New Jersey-based healthcare providers Saint Peter’s Healthcare System and Atlantic Health System have formalised their merger plans, with a definitive agreement.

The integration is set to bring immediate benefits to patients, physicians, and caregivers, with substantial investments planned for Saint Peter’s.

In January 2024, the organisations signed a letter of intent to integrate their networks.

This merger is poised to deliver significant improvements to healthcare delivery in the communities served by Saint Peter’s, including the integration of clinical services, expansion of the physician network, and substantial capital investments.

Atlantic Health System will become the sole corporate member of Saint Peter’s upon completion of the deal. Despite the merger, Saint Peter’s will retain its Catholic identity.

One of the first initiatives to be undertaken upon deal completion is the deployment of the Epic electronic health record (EHR) platform across Saint Peter’s.

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Patients of Saint Peter’s will also gain immediate access to advanced data analytics capabilities, owing to Atlantic Health System’s significant investments in this area.

These tools are expected to facilitate more informed decision-making, leading to better patient outcomes and cost reductions, as demonstrated by Atlantic Health’s accountable care organisations.

Additionally, Saint Peter’s physicians will have the opportunity to join Atlantic Health’s affiliated physician group practices and programmes.

The two parties are now focused on securing approvals from federal, state, and Church authorities to finalise the deal.

Saint Peter’s president and CEO Leslie D. Hirsch said: “We are enthusiastic about becoming a part of Atlantic Health with its outstanding reputation for excellence in patient care that aligns well with our culture and mission. This ensures that Saint Peter’s will remain a strong presence in the central New Jersey area serving the community as a Catholic hospital for many decades to come.”