Temple University Health System, Philadelphia, and Delaware Valley Medical Center, Langhorne, Pa., last week signed a letter of intent to explore a merger.
Paul Boehringer, executive director of Temple University Hospital, said the combination would extend Temple's commitment to expand its clinical services into suburban Philadelphia while preserving DVMC's status as an acute-care teaching hospital in Bucks County.
The agreement comes one week after the announcement of the sale of six Philadelphia-area not-for-profit hospitals to for-profit Vanguard Health Systems.
A spokeswoman for DVMC said the institutions expect to complete a definitive merger agreement by June 10.
Founded in 1920 as Harriman Hospital, DVMC is a 160-bed acute care, osteopathic teaching hospital about 30 minutes from Philadelphia.
Temple University Health System consists of Jeanes Hospital, Lower Bucks Hospital, Neumann Medical Center, Northeastern Hospital of Philadelphia, Temple University Children's Medical Center and Temple University Hospital, plus a pair of nursing homes and a physicians' practice.