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The University of Pennsylvania Health System and Doylestown Health recently announced a plan to integrate the Bucks County health system to Penn Medicine.

Credit: Cynthia Dong

The University of Pennsylvania Health System and Doylestown Health signed a letter of intent with plans to integrate the Bucks County health system into Penn Medicine.

The union between Doylestown Health and the Health System will increase access to advanced medical care across Philadelphia, according to the announcement on Jan. 11. The partnership aims to broaden Doylestown, Pa.’s existing network of clinical programs and community health outreach.

“We are excited to explore this opportunity with Doylestown Health, which has a strong, historic commitment to patients in the Northern region of the areas we serve,” UPHS Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mahoney told Penn Medicine News. “From receiving primary care and having a baby to undergoing orthopedic surgery or receiving complex treatment for cancer or heart disease, we want it to be easy for patients to choose Penn Medicine across their lifespan.” 

Doylestown Hospital — the flagship institution of Doylestown Health — is a 247-bed, not-for-profit teaching facility in Bucks County, Pa. with a staff of more than 435 physicians. The hospital will become the seventh Penn Med hospital after integration, joining the organization’s three city hospitals — the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, and Pennsylvania Hospital — as well as its three hospitals across the state.

The recent partnership was not the first amalgamation of the Health System and Doylestown Health. For more than a decade, Doylestown Hospital has been part of the Penn Cancer Network, a collection of hospitals and physician practices in Philadelphia that collaborate with Penn Med's Abramson Cancer Center to provide expanded access to palliative patient care and empirical clinical trials. 

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Doylestown had been under intense financial strain due to heavy spending on new programs and facilities that would allow patients to receive care close to home. The hospital’s financial deficit has continued to grow after COVID-19 forced them to cancel their elective services. Penn Med hopes to see financial growth from Doylestown before the deal officially closes. 

The announcement is the first step in a lengthy process that will necessitate the formation of definitive agreements and a review of the company’s official plans by federal and state regulators over the course of the next several months. 

“Doylestown Health is deeply committed to maintaining our mission to provide patients the highest quality of care, close to home,” Doylestown Health President and CEO James Brexler said in the announcement. “Our boards of trustees are excited about how this partnership with Penn Medicine will further expand Doylestown Health’s ability to deliver clinical excellence and positively impact the health and well-being of the communities that we have faithfully served for more than one hundred years.”