LifePoint Health has signed a definitive agreement to acquire specialty hospital company Kindred Healthcare for an undisclosed amount.

The integration of the complementary companies will result in a healthcare delivery network with extended services, resources and expertise. It is expected that the merged entity will be able to serve across the healthcare continuum.

As part of the deal, LifePoint will combine its network of community-based hospitals, providers and access points with Kindred’s long-term acute care capabilities, rehabilitation services and behavioural health services.

LifePoint Health also anticipates the acquisition to provide opportunities for the development and expansion of critical behavioural health services across the US.

The company hopes to invest in services and technology for patients in new as well as current markets.

Over the past years, Kindred formed joint ventures and collaborations with hospitals across the country. This strategy facilitated the company’s foray into new geographies and improved access to healthcare services.

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With plans to continue this strategy, LifePoint and Kindred will leverage their joint resources and expertise to work with health systems, payers and other providers. The aim is to expand services into areas where they have no operations currently.

Kindred Healthcare CEO Benjamin Breier said: “Kindred and LifePoint have highly complementary capabilities and together we will be poised to further improve patient care across the healthcare continuum.

“The combination with LifePoint also creates enhanced career development and advancement opportunities for our Kindred teammates who have been the driving force behind our mission of delivering hope and healing to the most medically complex patients.”

LifePoint Health has also announced a $1.5bn investment over the coming three years to boost care. The funds will be used to support the personal and professional growth of its employees.

In addition, the focus will be on capital projects to enhance healthcare delivery and access points.

The investment will also cover technology, digital solutions, and equipment to improve local access to advanced services.

Subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, the acquisition is set to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

In April this year, Humana agreed to buy the remaining 60% interest in home health and hospice provider Kindred at Home (KAH) for $5.7bn.