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Baptist Health South Florida Completes Bethesda Health Merger

News  |  By Philip Betbeze  
   October 02, 2017

The combined nonprofit now has 10 hospitals, more than 40 physician practices and 50 outpatient facilities.

Coral Gables-based Baptist Health South Florida has completed its merger on schedule with Boynton Beach-based Bethesda Health.

Bethesda Health has two hospitals in the Palm Beach County area, where Baptist did not have a presence prior to the merger’s letter of intent, which was announced in 2015. The now-completed merger should provide Bethesda the leverage of a larger health system and allow it to expand in outpatient and urgent care centers, according to goals spelled out during the initial merger announcement.

As value-based care strategies gain more of a foothold, it can be difficult for smaller, standalone health systems to compete, which is also true of traditional, fee-for-service negotiations.

Bethesda consists of two hospitals, 401-bed Bethesda Hospital East and 80-bed Bethesda Hospital West. The two hospitals will retain their names.

“This partnership with Baptist Health gives our community expanded access to healthcare services,” said Roger Kirk, CEO of Bethesda Health.

The completion of the merger, which brings the much smaller Bethesda under the Baptist umbrella, had been dependent on the completion of more than two years of due diligence. The two organizations have been sharing operational expertise and best practices for the past 24 months with an eye toward bringing the organizations together.

“Our organizations share similar values and a steadfast commitment to providing quality healthcare to our patients,” said Brian E. Keeley, president and CEO of Baptist Health. “Together, as not-for-profit mission-driven organizations, we will enhance our capabilities and carry out our common goal of providing compassionate, patient-focused comprehensive care to our community.”

Bethesda Health is the second and far the larger merger Baptist has completed this year. It merged with 25-bed critical access hospital Fishermen’s Community Hospital in the Florida Keys in July.

Baptist Health South Florida has spent 17 years on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list, coming in at No. 97 in 2017.


Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders.

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