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Redeemer Health is looking for a partner after losing money for five years

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Redeemer Health, a Catholic nonprofit in Montgomery County that has reported five straight years of operating losses, wants to form what it calls a “strategic partnership” for its Meadowbrook Hospital and medical practices, according to a letter sent Monday to the Redeemer community. .

It’s unclear what Redeemer means by pursuing a strategic partnership – which comes a decade after a proposed merger with Abington Health was scrapped amid controversy over plans to stop abortions at Abington.

“We do not plan to sell the hospital, but rather to partner with other healthcare providers who share our commitment to serving our current and future communities, including efforts to address inequalities and disparities. health,” Redeemer chief executive Mike Laign said in the letter.

Sometimes health systems talk about “strategic partnerships” and mean little more than cooperation in selected service lines, experts say. Redeemer already has such a partnership with Cooper’s MD Anderson Cancer Center in Camden for an integrated cancer treatment program. But it could be that Redeemer is looking for a stronger alliance to help it overcome the financial challenges it has had as a small independent system.

The long-running coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for even financially strong systems to break even due to service disruptions as patients have stayed home for fear of contracting the virus. Labor costs also skyrocketed because many nurses and other workers quit their jobs.

Redeemer did not immediately provide additional information.

Redeemer’s announcement, which is not in financial difficulty, adds to the flux in the Philadelphia-area hospital industry. Tower Health is trying to sell Chestnut Hill Hospital and the already closed Brandywine and Jennersville hospitals in western Chester County. He also wants to reduce his role at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, which he owns 50-50 with Drexel University.

ChristianaCare, Delaware’s largest health care system, announced in February that it had entered into a preliminary agreement to acquire Crozer Health of Delaware County, which is owned by a California-based for-profit company, Prospect Medical Holdings Inc. It does not It’s unclear whether ChristianaCare and Crozer are on track for a final agreement by next month, as originally planned.

Meanwhile, Prospect continues to eliminate services at Crozer hospitals. The intensive care unit at Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill is closing later this month. In June, Crozer will end outpatient mental health and addiction treatment services at the former Chester Community Hospital campus, as well as the addictions inpatient unit at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland.

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Redeemer said his search for a partnership was only for the 239-bed Holy Redeemer Hospital and Holy Redeemer Medical and Ambulatory Services. The hospital and medical practices accounted for $354 million of Redeemer’s $445 million in total revenue in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, according to its latest audited financial statements. Together, these two units recorded operating losses of $14 million.

The Redeemer organization also owns retirement communities, nursing homes, hospice services, a home care and hospice provider, low income housing for the elderly and disabled, an organization visiting nurses and related businesses.

Catholic healthcare systems are required to follow ethical and religious guidelines established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The 49 guidelines include bans on abortions and direct sterilization, for example.