Through an aggressive series of mergers and acquisitions, Saint Barnabas Health Care System has amassed New Jersey's largest healthcare system.
With this month's announcement that Monmouth Medical Center in Longbranch, N.J., plans to merge with the Livingston, N.J.-based healthcare system, Saint Barnabas now boasts a $1.5 billion organization with 20,000 employees and 3,225 beds, including flagship Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston and Union (N.J.) Hospital.
Late last year, Community-Kimball Health Care System in Toms River, N.J., also announced plans to dissolve its board and join Saint Barnabas. Community-Kimball's acute-care operations include Community Medical Center in Toms River and Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood.
Saint Barnabas also intends to add an inner-city teaching hospital to its largely suburban ranks. Negotiations to merge 558-bed Newark (N.J.) Beth Israel Medical Center into the Livingston-based system continue.
Masterminding the consolidation is Ronald J. Del Mauro, president and chief executive officer of Saint Barnabas Health Care System and chairman of the New Jersey Hospital Association.
In an interview with MODERN HEALTHCARE last fall, Del Mauro described his philosophy of network development: "The plan is to capture as much of the market share as possible in the state of New Jersey," he said.
Where others have preferred affiliations, Del Mauro's system has grown largely through mergers of holding companies, creating a parent corporation "with singular leadership."
Loose affiliations "don't make much sense," contended Christopher M. Dadlez, Monmouth's president and chief executive officer. He said Monmouth was attracted to Saint Barnabas because of the system's similar culture and vision for creating a quality organization that will attract managed-care contracts.
Dadlez also favors mergers over affiliations because "New Jersey healthcare, at least on the hospital side, has been overbuilt. There is some consolidation that is necessary."
Nevertheless, affiliations continue to shape the managed-care scene in New Jersey and beyond.
One big contractual alliance, announced late last month, links the managed-care networks of Newark's University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and New York Hospital in Manhattan.
The pact joined University HealthCare Corp., UMDNJ's managed-care subsidiary, with the 14-member New York Hospital Care Network. Officials said the alliance may affect as many as 500,000 subscribers in the two states.
The cross-border deal is intended to broaden the scope of services available to people who live and work in both states. In a press release, it was touted as the first network in the country linking two academically based healthcare systems from two different states.