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Geisinger to close on AtlantiCare acquisition Thursday, beefs up New Jersey presence

AtlantiCare is among the largest healthcare systems in South Jersey

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Atlanticare Regional Medical Center via Wikipedia.

AtlantiCare, which is among the largest healthcare systems in South Jersey, will join the Geisinger Health System, both systems announced Thursday.

AtlantiCare's application to merge with Geisinger was approved by the state attorney general in July, according to The Attorney General recommended approval of the agreement, and last month the state Superior Court also approved it.

[Also: Tracking 2015 mergers and acquisitions]

Thursday's announcement brings to fruition talks that began in November 2013, when AtlantiCare said a merger would reduce costs and improve efficiency of care.

Geisinger, a Pennsylvania system, works with eight hospitals, including the AtlantiCare hospitals in Atlantic City and Galloway Township.

However David R. Hughes, chief financial officer of Shore Medical Center, expressed concern in a published report over what he called an "inherit conflict" between an insurance company and medical centers.

Geisinger Health System has an insurance component, the Geisinger Health Plan.

Twitter: @SusanMorseHFN