Unity Health System and ViaHealth, both in Rochester, N.Y., have agreed to merge into a three-hospital system and will take the next six to nine months to proceed with regulatory filings, due diligence and development of a definitive agreement. The decision came after several months of work, including a recommendation from Deloitte Consulting. Officials said that after five years a merger could improve the bottom line by as much as $25 million. It is doubtful that any hospitals would close, but there could be layoffs over time -- an estimated 125 employees, representing roughly 1% of the combined workforce of 11,000, officials said. Unity, which operates 441-bed Park Ridge Hospital, earned $4.8 million on $279 million in revenue last year. ViaHealth, which last year closed its second hospital in less than two years, lost $13 million on $515 million in revenue in 2002. The system now operates 526-bed Rochester General Hospital and 300-bed Newark-Wayne Community Hospital. -- by Cinda Becker
Rochester, N.Y., hospitals agree to merge
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