Merid­ian Health com­pletes ac­qui­si­tion of Rar­i­tan Bay

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Me­lanie Evans

Merid­ian Health com­pleted its ac­qui­si­tion of Rar­i­tan Bay Med­i­cal Cen­ter, one of two deals set in mo­tion last year that will make the sys­tem one of the largest in New Jersey.

The Nep­tune, N.J.-based sys­tem an­nounced it ac­quired Rar­i­tan Bay’s two New Jersey hos­pi­tal cam­puses af­ter ap­proval from the state. Merid­ian also has a pend­ing deal with Hack­en­sack Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter. The com­bined op­er­a­tions of Merid­ian and Hack­en­sack and a pend­ing deal be­tween Barn­abas Health and the Robert Wood John­son Health Sys­tem would cre­ate New Jersey’s two largest sys­tems.

The Merid­ian deal comes with chal­lenges. Rar­i­tan Bay op­er­ates in Perth Am­boy and Old Bridge. A re­view of the fa­cil­i­ties’ 2013 fi­nances by Fitch Rat­ings shows Rar­i­tan Bay op­er­ated at a loss with $39 mil­lion in debt. But John Lloyd, Merid­ian’s pres­i­dent, said Rar­i­tan Bay lead­ers have im­proved its fi­nances in the past few years. Merid­ian will make cap­i­tal in­vest­ments to im­prove its op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing ren­o­vat­ing or re­plac­ing the emer­gency room at one cam­pus and up­grad­ing in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy.

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