Pennsylvania's attorney general has dropped his challenge to the merger between Jefferson Health and Albert Einstein Health Network.
Jefferson still awaits a decision from the Federal Trade Commission on whether to appeal a district judge's rejection of its proposed injunction against the deal, CEO Dr. Stephen Klasko said at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference Tuesday.
Klasko said the would-be partners have "lots of integration plans."
"A good part of that has to do with maintaining our academic enterprise," he said. The deal would also pave the way for a stronger relationship with Health Partners Plans.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro's office said in a statement that its agreement to drop its opposition follows "extensive talks" with Jefferson and Einstein, and especially their agreements to invest in North Philadelphia that go beyond what was in their original proposal. That includes permanently maintaining Einstein Philadelphia as a general acute-care hospital with affiliations to area academic institutions, maintaining access to critical healthcare services and financial investment in area facilities of $200 million, Shapiro's office said.
"Our focus in this case has always been on strengthening access to high-quality healthcare for people living and working in North Philadelphia," the AG's office said.
In a joint statement released Tuesday, Jefferson and Einstein said the attorney general's decision helps them proceed with their merger, which is based on a "deep commitment to the communities we serve," including North Philadelphia, which will see expanded access to care under the deal.
"Our merger is a significant step forward for patient care, wellness, and health sciences education, and we are eager to move forward together," the systems said.