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Beth Israel Lahey Health to add Joslin Diabetes Center to its network

The agreement is a "natural evolution" of the decades-long relationship between Joslin and Beth Israel, the organizations say.

Mallory Hackett, Associate Editor

Boston-based Beth Israel Lahey Health and Joslin Diabetes Center have signed a letter of intent for Joslin to join the BILH network.

With the acquisition, the diabetes research, education and clinical care center would join BILH's system of medical centers, teaching hospitals, as well as community and specialty hospitals, with more than 4,800 physicians and 36,000 employees.

The organizations called the agreement a "natural evolution" of the decades-long working relationship between Joslin and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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Over the years, the two medical centers have maintained a broad clinical affiliation, managed shared education programs and provided a range of clinical services to each other's patients. Specifically, they have worked together to provide specialty care in vascular surgery and foot care, as well as for women with diabetes through pregnancy and childbirth.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT

Along with expanding their relationship across primary care, preventive care, acute care, and population health management, the partnership would allow for the two organizations to conduct diabetes research.

The two institutions already collaborate on clinical trials and research initiatives but the new relationship serves as an opportunity to further Joslin's mission to prevent, treat and ultimately cure diabetes, Dr. Roberta Herman, the president and CEO of Joslin said in the announcement.

Before the deal is approved, it needs to be reviewed by the state's Attorney General, Health Policy Commission, Department of Public Health, and other federal authorities.

THE LARGER TREND

Beth Israel Lahey Health came to be in 2018 after the mega-merger of CareGroup, the parent company of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and related facilities, and Lahey Health. The agreement brought together Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Mount Auburn Hospital, and New England Baptist Hospital with Lahey Health System, Seacoast Regional Health System, BIDCO Hospital LLC, and BIDCO Physician LLC.

Recently, there have been fewer mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare space than usual, with the second quarter of 2020 dropping 20% from the first quarter and 34% from Q2 2019.

That said, analysts have predicted an uptick in M&A activity going into 2021 as hospitals look for partnerships to help themselves recover financially from COVID-19.

Over the past couple of months, there have already been several notable mergers. First, Intermountain Healthcare and Sanford Health signed a letter of intent to merge in October. The deal would create a system of 70 hospitals across Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

Then, this month, RWJBarnabas Health and Trinitas Regional Medical Center entered into a definitive agreement whereby Trinitas and its affiliates will become a part of the RWJBH system.

ON THE RECORD

"Joining BILH will serve to strengthen Joslin's mission to prevent, treat and ultimately cure diabetes," Herman said. "We have worked closely with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for decades, and this agreement presents an opportunity to join a leading health care system and move Joslin's research, treatment and education protocols to the next level, directly benefiting people with diabetes across a wide geographic and demographic spectrum."

Twitter: @HackettMallory
Email the writer: mhackett@himss.org