medicine system."