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Maryland health system, Delaware hospital combine to form TidalHealth

The new name and branding strategy are meant to evoke the regular rising and falling of the tides, suggesting dependability.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Peninsula Regional Health System, based in Salisbury, Maryland, has joined forces with Seaford, Delaware-based Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and rebranded under the name TidalHealth, and the hospitals themselves will be renamed in the process: TidalHealth Peninsula Regional and TidalHealth Nanticoke, respectively.

The hospitals will retain some of the identity ingrained in the community for, in the case of Peninsula Regional, more than 100 years, TidalHealth said in a statement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT?

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For months now, the entities have spent hours conducting research and interviewing patients, physicians and employees to gain an intimate knowledge of the community and its needs. By combining knowledge and sharing evidence-based protocols, TidalHealth is offering what it called "the best healthcare on Delmarva."

TidalHealth is also an affiliate of the Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network, a group of academic and community-based clinical researchers designed to provide new opportunities for research collaborations and accelerate the transfer of new diagnostic, treatment and disease-prevention advances from the research arena to patient care.

The inclusion of the word "Tidal" in the new entity's moniker is meant to evoke the regular rising and lowering of tides, suggesting predictability and dependability, the health system said. Nanticoke is a Native American word meaning "tidewater people."

THE LARGER TREND

The two combining hospitals have a mixed history when it comes to the patient experience. In 2015, Nanticoke Memorial earned an "A" in Leapfrog's annual safety ratings, and in 2017 it was singled out by Healthgrades as one of the nation's top hospitals for patient experience.

However, in 2015 both hospitals were fined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for hospital-acquired infections, including C. diff. intestinal infections.

So far mergers and acquisition activity hasn't taken a serious blow as a result of COVID-19. Transaction volumes are down from the norm, but only slightly, suggesting the public health crisis may be strengthening the rationale for future partnerships.

According to second-quarter data from Kaufman Hall, there were 14 transactions announced in the quarter. That's a dip from the 29 transactions recorded in Q1, but year-over-year it's not a significant change from 2019, which saw 19 transactions in the second quarter. The coronavirus notwithstanding, deals are moving forward.

The total value of these deals, though, is significantly lower in the first half of 2020 as compared to the same time period last year, found S&P Global Market Intelligence in July. For Q2 2020, the aggregate transaction value was $12.26 billion compared to $29.31 billion in Q1 and $137.29 billion in the second quarter of 2019. Until June 30, the value of global healthcare M&A was $37.68 billion for 903 deals.

Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com