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Atlantic Health System to acquire another N.J. hospital


By Melanie Evans
Posted: January 29, 2014 - 2:45 pm ET
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Atlantic Health System announced plans to acquire another New Jersey hospital weeks after it closed on a deal for Chilton Hospital.

The Morristown, N.J.-based system said it will acquire 111-bed Hackettstown (N.J.) Regional Medical Center from Adventist HealthCare, a five-hospital system based in Gaithersburg, Md. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, would give Atlantic Health five hospitals, and Adventist would exit the state of New Jersey.

Hackettstown would gain greater access to a regional health information network and specialty care, Atlantic Health and Hackettstown Regional officials said in a news release.

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“Joining the Atlantic Health System family will give the Hackettstown community access to more specialists and services throughout the system, from cardiovascular to neonatal, to oncology, neuroscience and more,” said Jason Coe, president of Hackettstown Regional Medical Center.

Atlantic Health will pay Adventist HealthCare $54 million under the terms of the deal to cover prior investments and Hackettstown's debt. Atlantic Health also agreed to spend $5 million on capital projects and said it would make further investments in information technology and physician recruitment. Hackettstown Regional would be the second hospital with thin operating margins added to Atlantic Health's balance sheet in a short period.

Earlier this month, Atlantic Health completed its acquisition of Chilton Hospital in Pompton Plains, N.J., which reported an operating income of $2.8 million on revenue of $168 million in 2012, the most recent fiscal year available. Hackettstown Regional Medical Center ended 2012 with operating income of roughly $906,000 on revenue of $89.8 million, Adventist financial statements show.

Atlantic Health system's deals add to a steady stream of mergers and acquisitions by hospital operators, including Community Health System's deal for Health Management Associates, which closed this week, and other giant unions such as Tenet Healthcare Corp.'s acquisition of Vanguard Health System and the merger of Catholic Health East and Trinity Health last year. Across the industry, deals last year slowed but buyers paid more, Modern Healthcare's dealmaking data show.

Follow Melanie Evans on Twitter: @MHmevans


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