Robert Wood Johnson Pursues Partnership with Somerville Hospital

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Robert Wood Johnson Health Network might be getting even bigger soon, as executives have been in talks with Somerset Medical Center in Somerville to define a parternship.

The Robert Wood Johnson network includes hospitals with the RWJ name in New Brunswick, Rahway, and Hamilton, as well as the Raritan Bay Medical Centers in Old Bridge and Perth Amboy.  The system also includes a variety of other facilities in Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, Union, and Mercer counties.

According to a recent story in the Home News Tribune Somerset Medical employs 2,200 people and has 700 affiliated physicians.

"This was a proactive decision by Somerset Medical Center" to seek a larger partner, Somerset Medical's CEO said in the article.

In February, hospital executives at RWJ and Somerset Medical agreed to "explore a partnership," according to a report on NJ.com

"This decision now signals the beginning of a period of due diligence and review to closely examine the operations and financial parameters of both institutions," the board of directors at both hospitals said in a joint statement at that time.

The statement continued,  "As the terms and details of this partnership unfold, both institutions will focus on identifying ways to increase clinical collaboration and expand programs to better meet the healthcare needs of all residents of Central New Jersey."

In February, a report by Moody's Investor Service predicted an onset of hopsital mergers and information sharing, according to the NJ.com article.

The report said, "As more organzations contend with lackluster financial performance," and "the implications of healthcare reform," hospitals will consider mergers and partnerships more readily.