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Baptist Health South Florida, Bethesda to merge after 24-month transition

Monetary terms of the deal were not announced.

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Florida hospital operators Baptist Health South Florida and Bethesda Health on Friday said they plan to merge in 2017 after managing jointly through a 24-month transition period.

Monetary terms of the deal were not announced.

According to officials, the merger falls in line with an industry-wide consolidation trend.

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"While significant challenges are ahead in healthcare, it is essential to forge partnerships that can ensure our organizations remain on the leading edge as providers of quality medical care," Bethesda Health CEO Roger Kirk said in the announcement. "As not-for-profit hospitals, we share similar missions and a common vision for improving the health of our respective communities that can be significantly strengthened by this affiliation."

Baptist Health, headquartered in Coral Gables, runs Baptist Hospital, Baptist Children's Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Homestead Hospital, Mariners Hospital, South Miami Hospital and West Kendall Baptist Hospital, in addition to more than 50 outpatient centers. It also employees more than 16,000 people, of which 2,200 are physicians.

Boynton Beach-based Bethesda, meanwhile, manages the Bethesda Hospital East and Bethesda Hospital West, employing about 670 physicians.

After the two-year collaboration period, the systems will begin to run as one business on Oct. 1, 2017.

Twitter: @HenryPowderly